Damascus Correctional Programming
Community Before Company.
graduates of the Damascus Reentry Class since 2017
program completion rate at all security levels
lower recidivism rate for Damascus Reentry Graduates
WHY INVEST IN THE DAMASCUS REENTRY PROGRAM?
Everyone agrees that safe community, low crime rates, and taxpayer savings are worthy goals. Damascus built its curriculum with those tenets in mind and with this belief: reentry begins long before someone nears the prison gates for home. If someone doesn't understand what delivered them to the choices that delivered them to incarceration, how can they do something different next time?
Damascus Reentry provides a 10-week (40 hours) curriculum and social support inside correctional facilities--including prisons, jails, halfway houses, and sober living facilities--that get to the root of a person's choices to commit crime. We talk about the "why" someone is incarcerated long before we talk about the "how" not to come back.
PRISON AND RECIDIVISM ARE EXPENSIVE.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the United States spends over $80 BILLION each year to incarcerate individuals. Add in post-release supervision and the cost to communities and families when someone is incarcerated, the number can easily double. There are 600,000 people released each year in the U.S. and more than 50% of them return to prison within three years of release. Investment in Damascus Reentry saves millions of taxpayer dollars when people gain awareness, make changes, and go back to society to live legal, productive lives.
DAMASCUS GETS TO THE "WHY".
The Damascus Reentry Program has been delivered to individuals in all security levels, from Community Corrections to Maximum Security with the same conclusion: if you care about the participants and the outcomes and combine that with post-release social support and sustainable life opportunities, transformation is possible, and people choose something other than prison. The Damascus Team is comprised of professionals from the business world who possess advanced degrees in areas such as criminal justice, public, policy, law, entrepreneurship, theology, and social services. In the classroom, we're not building resumes and conducting mock interviews. We're talking about LIFE. Trauma. Childhood. Experiences, Value Systems. Choices. Then we're building a viable, attainable LIfe Plan that centers around the individual's choices and next steps, not a one-size-fits-all reentry prescription. Since 2017 (with a two-year hiatus for COVID), over 500 men and women have graduated from the Damascus Reentry Program in Ohio's state prisons and halfway houses. Less than 1% of those Graduates have returned to incarceration.
PROGRAMMING IS JUST STEP ONE.
Damascus Reentry Class Graduates have access to employment, transportation, addictions resources, and social support available post-release via the 24/7 Damascus Team. For more information about Damascus Employment, click here.
COMMUNITY OUTRANKS EVERYTHING.
Underlying everything Damascus does is based on relationship. Our programming completion rates, employment conversion rates, and recidivism rates are what they are because we are one team, and how things turn out matters to us.
Evaluations from our Damascus Graduates explain further:
"This class has been essential to my life planning and reentry into society. I am so very thankful for the Damascus staff for everything they do."
"This is the absolute best class you offer. They genuinely care about people and are willing to help us--not just in [prison], but at home. Most aren't willing to go that far. Best class."
"This is the best class that reentry has to offer because it will have you thinking twice before you do stupid things that will land you behind bars. I am so thankful for spending time with Damascus, and this class should be mandatory to all because it will change lives. It changed mine for sure."
"This is the most important, helpful, and moving program we've taken. It has helped me to understand a lot of things about myself that I thought I already knew. And I just hope that more inmates with my type of time in are able to participate as I have."
"Damascus focuses on lowering the recidivism rate and offers us the tools we'll need to cope in society upon our release. Damascus focuses on the choices we made that led to our incarceration and why we made those choices. They go straight to the root of our problems and try to correct our inner issues.
I've been doing this for a long time, over 25+ years. I've worked in the County Jail and the State Prison. I've been a parole officer and I've worked with lots of programs. I have never seen a program that delivers the results that Damascus does, especially at a high-security facility with this level of inmate. The graduation rate is the best percentage I have ever seen.
RODNEY MCINTOSH, Unit Management Chief
Warren Correctional Institution, Ohio