I recently had the opportunity to contribute to a segment with Christine Keels, Supervisory Program Analyst and the Faith-Based Initiative Team Leader of Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA). The segment, named “Faith-Based Initiatives for Offender Reentry”, appeared on DC Public Safety Television and was a combined effort of my office and CSOSA.
As the video explains, “the faith community has long been an important force in improving public safety, offender reentry, and victim services. Many faith-based organizations are uniquely suited to bringing together residents and local leaders to address challenges.” Among these efforts, CSOSA has joined 100 faith institutions in a mentoring program for formerly incarcerated individuals—resulting in 200 mentors being matched with 300 mentees—and approximately 500 formerly incarcerated individuals have successfully completed the program since August 2007.
The DOJ Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships recently held two successful webinars on Faith and Community Based approaches to Reentry and Responsible Fatherhood Initiatives. Click the links below to watch/listen to these informative webinars:
The supportive role of community partnership and congregations across the country cannot be underscored enough: “[t]here are more than 350,000 religious congregations in the United States. Faith-based institutions engage 45 million volunteers, nearly half of the total number of American volunteers.”
Eugene Schneeberg is the Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Justice.