WorkNet, Inc. is an innovative nonprofit that prepares prison inmates for a successful reentry back into community living to reduce recidivism. They specialize in offender reentry services. Their services include helping clients find jobs, secure housing, obtain a driver’s license, and restore identity documents so they can have a higher success rate with their reentry process.
WorkNet works with clients while they are in prison at least 6 months prior to their release and continues to assist them when they reenter the community. This model provides clients with a continuum of care which has proven effective in reducing recidivism. They design their client services based on current criminogenic research and evidence based practices.
WorkNet was founded in 2000 and is based in Honolulu. During COVID, because all prisons were on lockdown and all vendors were barred from entering the facilities, they had to figure out how to continue teaching Cognitive Skills classes to students. They met that challenge by transitioning their program curriculum into correspondence style workbooks that could be mailed to those enrolled in the class. They named this program P-CHAMP [Post-Covid Help and Mentoring Project].
As a result, they have been able to continue serving clients including those who are not able to attend classes because they are under COVID quarantine or other medical treatment. They are also able to serve inmates released to Parole by meeting their cognitive skills requirements under the P-CHAMP program in the community. They are currently the only providers of a cognitive restructuring program for Hawaiʻi inmates transferred to the Saguaro prison in Arizona. Since P-CHAMP’s inception in April 2020, they have served over 250 clients.
They also pioneered the CARE [Correctional Arts ReEntry) program, a social enterprise program that markets and sells artwork and crafts made by offenders who are either in prison or have transitioned to the community. They piloted the program at the Women’s prison, WCCC and now all Oahu prisons are participating. When an inmate’s work sells, they put the money on their books. This provides them with additional opportunities to save money for their reentry to the community. Check out these beautiful art samples by Chas Williams.
Lunalilo Home, created by the Will and Codicil of King William Charles Lunalilo, provides services to poor, destitute, and infirm people of Hawaiian blood as well as the economically and socially disadvantaged population of seniors, including elderly with disabilities, suffering from poor physical and/or mental health.
One of their strategic pillars emphasizes optimizing reach and impact. In order to follow this pillar, Lunalilo Home proposes to serve these underserved communities by building a new Adult Daycare Center and Commercial Kitchen. This will reach elders without having to go outside of their community for services and basic needs.
The Makaha Learning Center’s primary mission is to create opportunities for Native Hawaiians and the people of the Waiʻanae Coast through leadership, trades-training and outreach programs.
Their vision is for more than a classroom and innovation space. They are working toward a world-class community Learning Center that is home to relevant and applicable courses designed to propel students on a path of success. They believe that love for self and community will be the natural manifestation that ensues. Their vision is for a learning center that serves as a model for change throughout Hawaiʻi and the world.
At the Makaha Learning Center, they have three core passions: Native Hawaiians, The Waiʻanae Coast Community, and perpetuating the Trades. They provided trade training to over 90 students in the last 24 months with another 75 expected to complete training programs in 2022. Here are some photos of students using hand tools and learning ladder safety. Follow them @makahalearning.
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