Loved Ones of Prisoners
November 7, 2015 LOOP meeting
Warden Charmaine Bracy
"Family members are often forgotten."
Charmaine Bracy, the newly appointed warden to Trumbull Correctional, was our guest speaker at the November LOOP meeting. Warden Bracy has over 17 years in the correctional field starting out as a corrections officer, then case manager and eventually deputy warden of Ohio Penitentiary and as of October, Trumbull CRI. In all her roles, Warden Bracy acted as a conduit between inmate and family. She learned early on the importance of families in supporting the rehabilitation of the inmate. Even now as warden, she drops by the visiting rooms to interact with inmates and their visitors.
Warden Bracy discussed the differences in running a Level 4 and 5 facility as compared to a 1 and 3 facility. The rationale on separating offenders is for safety. After an initial classification, inmate behavior and continuing risk assessments by prison staff will determine the inmate’s progression through the various custody levels to minimum custody and eventual release. Warden Bracy mentioned she recently ran across an inmate who had a Level 5 over 15 years ago and was currently a Level 1. There is hope!
She also updated us on some changes in the prisons. New fences are being installed in select prisons, in the northeast region specifically, this will allow for more inmates an opportunity to participate in Grafton’s Reintegration Center. A camp will be reactivated at the Ohio State Penitentiary as a Treatment Readiness Unit focusing on drug and alcohol treatment.
Prison News Updates
Earlier this year our friends at ODRC wrote the article discussing the collaboration by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC), particularly the Northeast Region, and faith-based organizations as of January 2015 to strengthen the reintegration of offenders to the community from the prison system. The faith community partners include Jewish, Christians and Muslims. Also cited are the sessions they conducted, including the Formerly Incarcerated Forum and the Interfaith Workshop.
A wide majority of American voters believe in reducing the prison population and increasing the treatment of mental illness and addition, which are seen as the primary root causes of crime. Check the above link for the full text.
Rep. Sensenbreener discusses federal prisons are warehouses toat simply lock away offenders rather than treating underlying issues. He applauds the states for succeeding in reforming state prisons by prioritizing incarceration for violent and career criminals, strengthening community supervision and adopting alternative programs for lower-level offenders. Check the above link for the full text.
Obama spoke at great length about the need for criminal Justice reform at every juncture: from the first with police officers to prosecutorial charging discretion to the prison sentences imposed by judges to the conditions of confinement. Click on the link above for key passages.
Two weeks ago 60 minutes aired a segment on the prevalence of heroin in Ohio. As we know, many of the incarcerated had (have) problems with heroin. At least they are still alive! Check on the above link to view the footage.
Opportunities to Help
Truly Reaching You Ministries
587 Baird St.
Akron, Ohio 44311
Needed: Articles of Clothing
Upon release inmates need clothing for job interviews and casual wear. If you have any articles, you can drop off at the Planet 8 Bin located at 1641 S. Avon Belden Rd. Ties especially are needed.
December 5: Holiday Gathering
Marilyn and Gene Smith have once again opened their home to us for a Holiday Gathering. This will take place in the evening in lieu of our Saturday morning meeting at 1554 Suffield Oaks Lane Mogadore, OH. We'll have a short meeting at 5:00 pm and then socialize! Please bring a dish to share. If you'd like to participate in an ornament exchange, bring a wrapped holiday ornament ($5.00 to $10.00)