Our mission is to reduce recidivism and rebuild lives through the dignity of work.
What if a child grows up never seeing anyone in the home go to work? They learn to await a government check in the mail—a check that is never going to be enough. Too many of those children feel hopeless and soon fall into escalating crime.
People who haven’t seen the value of work in their lives, and do not understand the foundation of economic security that employment can bring, have no “map” for a successful future, and thousands without this rudder of work, end up in our jails and prisons. They do not know this unassailable fact: We all need work.
"No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence." — Martin Luther King Jr., American civil rights leader, Baptist minister (1929 – 1968)
In Genesis 3-19 God tells Adam, “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread.” Later in the Bible, (2 Thessalonians 3:10) it is stated even more clearly, “If you are unwilling to work, you will not eat.” So, provision is the main reason to have and keep a job. But there is so much more than provision that benefits the working man or woman - especially one that has come back to his or her family after incarceration.
Related to how we are to perform our work, Colossians 23-24 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
"Work and family are at the center of our lives, the foundation of our dignity as a free people." — Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States, politician, actor (1911 - 2004)
Eating food that you can’t pay for, denying health care issues of your children for lack of funds, having no where to go every day, all day, do not earn respect. Without a job, the returning ex-offender is a financial and emotional drag on the family, one more person who needs food, clothing, and transportation, but with no way to support his/her needs. Many have lost all standing with their relatives and find they are totally alone and unwelcome. But the reentrant who gets a job, who supports his children, and provides meaningful financial support, can quickly become a respected and valued member of the family once again. He/She can regin their self-esteem.
It is the satisfaction of a job well done. Whether you’ve designed a rocket, or cleaned a floor, pride in doing one’s best is not only fulfilling, it is essential to mental health and wellbeing, say psychologists, because every job has value, every job helps someone, and every person is gifted with strength and talent for some kind of work. Ecclesiastes reports, “It is good and proper for a man... to find satisfaction in his labor.” People with pride in their work produce exceptional results.
"It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man." — Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father, author, political theorist, politician, postmaster, printer, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, diplomat, (1706 - 1790)
Our Jobs for Life training is a course used all over the world. It teaches that we are made for work, that work blesses our lives. The course teaches understanding of the “workplace culture” of teamwork and productivity, easing the transition from “prison culture” that is deeply ingrained in a person who spends year after year of life in a high stress, confrontational atmosphere.
With training and some help, reentrants can obtain a good job, that pays a living wage, that will lead them to success, respect, pride, and re-gained self-esteem. In one study a good job found quickly after release from incarceration reduced recidivism to zero. We’re not claiming zero. But for so, so many reentrants this is the beginning of new life—a life that is being healed, a life that is providing a map for future generations about the virtue and dignity of work, and a map that will reduce not only recidivism, but also, over time, the number of those who live in poverty.