National Coalition of Community-Based Correctional and Community Re-Entry Service Organizations (NC4RSO)

                    PRISONS  -  COMMUNITY SERVICE   -                    COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT


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About Community-Based Groups Involved in Jails, Prisons and Community Re-Entry

Who Are Community-Based Organizations involved in jails, prisons, and re-entry?

What types of groups and organizations join NC4RSO?   What do they do?  Why?

The U.S. has hundreds of small, medium, and large community groups - many of them nonprofits - delivering a spectrum of services in correctional facilities and in community re-entry.

These groups recognize the community's role for affecting positive change within the corrections and justice context.  This recognition comes from a multitude of perspectives - social service organizations, civically-engaged individuals and groups, people from all ends of the political spectrum, educators, families of people impacted by crime (i.e., families of both crime victims and those who commit crime), students, formerly incarcerated individuals, professionals, academics, faith-based groups, and self-help organizations.

Many community nonprofits provide direct services within prisons and re-entry preventative services designed to keep high risk individuals from coming into conflict with the law, services for incarcerated offenders (rehabilitative programming, community connections, faith-based activities, support for families of incarcerated individuals, educational services, books for prisoners, self-help groups, etc.), and community re-entry services for offenders coming back into society. 

Other nonprofits provide additional justice-related services - such as public education about corrections and the circumstances that often lead to incarceration, lobbying to change corrections-related legislation, public oversight of conditions in correctional facilities, and corrections-related civil liberties efforts.

The motivations of these varied community-based organizations often include:

Commitment to community engagement - whether it be through the lens of civic engagement, social change, personal experience with incarceration, a religious calling to provide support to disadvantaged or marginalized demographic groups such as the poor and offenders, or from having had some kind of community-based introduction to corrections (a news story, a college course, etc.).

Recognition that creating positive and healthy communities involves creating healthy opportunities for everyone; that this necessarily includes working with those in most need of community support (including incarcerated persons) so as to effectively alleviate all sources of community un-wellness (such as crime and incarceration).

These community-based organizations benefit individuals and communities:

They support self-improvement and rehabilitation of individuals who come into conflict with the law (or are at risk of doing so) and who wish to move in a positive direction.  Volunteers have a unique ability to connect with people in jail; incarcerated individuals are sometimes more willing and/or able to connect with volunteers than paid staff (Professionally-trained staff have important roles in corrections! We simply stress that the relationship dynamic between incarcerated individuals and volunteers can have a unique and beneficial effect within the institutional context). Corrections-related activities provided by the community can improve the lives of individuals and, thereby, our communities.

They generate community awareness about both corrections and individuals who come into conflict with the law.

They engage the public in the process of making our communities more well and, therefore, safe.

Finding or Creating Community-Based Corrections-Related Organizations in Your Community

See the "individuals" or "business and philanthropies" section (right) for information about contacting, forming, and/or supporting community-based corrections-related community-based organizations.





That the U.S. has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prison population?


That we imprison a higher percentage of our population than any other country on the planet?


That 95% of individuals in correctional facilities are eventually released?  That they are released whether or not they've learned life skills that will help them succeed in the community?  That volunteers can play a vital role in preparing incarcerated individuals for re-entry into the community?




Haven't joined NC4RSO yet? click here to find out why you should join. 



Contribute to community well-being through volunteerism in corrections.  click here to find out about corrections-related volunteerism in your community. 



click here to find out about supporting NC4RSO (and, thereby, supporting the strengthening of communities).  We accept financial contributions and in-kind contributions such as consulting and operations support (free long distance, etc.).







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