Prisoners’ Hope – Towne Post Network

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The Prisoners Hope provides advice and mentorship

Screenwriter / Julie Yates
Photograph provided

The Prisoners Hope seeks to support offenders as they progress through the phases of the prison system. The non-profit organization not only counsels individuals through a spiritual mentor program while incarcerated, but also provides counseling during the bail period as well as after serving a sentence. It also helps traumatized families left behind. The end goal is to reduce the offender’s chances of returning to prison and re-establish families.

Founded by Darryll Davis, Executive Director, the organization celebrates its 10th year of helping those who have served time in prison to seamlessly reintegrate into society. Davis knows firsthand what the process is like. In 1988 he was sentenced to 35 years in prison for murder. Thanks to the counseling and spiritual support he received while waiting to be incarcerated, he feels ready to live a life of service to others.

When I entered prison, I had to seize every opportunity,” he says. “I earned my GED, Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Divinity, Master of Divinity, and four-year diploma through the American Association of Christian Counselors. I also completed vocational programs in masonry, carpentry, fiber optic and ServSafe, and I became a certified senior trainer in Evangelism Explosion.

While I was in prison, I saw that other inmates were notI received no help and I was not guided,” he continues. “They weren’tt encouraged to take advantage of opportunities and programs. I saw people who went to get mail every day, but never received it. They had burned so many bridges. They had to take ownership of what they had done. I started to think, Would you like to go out with changed hearts? »

While serving his prison sentence, Davis began mentoring other inmates. Some people directly asked him for help, and his name spread by word of mouth. In prison, he developed the DANIEL project, a program run by inmates. In March 2012, after serving 22½ years of his sentence, he was released. At first he worked two jobs in order to get back on his feet, but the seeds of The Prisoners Hope had been planted in his heart.

The ministry started in my basement,” Davis says. The number of volunteers and mentees began to increase.

Today, the organization continues to thrive as it provides extensive support to those who wish to be mentored. Davis estimates the organization has about 157 volunteers. It serves 130 clients and 49 families while partnering with every prison in Kentucky. Four ministries work together within the organization – Pre-incarceration, Incarceration, Post-incarceration and Children and Families. Each step requires full responsibility on the part of those served.

The period of time before an inmate enters prison is very important. They must prepare for what awaits them and how they will experience their period of incarceration. Having a mentor at this stage is crucial for an inmate to make the most of any growth opportunities in the future. Spiritual counseling, home visits and support groups can ease the fear and anxiety of individuals and their families.

Prisoners' HopeMentoring continues while clients serve their sentence. It is necessary to complete a GED, participate in life skills courses, and obtain at least one professional certification. Additionally, mentees must participate in moral reconation therapy, a cognitive-behavioral treatment system that leads to improved moral reasoning and better decision-making.

We take our job seriously and we want them to do the same,” says Davis. “Some drop out. They say they’re not going to attend classes. But then I think of my favorite story. A little boy was throwing starfish that had washed up on the shore. An old man approached him saying : Theit’s too much, you’re nott make a difference.The little boy continued and rejecting another he said: It made a difference for this one.

The process of walking with a client during the post-incarceration period is absolutely necessary to ensure successful reintegration into the community. In addition to continuous advice, practical things are provided. Individuals receive a cell phone, the cost of the first monthhousing, a bus pass, clothing, and help obtaining identification. Help in securing a job is also essential.

I know there is a stigma and a reluctance to hire people who have been incarcerated,” Davis says. A job is so important to transitioning into mainstream society, reducing the risk of recidivism in prison and re-establishing families. Do employers know the cost to society if someone has to re-enter the system? »

The last extremely important element is the support provided to children and families. Counseling is provided for children who may have been traumatized and resent their parentsstress. Courses on topics such as invoice budgeting are offered. Mentors are assigned to help keep families intact. The hope is that everyone involved will come out the other side much healthier.

The organization is funded by private donors, grants and fundraising events. Every gesture counts and many donations are made for amounts ranging from $10 to $25. This spring, two events will take place – the Kentucky Derby fundraiser on April 28 and the third annual Fairways of Hope Golf Scramble on May 16. Information on upcoming donations and fundraisers can be found on the organization.the website. The property has an open door policy. Visitors can walk in and see the good that results from the donations they make.

Like other nonprofits, we need peopletime, talent and treasure,” says Davis. “We are always looking for volunteers and we could use three times more than what we currently have. We do our own in-house training and the mentors get a year of training before they go on their own. When it comes to talent, we need peoples skill sets such as clerical work and other abilities. For the treasure, we are grateful for in-kind donations as well as cash. Upon release, clients require items such as furniture, clothing, and telephones. ThisIt is simply too difficult for individuals to reintegrate into society without all of these elements.

In addition to the four ministries, the organization also hosts a support group every Thursday evening in the Fireside Hall of the Southeastern Christian Church.s Blankenbaker campus in Louisville. The group responds to the concerns of injured families, mentees and post-incarcerated people. The atmosphere is non-judgmental and everything shared is confidential. Advice is offered and strengths are uncovered as participants talk about their struggles and victories. Common ground is reached and encouragement is found during these sessions.

It’s so rewarding to see someoneher life changed and families came together,” Davis says. “Believing in someone and walking alongside them means everything.”

Call 502-609-1013 or email [email protected] for more information. Visit to make a donation or get details of upcoming events.

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