TGIM and Texas ReEntry Services, INC have partnered together to implement Writing for the Soul Workshop™ as a realistic criminal justice strategy that safely reduces the State’s costly reliance on incarceration– creating stronger families, less taxpayer waste, and safer communities.
TGIM developed Writing for the Soul Workshop™ as a resource in direct response to the growing number of young people who are either falling through the cracks at school or are already entangled with the court system. The goal of the program is to identify youths who are going to have a turbulent transition into adulthood and offer a positive support system to avoid the pitfalls that can derail their lives. It wasn’t until recently after talking to Kay Smith, Texas ReEntry’s Director that I realized the curricula was leaving out the very nucleus in a young persons life: ADULTS.
After weeks of meetings with Kay and her Board, TGIM is pleased to announce that we’ve adapted our curriculum to now include individuals on probation and parole. Texas ReEntry allowed TGIM to come in during their Job Readiness Training to do an Information Session in an effort to expose Writing for the Soul Workshop™ to their clients to get feedback. 100% of the clients we surveyed said they would attend the program! One said he’d come even if he had to walk to get there. Here is an interview from one of their clients:
Sometimes it takes a trip to jail or even prison for a person to realize that their life has become unmanageable. By then, so much damage has been done. As a felon, it’s hard to get a job or even a place to live. Most commit more crimes to survive because their inability to read and comprehend along with their criminal record makes it impossible to get and hold down a job. The vicious cycle of doing life in prison on an installment plan (in and out of prison) begins.
These men and women need to know that their past does not define their future. Writing for the Soul Workshop™ will offer them the same support and resources that our youth access. Along with the Anger Management, Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse Relapse Prevention, and the Job Readiness Training that Texas ReEntry offers, they have added our Writing for the Soul Workshop™ as a viable component as well. Our partnership allows Texas ReEntry clients to:
· Experience writing as therapy
· Access to counseling
· Nutritious snacks (Brain Food) to stimulate creativity while writing
· Lasting, positive friends and mentors creating an ongoing network of support
· Increased proficiency in both reading and writing
· Participants become published Authors, and can promote that skill on every future resume and job application
· Participants earn royalties based on individual book sales
· Participants establish strong accomplishments that will help with future entry into colleges and the job market
These unique wow factors go beyond helping participants develop a love of writing; they produce long-term behavioral changes and helps participants make positive life choices. While it may seem incredible that a writing workshop can impact behavior so dramatically, Writing for the Soul Workshop™ is more than just a writing workshop, it is an opportunity for individuals to see a different perspective, to interact with others that truly care about them and their story, and to know that telling their story opens up new opportunities.
Writing for the Soul Workshop™ offers these men and women another chance to make a positive and encouraging difference in the world through their storytelling while allowing participants an opportunity to build self-worth, and learn a new trade. After all, we all have a story to tell! Just like youth attending Writing for the Soul Workshop™, they too will earn royalties when they share their stories for group publishing in our books and in The Writer’s Block.
Want to know more about our program or donate to Texas ReEntry to help with expenses? Use the Contact Form below for questions or click here to make your donation directly to Texas ReEntry. Texas ReEntry Services INC, is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization.