Finding success in the workforce can be challenging, especially when you’re trying to reestablish yourself after spending time in prison.
But our original goal of providing hope and a job to Memphians doesn’t only apply to our neighbors with a clean background. We believe all people deserve a second chance, and our brothers and sisters in prison need essential support to find success after prison.
When a person leaves prison, the road back to personal and professional stability is a challenging one. It often contains obstacles and hurdles that are nearly impossible to overcome without a support system. Some people are able to rely upon family and friends, while others have no one to turn to. HopeWorks desires to be that support system.
What we do works.
Here’s what we offer within Shelby County Division of Corrections:
We offer a specially designed version of our Personal and Career Development program within SCDC. This program is a stepping stone for personal and professional success after release and allows students the opportunity to participate in the Hope 2 Hire program.
Adult Education in Prison
Students enrolled in HopeWorks’ PCD in prison program have access to HopeWorks HiSET programming. A high school diploma or high school equivalency degree is required to participate in the Hope 2 Hire program.
Hope 2 Hire Job-Skills Training
Hope 2 Hire is an exciting program that offers technical job-skills training to inmates within SCDC. Men and women can choose from several career tracks and take courses that earn college credit while they are working toward release.
What Does “Holistic Reentry” Mean?
If you read about the programs above, you might be asking: “What does any of this have to do with holistic reentry?” It’s a great question and one we’re happy to talk about.
We offer programs in prison that help our students find career opportunities, hone their skills and prepare them for societal reentry. It’s not just education or counseling or technical job-skills training; it’s all of the above. The support is also not over when a person is released – they can seamlessly transition to HopeWorks’ other programs.
Why a prison ministry?
We are Biblically called to support our brothers and sisters in prison. Jesus says Himself in Matthew that when we visit people in prison we are visiting and serving him.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ – Matthew 25:34-40