RCC MILESTONES

The Restorative CommUnity Coalition

  •  Case Management 
  •  Mental Health Counseling
  •  Substance Abuse Treatment 
  •  Education, Vocational Opportunities, and Job Search Support
  •  Individual Coaching
    • Functional Literacy 
    • Life Skills
    • Budgeting
    • Housing
    • Provide Clothes, Bus Passes, Food, Furniture, Gas, Car Repair
    • Continually Writing Support Letters to Inmates
  • Re-Entry Document Assistance (I.D.’s, etc.)
  • HOPE!

Irene Morgan founded the Coalition in 2006 as the ‘Whatcom County ReEntry Coalition’. With the support of several members of the community -who had worked in the traditional social services industry, or had been involved with people attaining re-entry after an arrest, we developed original programs to help in an almost unattended territory.

However, we did not find a big welcome from other non-profits, who were vying for similar funding, from a limited grant funding pool.

What we did find, however, was that there was a lot of political, social and civic resistance to helping “criminals” -when most people are familiar with helping ‘victims’.

Few people could understand that people who come out of the justice system are often directly harmed and victimized by the system itself – simply because of how the system works.  This was especially true for those working in the system, for the system, and paid by the system.

After doing more research, our Coalition realized that the highest rate of return for our time and money invested in helping people, was to help them earlier and timelier,in the conflict, arrest, court and conviction cycle – and immediately, for prevention of the shock and emotional damage caused from the arrest.  Most people in the jail are non-violent, and 62% are awaiting trial and have not been convicted, so helping people at that stage to mitigate the damages to their families and their future is a better idea.

It is simply costly to the families, harder to fix, and much more expensive for taxpayers if we try to help people after they are already convicted, have spent time in the jail or prison, and who have experienced the damage to their family, work and reputation.

We also started to realize that we had to stop the jail industry (and it’s addictive business model) from expanding as a business in Whatcom County.  Instead, we needed to build restorative justice, restorative health and restorative economic industries.

So in 2013 we renamed our organization the Restorative Community Coalition to reflect that change in focus.  We want to restore our entire community to health, anytime people have been involved in the justice system process.

We imagine communities where incarceration is minimal and only for the extraordinarily violent; where there is prevention, recovery, and rehabilitation for people who have been addicted, traumatized, and abused, instead of jailing and punishing; where people learn how to go back to work and become capable and productive members of society.

Our organization is piloting a brand new project that focuses on direct services to clients. Our Restorative Community Center has three phases: stop the cycles, restore a life, and build a future. We are currently seeking funding for this revolutionary project that can truly turn someone’s life around.

 

Achievement SnapShot:

~2006~

The Restorative Community Coalition is founded by Irene Morgan

~2008~

The Re-Entry University is funded

~2011~

The RCC received grants and funding to be able to get 7 out of 10 people out of the recidivism cycle. We launched learned that just $1500 plus case management could produce an 85% success rate in getting people out of the arrest cycle.
We launched our first pilot project to do housing plus case management. Unfortunately, we were underfunded, and we learned that we needed full capitalization and “lived experience” case managers to manage the housing and re-entry program. We were able to restore a temporary home with community donations.

~2012~

We continued with Direct Services to clients & started public education programs like Choices and Consequences, and
began engaging in civic activism, with research and testimony, directed to officials regarding restorative justice

~2015~

Added education to jail industry economic concerns
Published a vision for the future titled Stop Punishing Taxpayers, Start Rebuilding Community

~2016~

Our Coalition did research into facts published about the Public Noble Cause Corruption. These were documents to be filed that led to fines being levied against county executives

~2017~

Continued Direct Services and case management
Created the No Bigger Jail video
Successful in educating the public so they could reject the jail tax on the ballot. We won by a 17.5% margin

 

~2018 and beyond~ 
Onward! ~Giving up has never been an option!~



We have identified our five areas of biggest need, as well as the five strategies to tackle those needs.

  • DIRECT SERVICES WITH CLIENTS AND FAMILIES

     

    We have identified our five areas of biggest need, as well as the five strategies to tackle those needs.

     

    EMOTIONAL TRAUMA INTERCEPTION SPECIALISTS (ETIS)

    Help people adapt to and manage their personal, social service and justice system involved life during this time of trial through reconciliation. They need help organizing and scheduling an expanded array of evaluations, doctor’s appointments, court assignments, family meetings, safe housing, and more. Use specialized emotional first aid tools to do an early emotional impact intervention to stop the acceleration of deep, compound trauma caused by accelerating feelings of guilt, blame, shame, grief, fear often followed by misdirected anger. Fully adaptive, our ETIP tools can be learned and used any time – at the scene, at the point of arrest, with families, or in conjunction with immediate release on personal recognizance, with an Electronic Home Monitoring program, during work release, or in a clean and sober housing facility.

     

    CASE MANAGERS

    Help people adapt to and manage their personal, social service and justice system involved life during this time of trial through reconciliation. They need help organizing and scheduling an expanded array of evaluations, doctor’s appointments, court assignments, family meetings, safe housing, and more.

     

    COURT NAVAGATORS

    Use a checklist of tools and scheduling methods to help people successfully navigate the court processes and the complex relationships with the justice system so they can successfully meet and fulfill the obligations of the unfamiliar testing, evaluations and extra activities that suddenly show up in a person’s life.

     

    RESTORATIVE JUSTICE MENTORS & COACHING

    Work with individuals and family to adjust to the deep life changes that come with incarceration trauma, conflict resolution issues, victim impact issues, family and employment disruption. They may need safe housing, relationships training, community living skills, adaptive social context help from peers who have ‘been there’. Our Self-Empowerment Services mentoring program starts with a series of sessions called Negative Self Talk Awareness, Anger Understanding, Learned Behavior, Conscious Communication, Relationships and Commitments, Parenting, Decision-Making, Societal Conditioning. Helping people reintegrate into the work force, their family and society.

    After time spent inside, their world has changed, and the jobs market is completely different. They need help adjusting to having a record, how to talk about their time inside, and how to relate to the community.

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