Pre and Post-Release Services:
HopeWorks provides pre-release programming that takes place inside the Shelby Co Division of Corrections. Each cohort of participants receives work readiness training curriculum, Getting Ahead While Getting Out, financial management, and cognitive behavioral interventions. All participants will also receive counseling services, and those needing a high school equivalency diploma or adult basic education attend HiSET classes, The job readiness curriculum includes topics such as career research, letter and resume writing skills, completing an application, and interviewing. Life-skills instruction includes addressing anger management and substance abuse issues as well as handling problems at work, dealing effectively with bosses and co-workers, attendance on the job, and receiving criticism. Personal issues are addresses through one-on-one counseling as well as group sessions. Participants also attend Getting Ahead While Getting Out classes. The program emphasizes the importance of inmates working with their families, counselors, community organizations, and corrections staff to form a 72-hour stability plan and plan for the future. This plan is a clear guide for the participant during the 72 hours following release. Financial management classes provided by HopeWorks Inc. use the Faith and Finance curriculum from the Chalmers Institute. Participants are enrolled in adult basic education classes to either increase reading and numeracy skills or to prepare the HiSET exam, which results in a high school equivalency diploma. Participants receive a vocational assessment such as System for Assessment and Group Evaluation (SAGE). Participants have the opportunity to be assigned a mentor. This mentor visits SCDC weekly to meet with the assigned mentee. Mentors receive training from SCDC and HopeWorks, Inc. in working with the incarcerated population. HopeWorks Inc. provides case management services to participants pre-release, such as finding housing arrangements and resolving child-support issues. The total number of contact hours during the pre-release phase is approximately 300.
Upon release participants enter Phase 2, employment and case management. Participants meet with their HopeWorks Inc. case manager to begin resolving issues that keep them from working, such as a birth certificate, state-issued identification, a social security card, transportation, etc. HopeWorks job placement staff work with participants to identify job opportunities and assist in the employment process. HopeWorks Inc. case managers assist participants who need housing, health care, mental health services, and basic needs by working with the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Reentry (MSCOR) and other partner agencies.