Welcome to the September 19th blog post. When I last posted I shared about my to do list. While I have made real progress, I have been exploring the difference between saying and doing. Personally that's a whole story in and of itself. I'll hold that thought for now. I have something much more exciting to tell you about. It pertains to the WELLNESS plan for the Demeter Foundation.
In the SAMHSA eight dimensions of wellness there is a valuable piece to being well that pertains to spirit and soul. The biggest factor involved is finding your purpose and then making it happen. So welcome to the Demeter Foundation's version of making it happen!
If you are reading this there is a very good chance you are familiar with our mission. In order for us to make that happen we need to do what we say we are going to do.
Tomorrow morning in the Capital Times there will be a third article in a series of three concerning the Wisconsin Correctional/Criminal Justice system's challenges. I was interviewed a few weeks back and am attempting to make two key points.
We also want to invite you to a public viewing of the Documentary titled "Mass incarceration and the effects on the family"
**There are details of this event on our Facebook page and here on our website.**
1) Our intention at Demeter Foundation is to acknowledge that there are SOME very good genuine people working in the Department. Since we advocate specifically for women we focus on issues that matter to the women we serve. One of the most important issues is how the mass incarceration of women effects their loved ones.
2) We want it to be known that here at Demeter we believe that we are one of the most valuable pieces in helping to create not only some of the questions but to be at the table to discuss and collaborate with other stakeholders to find the answers and then make them happen. We know there is a huge gap between what society says (you have done your time and welcome back to our communities) and what is really available for resources when re-entry is attempted.
So keep reading in the coming entries. We want to know your opinions as long as you are respectful. This doesn't mean you have to agree with what we think we just don't believe in attacking individuals. So if you have an opposing views please present them respectfully.
A new prison unit aims to reduce recidivism in Connecticut. But can it become the standard nationwide? Glamour.com traveled to York Correctional Institution to find out.
Two pilot programs are called TRUE and WORTH. The seeds for TRUE and WORTH were planted in 2015. That summer, the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit that studies and hopes to shape criminal justice reform, invited Connecticut State Commissioner of Corrections Scott Semple and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy to join an on-site tour of German prisons, which bear little resemblance to those in the United States. Read the entire article here.
by Andrea Blanch, Beth Filson, and Darby Penney with contributions from Cathy Cave
"This guide was created for a very specific purpose: to help make trauma-informed peer support available to women who are trauma survivors and who receive or have received mental health and/or substance abuse services. It is designed as a resource for peer supporters in these or other settings who want to learn how to integrate trauma-informed principles into their relationships with the women they support or into the peer support groups they are members of. The goal is to provide peer supporters—both male and female— with the understanding, tools, and resources needed to engage in culturally responsive, trauma-informed peer support relationships with women trauma survivors. "
Peer Supporters who have the lived experience of incarceration can work directly with women who are still incarcerated or formerly incarcerated. You can access the guide here
Welcome to a new series of posts. It is the last day of July and summer seems to be flying by. It has been about two months since I sat down and made a list of everything I said I was going to do over summer. Yes I am one of those people that is always creating and revising a list. Typically I have about ten to fifteen items on that list and I get a sense of accomplishment as I cross them off after I complete each one. I don't want to waste a bunch of your time but I wonder if anyone out there has the same issue that I do with my list?
I will be blogging for the next several weeks about the difference between what I say I am going to do on my list and the things that I actually do. I promise that I will keep it real. I am also looking for several of you to carry on a dialogue with me by adding comments in response to my posts. I am not looking for advice on how to cross things off my list. I get that routinely when I share my struggles. Because while I struggle with my own challenges I can tell you very quickly what you are doing wrong and what you should do to "fix" it. What I am hoping is that we can share back and forth about our own experiences. Enough of that for now but please join in while I move forward.
We at the Demeter Foundation have our own "to do" list and that is what I want to write about. The founder and Executive Director Alice Pauser had a vision when she began this journey. While I don't want to over state this, Alice dreams big. She has been working very hard for a very long time to get us to where our foundation is today. She is a pretty remarkable woman who is on a mission. If you are new to our website read our mission statement. I will give you the short version. Care about all people and treat them with dignity so that we can make the world a better place. DUH!
No matter who you are or how you fit into the big picture you can't argue with that mission. I will wrap this up by thanking everyone who has been involved in building this foundation and helping create the momentum that is in the air today. We feel hope.
The entries and posts moving forward are going to focus on moving towards wellness. It's going to be about doing what it takes to get me to where I want to be. More than anything though this is going to be about where we at the Demeter Foundation want to go and how we will get there. To me that means the difference between what we say we want to do and actually doing it! Just filling in the gaps!!
Excuse me while I step away long enough to cross another item off my own personal list. Have a great day.
Larry Burg, President of The Demeter Foundation Board of Directors, will be starting a Blog series on SAMHSA's Eight Dimensions of Wellness. Please stay tuned for some informative and thought-provoking posts that we hope will encourage you to comment on.
The most recent report is July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017. You can view the report here. The 2018 report is due out in July 2018.
The women at Taycheedah Correctional can now purchase tablets that they will be able to have e-books on, some limited entertainment and possibly education opportunities, other basic features and also use the Corrlinks email system. While this is an improvement they cost $125.00. If family pays for it they have to post double the amount to the persons account because the state takes 50% of all money if they owe any restitution and if they are paid an average of 19 cents per hour if they work it would take 657 hours to pay for it. How many women do you think are going to be able to have those tablets?
One frantic call from the local jail catapults an entire family on a frightening journey that no family would wish to travel. Their traumatic journey encounters endless frustration and infuriating madness from which there is no escape. Millions of Americans are traumatized by the mass incarceration in this country. The Unvarnished Truth about the Prison Family Journey is an exceptional resource for prison families, as well as those serving them in the fields of criminal justice, education, ministry and mental health care. The authors have over fifty years combined personal and professional experience with the criminal justice system. They weave graphic personal, legal and emotional perspectives into a rare and boldly honest look at the realities faced by prison families. They offer encouragement and hope for successfully navigating the journey. Click on the photo for information.
We are partnering with a Dane County project that will be offering art classes for the children of incarcerated parents. Cultural Connections inspires youth with an incarcerated parent to build self-empowerment and confidence. Their tools are creative academics and equitable access to cultural capital. The program will be held at the Boys and Girls Club in Madison, WI. We look forward to assisting with the promotion of this program. Click here for information.
Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) workshops are provided by a Nationally Certified WRAP Facilitator. The Wellness Recovery Action Plan® or WRAP®, is a self-designed prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and make their life the way they want it to be. It was developed in 1997 by a group of people who were searching for ways to overcome their own mental health issues and move on to fulfilling their life dreams and goals. It is now used extensively by people in all kinds of circumstances, and by health care and mental health systems all over the world to address all kinds of physical, mental health and life issues. Group size is 10-12 people and available to Community Corrections and other organizations. Assistance with individuals working on their WRAP plans is also available. To receive details about our workshops including fees please visit our contact page.