Resilience Beyond Incarceration
RBI helps families with children who have been affected by a parent spending time in jail. Clinical case managers support healthy child development by reducing risk factors, strengthening families, and working to prevent adverse childhood experiences. Families are supported at all stages of the criminal justice process, from arrest through sentencing, incarceration, and reentry. Sometimes help begins when parents are no longer under the supervision of DOC
The program you’ve know as the Community Justice Program (CJP) now has a new name-
Resilience Beyond Incarceration
A Letter From RBI’s Program Director:
The program you’ve known since 2002 as “The Lamoille Valley Community Justice Project” (CJP) now has a new name: Resilience Beyond Incarceration: A Program for Children and Families.
We’re excited about this change; our new identity reflects the resiliency and aspirations of the people we serve—children, parents, grandparents, and caregivers who are striving to overcome the challenges that parental incarce-ration brings to families and their dreams for the future.
Why the change? We are ready for a name that more accurately reflects our program’s mission and purpose, which our new name does. Another notable reason is the way we’ve evolved to serve the whole family. Initially, “CJP” began as a project solely for children, but early on we realized how necessary it is to provide support for parents and caregivers as well. We’ve become a program for children and families—with a name that better reflects our work.
Our program is enhanced by our affiliation with the Lamoille Restorative Center, our region’s community justice center and court diversion agency which hosts other programs to support people re-entering our community from jail. But, our old name was often confused with our umbrella organization (LRC) and other justice centers around the state. “Resilience Beyond Incarceration” alleviates that confusion.
We are reaching out beyond Lamoille Valley, helping to mitigate the trauma of parental incarceration for children and families throughout Vermont. Although our direct case management is currently limited to families in the Lamoille Valley, we are available to serve as a statewide resource, offering consultation, training, and clinical support to other agencies and providers.
You know about childhood trauma and its impact —you work with families that are struggling, just as we do. But too many kids across Vermont are hurting in a particularly challenging way—over 6,000 children a year are serving time along with a mom or dad in prison. Nationally, one child in 30 has an incarcerated parent; in Vermont that number is much higher—one in 17.
Parental incarceration can and often does result in lasting damage. But not always. For the children who have participated in our program the results have been promising—far better than anyone expected when we started 13 years ago.
The data speaks for itself:
- Youth who have come through our program have shown only a 5% conviction rate later in life, as compared to similar cohorts of “youth at high risk of offending” where the conviction rate ranges from 24% to 61%.
- Youth participants have a school drop-out rate of 18%, as compared to a similar cohort group whose dropout rate was 65%.
Many of our former participants, both youth and adult, are pursuing college degrees, some even on academic scholarship. The data is there: the model works. The challenge now, for us at RBI and for everyone committed to improving outcomes for children of incarcerated parents, is to extend this successful program to the rest of the state, and beyond. Together, we can make a difference.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Tricia Long, LCMHC