We think "resettlement" rather than "reentry" is a more adequate term to use to shape the process of prisoner reintegration. History provides us with notable examples of immigrant communities helping people coming behind them to integrate into a new society. American Jews helping their co-religionists in the 19th C. and Central Europeans in the 20th C. are notable examples. A positive community of exprisoners is the best help for the men and women coming to our neighborhoods from prison and jail. A Community of Support and Accountability (COSA) is a non-professional, exprisoner group that helps other exprisoners in this way.
The local Agents of Change COSA meets Sunday evenings from 5 – 7 p.m. at Emmanuel Community Church in South Bend (at the intersection of LaSalle and William streets).
The format for each meeting is:
1st Hour: Exprisoners only. Participant shares risks, needs, and successes, and plans for the upcoming week.
2nd Hour: A presenter or facilitator address the group on topics such as Restorative Justice or one of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Work on Portfolio.