Our Approach

Central to the Circles of Support program is our partnerships and working with the faith communities and families before and after release. By involving the parolee’s family members and faith-based volunteers the program fosters informal social networks to support successful re-entry, a more effective means of changing behavior than the formal controls used by law enforcement. We believe that incarceration has an enormous impact not just on the individual but on the entire family and community, and therefore, the entire community must be involved in the solution.


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What We Do

Together, the COS partners are contributing to reducing recidivism in the following ways:
  • Accompany parolees home from prison, and welcome them back to the community.
  • Help congregations to be places of welcome for people returning home from prison and their families.
  • Organize outings for families or host a community meal.
  • Support parolees’ relationships with their children: create a kid friendly play space that these parents can enjoy with their children; offer tutoring; provide occasional child care.
  • Connect parolees and their families to community services through regular orientations, resource fairs, and ongoing referral.
  • Accompany parolees to appointments or job interviews.
  • Individual and family counseling.
  • Support groups (with child care) for parents or partners of returning parolees.
  • Coaching: speakers bureau, life skills, opportunity for reflection.
  • Therapeutic support, substance abuse prevention, anger management training.
  • Job training and job readiness: mock interviewing, resumes, networking.
  • Benefits assistance.
  • Educational and health services by referral.

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