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Reaching Out From Within Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Crime & Law, Rehabilitation Services for Offenders

Mission: Reaching out from within makes communities safer by supporting inmates to become role models for non-violence and role model citizens upon their release.

Programs: Reaching out from within, inc. Is a self-help program for inmates in kansas correctional facilities. The program is designed for incarcerated men and women who desire to make changes in their behavior that enable them to become role models for nonviolence while in correctional facilities and productive family members and citizens upon return to the community. These men and women run weekly meetings using curriculum written by inmates that teach life skills and helps them make positive changes in their lives and helps break the cycle of violence. The ged program at lansing correctional facility is run by committed volunteers with assistance from several well-educated inmate group members. Those who obtain their ged while in prison are likely to return and are better able to find employment upon release from prison. As of september 2014, rofw volunteers have individually mentored 57 offenders, 40 have been out of prison more than six months and no longer receive formal mentoring, 12 are still inside the prison and have not yet been released, 1 is in the first six months following release and 4 were dropped from the program prior to their release. Of the 40 mentees who have been out of prison for more than six months, only one has returned to prison for a new charge and 4 were brought back to prison for 60-90 days due to a technical violation of special provision of their parole plans. These results are significantly better than the usual recidivism rate of the general prison population in kansas.

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Reaching Out From Within (ROFW) is a prison-based study, self-help and support program with two decades of outstanding outcomes in reducing recidivism (less than 10%). Co-created by an inmate and managed inside by inmates themselves with hundreds of citizen supporters, ROFW serves to promote self-understanding and personal growth through a secular curriculum and leadership development. Co-founder SuEllen Fried (nationally-known anti-bullying expert) and Executive Director Lynn Hinkle, along with their board of directors and volunteers, help prisoners from all walks of life to meet and study together, share and gain self knowledge, commit to new values and address behavioral goals to serve others on the inside and prepare for success on the outside. The ROFW team also helps those of us outside of prison to understand the incarcerated as fully human individuals capable of change and worthy of encouragement, hope, dignity and support as they help themselves through the structured ROFW program.