Member Profile

Monadnock Restorative Community

Our vision is a community restored to wholeness where all members can flourish. Monadnock Restorative Community advances that vision by providing programming, mentoring, and internships for women re-integrating after incarceration. We foster community partnerships that cultivate connection, capability, and compassion in all.

Rationale for Project:

Research attests to an exponential increase in the number of incarcerated women, most of whom function as primary caregivers to children, prior to their incarceration. Thus, incarceration fractures individuals, families and communities. Wholeness begins with the restoration of individuals, through healing tools and practices necessary to achieve and sustain well-being. Draconian cuts in federal and state funding have diminished already paltry programming in jails and prisons for substance abuse, mental illness, trauma, and deficiencies in education, social, vocational, and parenting skills, all which result in higher recidivism rates. A nurturing, carefully structured intentional community designed to address the particular needs of women immediately post-incarceration provides the opportunity for individual and community transformation.

Project Specifics

Phase One
As Monadnock Restorative Community grows as an organization, we begin with phase one: a partnership with the Cheshire County House of Correction (jail) to provide programming to women as they prepare for release. In addition to weekly sessions at the jail, once women leave, we will offer weekly gatherings for creative expression, skill-building, and socializing—and match each woman with a re-entry mentor to provide support and positive connection. With this foundation, we can add more programming, internships, and vocational mentorships to enhance employment readiness and success. Utilizing available community spaces we are able to offer services without the overhead of a building and we establish a track record and develop a vital community presence, both of which strengthen longterm sustainability.

Phase Two
As we scale up over the next few years, we plan to operate a supportive residence in Keene, New Hampshire, for recently released women ready to make at least a one-year commitment to live in the community house and participate in programs and services designed to address addiction, trauma, mental and physical well-being, vocational, interpersonal and parenting skills, financial responsibility and personal accountability. Residents may opt to remain in the house for up to two years.

Each participant will complete a thorough screening process to ensure that she is ready and willing to commit to the rigorous work of self-transformation. Upon joining the community, she will be provided shelter, support and training for a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years. She will participate in the daily operations and decision-making processes of the house, in conjunction with professional support staff. The first portion of residency (approximately 3-4 months) will focus on therapeutic healing to create a solid foundation upon which to build interpersonal, parenting, and employment skills. The rest of the residency will require participation in a vocational mentorship program wherein an employer agrees to hire, train and mentor a resident in a supportive placement that allows each woman to develop competence and confidence as a worker in addition to learning specific skills. 

Through community partnerships, we will offer daily practices in well-being including mindfulness, meditation, recovery work, spiritual development, creative expression and movement, healing circles, nonviolent communication and alternatives to violence. Additional elements of the community will include instruction and mentoring in nutrition, gardening, fitness and health, financial self-management, and personal accountability.

Incarceration fractures individuals, families and communities. A nurturing, carefully structured residential program designed to address the particular needs of women post-incarceration provides the opportunity for individual transformation—and to collectively transform we seek to engage everyone from business leaders to members of congregations and civic groups, to neighborhoods, schools, colleges and other nonprofit organizations so that together we identify and develop our strengths, skills and passion to bring them to bear in ways than enrich us all. That’s how we restore our community to wholeness and make it the healthiest in the nation.

Here’s how to get involved:

  • become a community partner through financial sponsorship/contribution or in-kind donation of services and skills
  • encourage your workplace, civic group, neighborhood, classroom or congregation to become a community sponsor/partner
  • volunteer—you can provide rides, accompany our program participants on appointments, help folks make connections, offer a craft class
  • offer a vocational mentorship to one of our program participants so that she has the opportunity for meaningful work in a supportive environment
  • continue the conversation on how to welcome, encourage and re-integrate members of the community who have been incarcerated
Posted on: Thursday, December 22, 2016

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