Incarceration Alternative - New Program Aims to Keep Men Out of Prison |TODAY|
Submitted by dan. on 2007-04-19 20:54.
Western Carolinians for Criminal Justice receives funding from private foundations and the N.C. General Assembly. Its mission is to create a community that embraces the principles of restorative justice.
The goal of the program is for clients to develop the understanding and skills needed to avoid further criminal behavior, restructure their lives, improve relationships with their families and reintegrate themselves into their communities.
Bill Cavallaro, case manager and acting program manager, said a planning committee of the organization wanted to address a “multi-generational culture of incarceration.” The committee decided to institute a 16-week therapy group to help male clients deal with issues of masculinity, mental health, substance abuse and fathering, he said.
“About 70 percent of people in the criminal justice system have substance abuse issues,” Cavallaro said. “So that’s a key component to working with this population.”
Case managers assist clients in finding resources such as housing, health care and employment. Court advocates help clients negotiate the court system and present the program as an option for the judge to consider other than prison time. Clients can be required to enroll in the program as a condition of pre-trial release or probation.
Western Carolinians for Criminal Justice's website is www.wccj.org.
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