The majority of incarcerated women will be released. During their imprisonment, jobs will likely have been lost, savings depleted to cover court fines and fees. The struggle is great. Transportation and employment can be difficult to find. Housing is a seemingly insurmountable problem as landlords may be reluctant to rent to former offenders.
99% of the women TJI helps come out of prison with nothing paperwork wearing clothes from a donation box. Often, the available clothes are men's and don't fit well. These women do not even have a change of underclothes. TJI buys them personal hygiene items, clothing from a consignment store for work, sleep and daily life. TJI provides backpacks, cell phones, bus passes, and helps to cover fees for a temporary place to live (until TJI opens a transition house).
to go back. Housing is the key to understanding the recidivism puzzle.,” said Steve Berg, Vice President for Programs and Policy at the National Alliance to End Homelessness, a research and advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.
Incarcerated for 27 years, she now serves
on the TJI Board of Directors.
While serving her sentence, Marianne worked in the prison library and took every opportunity to better herself. She participated in the programs and services led by TJI. After decades of incarceration, Marianne was finally released. Nicole was there on the wonderful release date to help guide and support Marianne through the clumsy reacclimation into society. Changes in the outside world were overwhelming for her. She hadn't held money, gone grocery shopping or picked out what to wear since for almost three decades.
"The Jesus Infusion is the real deal. They are all about spreading the love of Jesus. Nicole Dyson has a passion for the women inside that doesn’t stop and once they're released. She is there for us then just as strongly. God gave her a vision of a home for us. A home that is desperately needed in our community. There are so many obstacles to overcome once released and The Jesus Infusion team wants to be a part of the solution to those obstacles."
- Marianne V.
Recidivism is the tendency of a convicted person to relapse or reoffend.
Reasons are multifaceted. Lack of support, shame and feelings of hopelessness are common.
A woman's dignity is refreshed when she's able to pick out her clothes after wearing only a prison uniform for years or decades. She can begin to heal from life's traumas with God's love and support from TJI for basic needs.
When inmates are released, many of them are completely alone. Without significant support, reoffending is more likely.
Church & Community
TJI helps women reacclimate to a healthy place in society by providing non-judgemental community and faith based support. Recovery small groups meet weekly at church.
Nighttime is often laced with mental torment as waves of difficult memories rage. Insomnia is common. A safe transition home can be a place for healing.
If housing isn't available or stable, rates of recidivism increase greatly. The need for a small TJI transition home with wrap around support is the perfect launching pad for women walking in freedom.
Fines & Fees
During even short term imprisonment jobs are often lost and savings accounts are depleted. Fines and fees can be a burden to fulfill.
Violation of Probation
Drug addiction can begin with anti-depressants or pain pills and then progress to harder drugs. Many are rearrested for VOP with a drug positive urine test or failure to pay fines or fees.