CRIMINAL JUSTICE RE-ENTRY SERVICES
We began offering Re-Entry Services in 2015, under the Louisiana Department of Corrections. This program allows participants to undergo nearly four-months of in-depth work readiness and life skills training. Employment development begins while participants are still incarcerated. Upon release, these “returning citizens” receive a stipend from Opportunity Now, to assist with personal items they may need (clothes, shoes, medication, etc.). Our program has been able to help many participants find a job within as little as one month of their release. We are currently providing Re-Entry Services to four (4) facilities in Louisiana, in addition to facilitating a Diversion Program for the St. John the Baptist District Attorney’s Office.
Our Consumers are Motivated to Achieve
Graduation: An opportunity to celebrate the progressive journey!
Opportunity Now hosts a graduation for “returning citizens” that successfully complete the class. Depending on the facilities’ rules, outside guest may be allowed to attend the ceremony. For example, at St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office two adult family members are invited to attend the graduation. Community leaders and guest speakers are also invited to share encouraging words with the students to prepare them for the world after incarceration. To show how proud we are of our consumers, Opportunity Now caters food for the ceremony.
QUICK FACT: Opportunity Now’s Criminal Justice Re-Entry/Work Readiness program has had its longest run at St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office, where 15 classes have successfully graduated. Once the participant is released from jail, they contact Opportunity Now and are awarded a $75 stipend to assist in the purchase of essential needs items. These stipends are given from Opportunity Now’s personal account to assist the participants in integrating back into the community. The Re-entry/Work Readiness instructor also begins job developing to assist the participants in securing gainful employment. Opportunity Now has also assisted homeless participants in securing housing once they were released.
Opportunity Now is also responsible for the development, implementation, and coordination of a social and self-sufficiency, grassroots-based outreach program for residents of St. John the Baptist Parish. The outreach initiative links participants to existing services through the development of partnerships. In the event of programmatic gaps, the outreach initiative identifies the necessary resources and will help develop new services.
The Opportunity Now Anger Management Program is an 8-week program designed to teach participants to deal with anger in a healthy manner. Inside the Criminal Justice System, anger can often become their greatest defense mechanism. As such, we encourage the participants to re-examine the history and causes of their anger. Participants learn about the effects their anger has had on their victims, how to avoid aggression, and to use anger management techniques to develop better coping strategies moving forward.
Our “Cage Your Rage” Curriculum assists participants in understanding where their anger comes from and what triggers it. Then it includes individualized activities, journaling, and counseling modules to help in developing and learning coping mechanisms and healthy strategies to overcome aggression, outbursts, and negative emotional reactions that stem from anger.
This 12-week program is designed to give participants the necessary tools to become more involved, responsible, and committed parents while still incarcerated. Opportunity Now takes pride in being an intricate part of family reunification. As such, it is important to teach participants about the role that they play in their children’s growth, as well as the importance of effective co-parenting, and being emotionally available to sustain healthy relationships.
Our parenting curriculum dives deep into understanding parental roles, modeling appropriate behavior, co-parenting and communication, handling feelings and discipline, and more. It also focuses on the capabilities and responsibilites of parenting from inside an institution, and ways to effectively navigate and contribute through these challenges.
We're proud of our graduates! Read some of our success stories
Our results our more than numbers. Our services impact individuals and communities.
Successful Job Placement Rate
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