Worth Shouting About! GraceInside and Faith Based Re-Entry – 0% Recidivism!!!!

What are we doing to help people re-enter society after incarceration?  At Deep Meadow Correctional Center, Chaplain David Cheyne is not only the chaplain but also GraceInside’s Faith Based Reentry Manager, who oversees a program of 24 men that work together with volunteers for a full year prior to release.  In the history of our FBRE program, we are busting at the seams with pride that NONE of the men who have completed the program have returned to prison.  Zero. Zilch. Nada.  That’s something to shout about!

Faith-Based Re-Entry Program (FBRE)

Program Description

The FBRE program is aimed at helping offenders become reconciled to God, their families and the communities. The program addresses basic life issues and the skills needed for successful reentry. Offenders acquire skills that help them to think, behave, and relate to others in a godly manner. Application of Biblical principles are practiced throughout the program. Participants are housed in the same location within the prison. They work together as a team, being encouraged to apply what they’re learning through the program in their daily lives. Each quarter of the program addresses four key life areas that include homework and life applications. Mentors are provided to assist participants during their final three months of incarceration and during their first year of reentry. VADOC has done a statistical analysis of those wo have completed the entire program (12 months pre-release followed by 12 month post-release) indicating a 0% recidivism rate.

The program is voluntary and is open to offenders of all faiths who meet the eligibility requirements and are selected through the application process. Available spaces in the program are limited so there is no guarantee of acceptance. Admissions are offered on a rolling basis, i.e., according to their time remaining before their release. Participants remain in the program unless they violate the agreement they’ve made to the program. VADOC also has discretion as to which recommended offenders will be permitted to join the program. FBRE program participants have access to any VADOC’s cognitive reentry classes where there is no conflict of schedules but they are not required to attend them.

Eligibility criteria for the FBRE program

  • 9 to 15 months remaining until release. (Offenders with more than 15 months can still apply, but those applications will not be considered until 15 months from the release date.)
  • Upon release offenders are still required to complete all the release guidelines as determined by VADOC.
  • Offenders must agree to the FBRE program requirements.
  • All applicants must submit a completed and signed application.

Program Requirements

  • Participants are required to attend all program classes and functions. Classes are held Monday – Thursday evenings from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM and on Saturday mornings from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM.
  • Participants are required to attend a regular worship service of their choosing.
  • Participants are required to complete all homework assignments.
  • Participants are required to work with a mentor in the final months of incarceration and during the first year of their release.
  • Participants are required to cooperate with the program manager, the volunteers, their fellow program participants and the DOC staff.
  • Participants are required to comply with the classroom rules established by the FBRE Program.
  • Active participation in the classroom discussions is expected. Additionally, there should be growing evidence that the principles being taught are being demonstrated by the participants while in their incarcerated environment.

Participants can be placed on probation or terminated from the program and the program continues to have post-release requirements as well.

If you are interested in our Faith Based Reentry Program and learning more – even volunteering to help these amazing success stories in progress, please reach out to david.cheyne@vadoc.virginia.gov and he can fill you in on all the glorious details!

GraceInside March 22, 2016