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Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Correctional Faith-Based Initiatives

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Progress Report

  • Correctional Faith-Based Initiatives Task Force Report information sessions: The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) and the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) have been conducting Leadership Input Forums across the state to receive input from leaders in faith and community-based programming. To date, nine Leadership Forums have been conducted in the Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton, and Cincinnati areas. These forums are open to all community and volunteer leaders, education leaders, corporate leaders, and faith leaders. The purpose of these forums is to solicit input from the leaders on what agencies can do to further extend opportunities for them, as well as inform them of ways they can assist departments in the effort of successful reentry into the communities. Click here for the date, time, and locations of upcoming forums. Additional forums are being scheduled in the northwest and southeast quadrants of the state in a concerted effort to reach out to all areas.
  • The input and suggestions received at these forums are available by clicking here. Additionally, leaders are asked to contact the department if they wish to host a forum in their community.
  • In anticipation of increased community involvement and volunteerism, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is developing a standardized volunteer friendly training component. Web-based training programs are being evaluated and considered in an effort to add convenience to volunteering.
  • A Web site is being established that will provide volunteer information for the public. This site will provide volunteers with application and approval processes, training information, updates of progress of the task force recommendations and additional general information.
  • Employers will be educated regarding the offender workforce. Recommendations from employer summit and forums have been incorporated in the "Comprehensive Offender Employment Strategy" report, which has developed into a work team that will be convened as a result of this report.
  • A "Faith-Based Programming Reentry and Recidivism Symposium" was hosted on February 9, 2007. This symposium was open to DRC and DYS employees, government officials, leaders from the faith and non-faith community, colleges and universities, corporate and business leaders, community volunteers, legal scholars, and ex-offenders. The focus of the symposium was on establishing a continuing dialogue between research, the faith community, and corrections. Participants attended a variety of sessions that highlighted research on the impact of faith-based programming, addressed what is being done in Ohio and the legal issues surrounding collaboration. Various organizations and groups displayed informational tables showing their programs and services.
  • A Volunteer Appreciation and Recognition Ceremony is being planned for May 2007. A DRC Volunteer of the Year will be selected from the institution Volunteer of the Year selections.
  • In the fall, a Volunteer Symposium will be held for all volunteers affiliated with DRC. This symposium will provide an opportunity for networking, training, and recognition.
  • A short promotional video is being developed that will highlight the impact of Faith-Based Programming and the desire of offenders to succeed upon release.
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Shelli Branch
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction