When Friends Outside formed in 1955, the per capita rate of imprisonment in the United States was roughly 110 per 100,000. Today, 1 in 100 United States adults are behind bars. Three decades of growth has seen the incarcerated population nearly triple.
Research has shown there are three major factors which influence successful community reentry:
- Reunification with a supportive family or other compassionate,
pro-social support system
- Not knowing where to begin
We know there are other important factors, too
- Realistic expectations
- Spiritual awareness
- Courage to change
- Values, behaviors, and communication skills that are consistent with a
We believe preparation for successful reentry begins when incarceration starts and should be addressed on a continuum that ends months or even years after release. In addition to providing the classes below, our Case Manager works directly with inmates to plan for release, including employment, housing, income, and support within the community. Those re-entering are connected with the local Friends and Family Neighborhood Center.
Case Management Services
A Friends Outside case manager is located in the jail's program unit full-time, providing case management, family reunification, pre-release preparaion and family support services. Establishing a helping relationship before release becomes the foundation of a continuing supportive connection in the community. We are here for the long run, and we will be here for our clients when they are in jail, prison and in the community.
Incarcerated parents and others who are in a parent or caregiver role learn child development, health and safety, nutrition, and techniques of parent-child communication. Participants are shown ways to provide positive guidance discipline that encourages good behavior in place of punishment. Family relationship skills are taught and practiced.
A study on the program indicates a positive shift in knowledge regarding changes in parental expectations, empathy, family roles, power, and independence. Most importantly, parents and others who have responsibility for raising children are encouraged to maintain contact with their children and the child's caregiver in preparation for a meaningful relationship after release.
Creative Conflict Resolution Program
Friends Outside has provided Creative Conflict Resolution in California State Prisons and jails since 1991.
Following the successful Alternatives to Violence Quaker model, CCR is a strength-based, intensive, interactive group experience which addresses the special treatment needs of people with anger issues.
Those who have resorted to violence to resolve conflict focus on
- Anger Management and Conflict Resolution Skills
A study on CCR, completed by Edward W. Hoppe (Ph.D Chief psychologist at Deuel Vocational Institution), found the program to be effective in facilitating a significant shift towards prosocial, nonviolent attitudes. CCR has been successfully implemented with those incarcerated at all custody levels, maximum security through jail honor camps and fire camps. Participants in each group represent all races, ethnicities and gang affiliations…demonstrating the willingness of incarcerated people from all walks of life to come together with a common goal: a reach for peace.
Anger Management Skills
Friends Outside Anger Management Skills Training is based upon the evidence-based Anderson and Anderson model of anger management, the world's most effective and widely recognized anger management curriculum. The program focuses on enhanced emotional intelligence and assertive communication while introducing behavioral strategies to identify and manage anger and stress.