Re-Entry Apprenticeships Initiative for Skill Enhancement (R.A.I.S.E.)
Vocational Training & Community Job Placement Re-Entry Program
The RAISE Program was created to help bridge the re-entry movement gap that exists between the Federal Bureau Of Prisons and privately operated community release centers. Our goal is to assist prisoners in making a smooth, and near seamless, transition from the prison labor industry into an incentivized community employment program. There are two distinct phases of the RAISE Program. The first phase consists of a commitment to a Department Of Labor Apprenticeship Program while living in a therapeutic living community with likeminded and equally motivated men. The second phase takes place outside of prison in a residential re-entry center where participants are able to complete their Apprenticeship certification while also building a positive employment history.
Phase I. RAISE Program Preparation & Commitment
All program participants will demonstrate a long term commitment to the program by moving into a therapeutic living community. This "community" is a special prison housing unit meant to provide a much more healthy and holistic living environment than what is found throughout the general population. Community residents are encouraged to focus their attention on continuing education, cognitive therapy, substance abuse counseling and vocational training while in the RAISE program. A series of classes will be taught there on site to help facilitate the therapeutic process and to further contribute to a more positive and productive atmosphere for all participants. Additional services will also be available to address any other re-entry issues that may arise, such as driver's licenses, birth certificates and SSI Cards. A key component of the RAISE Program is a mandatory enlistment into an Apprenticeship certification program sponsored by the Department of Labor. While participants reside in the therapeutic living community, they must learn to develop the basic labor skills that will make them more employable once they are released from prison.
RAISE Program Admission Requirements
- Must have a GED or working diligently toward achieving it
- Must be employed in a department where an Apprenticeship Certification is offered.
- Have at least one year clear of any major infractions
- Must complete an interview and screening process by RAISE members and support staff.
- Willing to participate in a program curriculum that follows the nine re-entry skills identified in the inmate skills development system: daily living, mental health, wellness, interpersonal academic, cognitive, vocational/career, leisure time and character.
- Attend daily meetings and groups.
- Maintain a higher standard of character and will be accountable for the upkeep and running of the unit.
Residential programs, such a s"Life Connections," "Challenge," and "RDAP" have proven the effectiveness of therapeutic living communities, consistently reporting reduced rates of recidivism for all participants. Clearly, there is a much greater likelihood of successful re-entry for someone who understands the value of their contribution as a positive and productive member of a community.