The core members are less likely to commit new crimes because they have people to talk with and support them to be accountable, and provide assistance with housing, employment, and transportation.
attend training and learn skills to support individual and community safety. The volunteers commit to work with the core member for at least a year and participate in weekly one-hour COSA meetings. Volunteers may also occasionally check in by phone, drive the core member to appointments, and share in recreation.
Benefits of Restorative Reentry
The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports
that in 2007, more than 7 million people in the U.S. were incarcerated, on probation, or on parole--one in every 31 adults--with 2.2 million of them in prison or jail. Ninety-seven percent of prisoners currently in prison will someday be released, and approximately 600,000 are released every year. According to studies
by the Pew Center on the States, 1 in 46 Vermont adults is under corrections supervision.
Because more people are in prison now, the numbers of people reentering communities from prison dwarf anything known before. More prisoners are returning home having spent longer time behind bars. * Many inmates are ill-prepared to enter community life and few have effective family and community supports in place to ease the reentry.
The COSA concept comes from a proven Canadian program
started by the Mennonite Central Committee of Ontario to provide "radical hospitality" to people, who in the absence of community support and accountability, were likely to re-offend, thereby creating safer communities. In addition, victims of crimes receive individual attention and support to match their needs.
Community Partners: This program helps coordinate the services participants receive from
To read the transcript of an interview by John Dillon of Vermont Public Radio with David Brunell, a former core member in the Restorative Reentry Program, click here.
How to request a COSA
To become a participant or core member in the Restorative Reentry Program, you must be recommended by your case worker at the correctional institution where you are housed, and you must have lived in Montpelier before incarceration or have family connections to Montpelier. Contact the case worker at the facility to find out more.