Pathways To Resilience
Planting Justice is proud to announce the Pathways To Resilience program which will provide Permaculture Design Courses, stipends, case management support and job placement services for 30 men and women transitioning from Prison. This program is the result of a partnership and collaboration between Planting Justice, Green Life, Christopher Shein, EarthSeed Consulting, Impact Hub Oakland, Sustainable Economies Law Center, and United Roots.
Spread the word! If you or someone you know has paroled from jail or prison to Alameda County in the past 3 years, we are offering a SERIOUSLY empowering opportunity:
1) A full 72 hour Permaculture Design Certification Course with Christopher Shein and Pandora Thomas, customized to meet the needs of people in re-entry
2) A $1000 stipend … yes you heard that right 🙂
3) Wide-ranging support from our brand new Case Manager
4) Community support in circle with people striving to resist incarceration and help their communities resist incarceration
5) Ecological and entrepreneurial courses at Impact Hub Oakland
6) Hands-on involvement in food justice/urban permaculture projects with Planting Justice
7) Inspirational job and career support, and more!!
Participants can apply for the Pathways To Resistance Program by filling out an online application found here! The Deadline is January 22nd, 2014 @ 5 PM.
,Help us SPREAD THE WORD!
More Information About Pathways To Resilience:
Before entering the criminal justice system, many incarcerated individuals live in high-stress-communities impacted by poverty, violence, and racism. This kind of stress can cause trauma, isolation and detachment that affect individuals’ health and behavior, and can ultimately contribute to criminalization. This trauma is further intensified by the prison experience. Prison fundamentally separates incarcerated individuals from positive forces in their lives: home, family, church/spiritual community, education, employment, nature; and instead marks them as convicts, takes their freedom and control over their lives, and surrounds them with violence and criminal influences. This stress may lead to depression, mental health conditions, drug/alcohol abuse, or violent behavior that may persist after release.
Upon reentry, individuals are often thrust into hostile territory. They are released into the same community where they may have committed the crime that led to their imprisonment, potentially putting them in close proximity to negative conditions and influences that prompted their illegal actions in the first place. Many employers categorically will not hire anyone with a felony criminal record due to legal restrictions or concerns about liability and safety. Job searches are complicated by low levels of education, job skills, and work experience, and gaps in work history. The slow economic recovery means tough competition to get a job, and lack of reliable transportation and strict parole can conflict with employer expectations, making it difficult to keep a job. Few have financial savings, or strong social support networks. Family relationships may be strained. Accumulated child support debt leads to garnishment of wages, which complicates efforts to establish self-sufficiency. Many struggle with housing and homelessness, and depending on the type of conviction, they may be ineligible for public benefits such as subsidized housing, income supplementation, and food stamps. Some face mental health problems, or are in recovery from substance abuse, and may have no resources to continue treatment started during incarceration. Many lack knowledge of the agencies and options that are open to them, and need help navigating the system. The social barriers are so daunting and the scarcity of dignified economic opportunities so difficult for formerly incarcerated individuals that many feel they must again resort to illegal activities in order to simply put food on the table and support their families, leading to the mass recidivism in California of almost 70%.
Partners from non-profit, educational, and private sectors have come together to provide a holistic reentry pathway that supports reentering individuals from incarceration, offering training and interpersonal and work related skills, leading to successful reintegration into their community. We immerse participants in the principles of permaculture in a highly structured and culturally-relevant program that will help graduates see their place on the planet and in society, provide a sense of greater opportunity, agency and purpose; foster positive relationship skills and empathy; build a supportive community of peers and mentors; provide hard skills through vocational certification and new employment credentials; teach reentry-relevant job search/readiness and entrepreneurship skills; and provide paid work experience and job placement support. Along the way, we integrate case management and guided access to a network of social service providers for housing, mental health, substance abuse, financial education, and legal services, etc. After this intensive experience, participants will undergo personal, interpersonal, professional, and perceptual healing and growth that will help them find and forge new, more positive connections and viable alternatives for themselves and their families.
Our program design incorporates many best practices in working with the reentry population identified in the East Bay Community Foundation’s ‘Putting the East Bay to Work’ (2009) study,especially around providing wraparound services, integrating Green Jobs, working directly with and educating employers about the assets of working with the target population, educating participants about the full range of vocational opportunities open to them, incorporating legal services, financial education and asset building, and collaborating with other service providers.