P.E.A.C.E. mentorship programs encapsulates the essence of our mission to society. This program will consist of a three-tier platform:
1. Mentoring troubled and at-risk youth, as well as those being released from incarceration (juvenile and adult facilities),
2. Oasis Book Club, and
We believe that all too often, children raised in dysfunctional environments have an increased likelihood of finding themselves being transported through that “School-to-Prison" pipeline. However, in the state of Missouri 97% of those same individuals return to society. Therefore, our mission commences with addressing one of the greatest issues of our time and climb: Troubled and At-risk Youth.
“At-Risk Youth” is a term that encapsulates a fact-based theory that says youth are put at-risk because of the circumstances of environmental dysfunction that places them at greater vulnerability for those problem behaviors (that those youth may very well view as coping mechanisms).
How do you identify a youth that is at-risk?
Simply put, because of certain factors, this youth is considered less likely to transition into successful adulthood. The following factors are common amongst them:
2. Engaging in illegal activities (underage drinking, smoking, drug use, stealing, gang activity, etc.)
3. Engaging in promiscuous adult sexual behavior.
4. Aggression, fights
5. Poor school performance
Unfortunately, 13% of American youth live in poverty (nearly 13 million). Impoverished communities are amongst high-risk conditions that elevates the risk probability of youth. This includes, but is not limited to behavioral, social, emotional and health challenges. These elements rest within four or more of the A.C.E.’s model. These behaviors are often replicated behaviors; wherein, much of these at-risk behaviors have been witnessed by these youth, or they themselves have been the victim thereof. Directors of DOH and P.E.A.C.E. are seeking to address this issue through three core principles: Education, Building Confidence, and Provided Support.
Missouri’s Department of Corrections have embraced this fact-based theory, and in doing so, there are factors like “Post-Incarceration Syndrome,” and mental-health concerns that make this program a necessity to a successful transition for parolees.
In most instances, prisoners who are released feel a sense of five emotions such as confusion, guilt, shame, fear, and worry. There is a basic level of uncertainty that accompanies going into “someone else’s home” that allows the pathological critic to convince the parolee that “You know that they don’t trust you anyway.” This leads to isolation and mental health recurrence and the seeking out of a viable coping mechanism, which could be any number of self-defeating things.
Finally, P.E.A.C.E. will address the issue of “Re-Entry” and how the lack of commitment on the parts of some who claim “a second chance” is insufficient and lacking effort. P.E.A.C.E. shall be offering the following assistance to the formally incarcerated:
P.E.A.C.E. (People Embracing Another Choice Effectively) and Destiny of H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People Excel), two 501(c)(3) Columbia Missouri based organizations, wherein we will be mentoring and facilitating several programs for youth. Some of which are:
The minimum age for participation is age 7 – Adult. These programs are not cookie-cutter content but written from the actual experience of those who have lived lives of risky behavior, trauma, tragedy, and recovery.
For those being released from incarceration, one of our Programs will address a core concern that often contributes to a Peer’s poor self-image and/or relapse in general. Our “Family Reunification” program is broken into two-sections, one for children who are seeking to cope with parental absence, and one for those set to be released back into society:
v Parents of at-risk children will be encouraged to participate in all programs offered to their children as a means of support and encouragement., as well as those programs offered to them. This serves two purposes: developing confidence in the child and supporting the child’s change efforts.
v Secondly, it offers our parents a different perspective.
v This section will be called “Parolee-Family Reunification.” This is designed to bring the parolee and whomever they are home-planning with to come together prior to release.
v This conference with allow for both individuals to communicate their expectations, rules, and guidelines.
What our research team here at P.E.A.C.E. and DOH have found is that, in the State of Missouri there is a 43.9% recidivism rate, 36.9% for first time releases. However, inside of the numbers, family relations hover above 50% for the reasons why individuals recidivate. According to a report compiled by Andrews and Bonta, they identified the following “criminogenic needs as important to reducing offending: substance use, antisocial cognition, antisocial associates, family and marital relations, employment, and leisure and recreational activities.”