A.R.R.O.

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Advocacy, Reentry, Resources, and Outreach (A.R.R.O.) aims to connect individuals who have a criminal record to quality resources in order to ensure successful community integration.  

Prisoner Reentry (Individuals Released from Prison or Jail)

Our aim here is assist clients in their effort to become reintegrated back into their communities in a positive manner. Services that require funding (Immaculate Heart of Mary’s Change of Heart Ministry: Obtaining Personal Identification Documents and CATA Ten Day Bus Passes) are only provided to individuals who (1) have spent at least 6 months in jail or prison, (2) have been released from jail or prison in the last 60 Daysand (3) are NOT currently receiving services from the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) via Prisoner Reentry (PR), formerly known as MPRI (Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative).

Services Offered:

  • Applying to College
  • Spartan Fair Chance (S.F.C.): Updating and creating resumes, employment search and follow-up/case advocacy, in addition to informative employment preparation seminars.
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary’s Change of Heart Ministry: Obtaining Personal Identification Documents – Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, State ID, Driver’s License, etc.
  • Applying for Health Care Insurance
  • Applying for Food Assistance: MI Bridge Card
  • Transportation: CATA Bus Pass (10 Day or 1/2 Priced) and Bike Voucher
  • Clothing: St. Vincent’s Clothing Voucher (Allows one to obtain two top garments and two bottom garments)

 

Prison Diversion (Individuals on Probation)Day Reporting Program

While strictly adhering to the probationary supervision conditions of each individual client, our aim is to establish a designated area in which clients will recognize their roles within their respective communities. For Circuit, District, Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program (S.S.S.P.P.), and Mental Health Court probationers.

Services Offered:

  • GED Preparation
  • Applying to College
  • Spartan Fair Chance (S.F.C.): Updating and creating resumes, employment search and follow-up/case advocacy, in addition to informative employment preparation seminars.
  • Various Support Groups: (Women Behind The Mask [W.B.T.M.]: Women’s Support Group)
  • Obtaining Personal Identification Documents – Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, State ID, Driver’s License, etc.
  • Applying for Health Care Insurance
  • Applying for Food Assistance: MI Bridge Card
  • Transportation: CATA Bus Pass and/or Bike Voucher
  • Clothing: St. Vincent’s Clothing Voucher (Allows one to obtain two top garments and two bottom garments)

 

 SELF DEVELOPMENT OF PEOPLE (SDOP)

speaking at 1st pre

 

In the fall of 2012, A.R.R.O. was blessed to receive funding from the First Presbyterian Church: Self Development of People (SDOP) to do the advocating that we have wanted to do for many years.  Part of that funding was used to participate in “Ban the Box“, which we called “Fair Chance Coalition to Ban the Box Campaign”. For 7 months, we worked very hard to put together our state-wide kick off event for the legislation we are working on.

Social Policy Advocacy and Community Organizing

The social issues that individuals who have a criminal record experience are interrelated to the policies and subsequent laws that have been formulated and enforced based on the public’s distorted perception towards this population. Therefore, we began to advocate by supporting policies that will alleviate pertinent social issues.

With the help of the Legislative Black Caucus and Cooley Law School, on January 17th, 2012, we had Michelle Alexander come to Lansing where she spoke at Cooley Law School about her book “The New Jim Crow”. We had an amazing event, a great amount of publicity, and we have been invited to do radio announcements all over the state. Our “Fair Chance Coalition” to “Ban the Box” is going strong and our phone does not stop ringing with people that would like to know how they can help.

Thank you to SDOP, Cooley Law School , Sherie Davy of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus (you were our angel), and Laura Sager. These individuals and corresponding entities have been instrumental in helping to bring Professor Alexander to Lansing, MI, providing for an amazing event to take place.IMG_0542 - Copy

 

Knox/Guardians of Opportunity

We are blessed to have been partners with the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People (SODP), ‘People Investing in People, whose mutual goals and  core strategies are:

  • Promoting Justice
  • Building Solidarity
  • Advancing Human Dignity
  • Advocating for Economic Equity

For the past ten years, one of our major struggles has been getting our ex-offender population employment which provides a wage our members can support their families with.  We have been very successful in finding employment for our members, but we have struggled to get our members into apprenticeship programs where they can get journeyman’s card and earn a wage that will allow them to get a paycheck which is above poverty level.  Our goal, in conjunction with the Presbyterian Committee on the Self Development of People, is to work toward providing apprenticeship opportunities for our members of color who have been subjected to poverty their entire lives and have not been given opportunities based on their conviction.  If our members are able to get the opportunity to become tradesmen and journeymen, as well as get accepted into the union, this would allow them to earn great wages and great wages, fall into the middle class bracket and potentially allow them to start businesses of their own and even hire members from this program as well.

Our Directives and Program Measures in coordination with SDOP to achieve these Goals include the following:

    • Develop diverse leadership/membership/engagement
    • Realize social justice achievements
    • Strengthen relationships, communications and collaboration
    • Expand education and skills development
    • Increase economic development opportunities
    • Enhance the quality of life

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1) Michigan Supreme Court Justice Clements with Agent Meyers

2) Client using his leadership skill

 3) Opportunity Knoxs member learning Construction Skills

4) Opportunity Knoxs member learning Construction Skills

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Prisoner Poetry Reading

Our poetry event which was a great success, as it brought a great amount of awareness and education to the community.

 

A.R.R.O. Staff Members:

Jahner, Monica

Kendra Milton

Bennett, Rick

Vaughn-Payne, Peggy

Debbie Hardin

Cynthia Dinley

Daryl Alexander

Grace Haley

A.R.R.O. Board Members:

Alexander, Daryl

Girard, Sandra

Rodriguez, Frank

Cox, Gary                                                                   

Emery, Ronald

Fisher, Stephanie

Fluke, Robert