Doors of Hope, the Fourth ICL Alum Effort to Impact Reentry and Recidivism

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Maridel Williams of Cohort 5 is breaking new ground. 

Maridel is the latest alum to work with correctional facilities in support of those nearing reentry into society, and she is the first to work with a county correctional work center. For her ICL master's project, she expanded the work of her nonprofit Doors of Hope by adding a new initiative to her partnership with the Rutherford County Correctional Work Center. The new initiative will further the organization's mission to reduce recidivism rates and greatly enhance the collaborative relationship that already exists between the two organizations.  The reentry program, a voluntary corrections-based program for women, will incorporate elements of the "Therapeutic Community" approach. Up to 16 participants will occupy a separate housing space at the work center facility while in the program.

The expanded initiative was featured in the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, which is part of the USA Today Network.

"Improving reentry efforts in Rutherford County is a critical component of The Rutherford County Correctional Work Center's mission to reduce recidivism. Our partnership with Doors of Hope recognizes the importance of offender reentry as a critical tool in breaking the cycle of criminogenic thinking, while improving the public health and public safety of our community," said Capt. William Cope.

"The work center understands if the people we teach don't have a safe environment to go to when they get released, the recidivism rate would be atrocious," Williams said. "So when they get released, they call us. We are not just teaching while they are (incarcerated), we are building relationships so they have support they need when they get released."

Read the entire news article here.

Other programs focused on preparation for reentry are Karen Vander Molen’s BEST entrepreneurship program, Dorinda Carter’s program bringing the nationally recognized Magdalene program into the Tennessee Prison for Women, and Sheila Hubbard’s program focused on matching nonprofit and community resources to those reentering with mental health needs.