Helps Graduates Return to Society
In 2009 Thresholds in Delaware County initiated a
program aimed at helping our graduates re-enter
society. Chester County Thresholds began a similar
program shortly thereafter.
Thresholds volunteers had long believed that our
organization could do more to help our clients after
they are released. To this end, a committee met in 2007
with the goal of accumulating helpful information.
Local agencies, which might provide assistance to
ex-offenders, were contacted. Later, state and national
organizations were also included.
All of this resulted in a class being added to each
teaching cycle. At that time, clients receive a
booklet, an emergency card, relevant materials and
information, and questions are answered.
The Reentry Directory, sub titled Opening the Door to a Better Future
(pictured at right) gives the address, phone numbers and
web sites for more than 50 organizations. Our callers
confirm that they provide services in the following
areas: education, employment, housing, food and
clothing, and health, as well as family, financial and
legal aid. Organizations are listed under these
categories in the booklet. The emergency card
gives the phone number for AA, NA, medical crisis
centers, the suicide prevention lifeline, the O.D. help
line, and the Salvation Army.
Also provided at these meetings is information from the
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Re-Entry
Handbook, as well as literature from
organizations such as PA Career Link, the Pennsylvania
Prison Society and Baker Industries. At
SCI-Chester, a human services professional is on hand.
She explains the essentials when applying for a job and
role-plays an interview with clients. At the G. W.
Hill Correctional Facility, prior to the final meeting,
clients summarize their goals and job skills. In this
way, specific interests can be addressed at the re-entry
session. One of our clients recently said that he
got more information and help from this one meeting than
in all the years he had spent in prison.
You opinion of Thresholds
YOU CAN HELP US
We would appreciate your opinion
on the Thresholds program to teach decision-making
skills. Please send us a brief e-mail and tell us
whether you would be more willing to consider hiring an
ex-inmate, if you knew he or she had completed