The Life House Initiative
“Recidivism can be prevented - but only if we invest significant resources in community-based re-entry services like job training and placement, housing, individualized case management, mental healthcare and substance abuse counseling” Plantingjustice.org.
The Life House will enable men on CDCR supervised parole in El Dorado and Sacramento Counties, California to live in a program focused on an individualized approach to re-entry and change. Men participating in this program will attain basic documentations and foundations for independent living. They will become connected to a network of individuals and programs crucial to their ability to learn, accomplish, and maintain a healthy independent life. Once the foundations for healthy living are in place the men will focus attention to finding and keeping a job. After work has become routine and financial and relational stability have been accomplished, the men are able to pursue life outside of the Life House residence.
The goal of the Life House Initiative is to enable men on CDCR supervised parole in El Dorado and Sacramento Counties, California to live in a program focused on an individualized approach to re-entry and change. The 2018 Recidivism Report from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation states that of the 33,113 offenders released from California’s state prisons, 15, 264 were convicted of a felony or misdemeanor offense within three years of their release for a three-year conviction rate of 46.1 percent. Offenders sentenced to an indeterminate term (lifers) comprised a small portion of the releaser cohort (1.6 percent) and had substantially lower three-year conviction rates (3.1 percent). Proposition 47 has resulted in a decrease in post-release felony convictions and an increase in post-related misdemeanor convictions. This information means that rehabilitative re-entry programs are needed to house the greater numbers of offenders being released. For the small number of offenders released to parole after a life sentence it is difficult for them to thrive in programs that cater to the larger number of offenders who are prone to repeated drug offenses, property crime and non-violent offenses. The hurdles the lifers face in respect to re-education, life skills, relationships, and work are significant. It is hard for them to get a social security card, driver’s license, health care, and job. They often face significant family and relationship issues. Re-entry homes such as the JOB Mentor House are struggling to meet the needs of both groups simultaneously.
The main objectives of the Life House Initiative include:
1. Providing a home for men on CDCR supervised parole in El Dorado/Sacramento County. The objective is to rent a home in the Cameron Park area of the Highway 50 Corridor in a safe area, near to public transportation, by January 2020.
2. Enabling the men living in the home to receive individualized case management while participating in incremental phases of a program designed to meet the needs of life skills attainment, mental and physical health care, job training and placement, and integration into the community by participation in church and community outreach.
3. Helping the men to succeed and thrive through ongoing one-on-one discipleship and group relationships that are available to the men for as long as they desire, not restricted to their time living in the home. Men who graduate from the program are encouraged to mentor men who are new to the program as a key component to life outside of prison is being mentored by someone who has successfully re-entered society