Tag Archives: CARE coalition

REENTRY HEAVEN

Two more articles, as published in V.2.N.1., April 2016, Help YourSelf Community Resources Directory:

GOVERNOR PROCLAIMS REENTRY DAY

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Pedestrian bridge spanning the Arkansas River between Little Rock and North Little Rock, Arkansas.

“Right now … if you leave prison, you get $100 and a bus ticket,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson laid out his plan for the state prison system Feb. 18, 2015.

“That is really not going to help reduce repeat offenders from going back in,” he said. “They need an opportunity. The reentry centers will help them find their way back into society.”

On Wednesday, April 13, several dozen civic and social advocacy groups and many members of the general public who are affected by these issues rallied on the front steps of the Capitol in a show of support for proposed reforms, such as the hiring of additional parole and probation officers, the creation of a transitional reentry center program and alternative (non-prison) sentences for nonviolent offenders.

Coordinated by the Central Arkansas ReEntry (CARE) Coalition, the rally featured several distinguished speakers representing various agencies and organizations which actively provide reentry support service.

“Because the impact of incarceration is so great on the individual, their families, and society as a whole, it takes an array of service providers, public policy experts, faith-based groups, community organizations and support services to assist with transition to return to society and avoid the situations that lead to recidivism,” Robert Kim Combs, Chair of CARE’s Policy & Law Committee, explained the complexity of the problem.

“No one entity can do it all and do it effectively,” he said. “This rally brought together a number of the people and organizations that are helping and to tell the story of the 56% of people who successfully return to free society without re-offending. And it is important to acknowledge that many of these groups are working without government support.”
In appreciation of these collaborative efforts, an official Proclamation of the Governor, declaring April 13, 2016, as ARKANSAS COMMUNITY REENTRY DAY, was read and, concluding the presentation, attendees toured the Capitol to meet legislators and learn about the General Assembly.

For more information, visit www.ArkansasReentry.com or call (501) 444-CARE.

So…THIS IS HEAVEN???

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“Fiesta” — statue at The Rivermarket in Little Rock, Arkansas. Photo by Regina Strehl

A man was visited by the Archangel Gabriel and invited to tour both heaven and hell so he could report back to his brethren and give a firsthand account of what the afterlife was like.

In hell he found a beautiful earth-like land, replete with towering mountains, deep-green forests, babbling brooks and sunny blue skies.

Rows and rows of tables, stretching as far as the eye could see and piled high with the most delicious food imaginable, stretched across the gorgeous countryside, yet masses of emaciated people roamed among the tables, moaning and weeping.

Every person had a huge fork strapped to each arm, above and below the elbow, which made it impossible to bend their arms to get any of the food into their mouths.
Try as they might to feed themselves, everyone was starving.

“What a horrible fate to endure,” said the man.

“Yes,” said the Archangel Gabriel. “Perpetual starvation in the midst of abundance. That is why we call it hell.”

Then POOF!!! The man was whisked-away to heaven where the view was nearly identical: rows and rows of delicious food spread upon tables across the bucolic land.

There, too, huge forks were double-strapped to the people’s arms which stopped them from feeding themselves, yet all were healthy and happy. “Because in heaven,” said Gabriel, “we all feed each other.” ~author unknown

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Groups Rally for Re-entry & Prison Reform

PRESS CONFERENCE & PHOTO OP: 13 April 2016, 11am, Capitol Steps

NEWS RELEASE:  Groups Rally for Re-entry & Prison Reform

“Right now … if you leave prison, you get $100 and a bus ticket,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said as he laid out his plans for the state prison system in February of 2015.  “That is really not going to help reduce repeat offenders from going back in.  They need an opportunity.”

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On Wednesday, April 13, several dozen civic and social advocacy groups* and many members of the general public who are affected by these issues will rally on the front steps of the Capitol in a show of support for proposed reforms, such as the hiring of additional parole and probation officers, the creation of a transitional reentry center program and alternative (non-prison) sentences for nonviolent offenders.

Coordinated by the Central Arkansas Re-Entry (CARE) Coalition, the rally begins at 11am and features speakers from various agencies, organizations and groups which are somehow involved with the incarceration and reentry process.

“Because the impact of incarceration is so great on the individual, their families, and society as a whole, it takes an array of service providers, public policy experts, faith-based groups, community organizations, support services and mentors with lived experience to assist with transition to return to society and avoid the situations that lead to recidivism,” Robert Kim Combs, Chair of CARE’s Policy & Law Committee, explained the complexity of the problem. “No one entity can do it all and do it effectively.  This rally is to celebrate the wealth of people and organizations that are helping and to tell the story of the 56% of people who successfully return without re-offending.  Plus, we also want to acknowledge that many of these groups are working without government support.”

2016-Arkansas-Community-Re-

With respect to these collaborative efforts, an official Proclamation of the Governor, declaring April 13, 2016, as ARKANSAS COMMUNITY REENTRY DAY, will be presented and, concluding the presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to tour the Capitol, meet legislators and learn about their General Assembly.

For more information, visit www.ArkansasReentry.com or call (501) 444-CARE.

*partial list of advocacy groups supporting rally:

  • Arkansans Organizing for Justice
  • Arkansas Access to Justice
  • Arkansas C.U.R.E
  • Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice
  • Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
  • Arkansas Community Organizations
  • Arkansas Department of Workforce Services
  • Arkansas Re-entry and Prevention Initiative
  • Arkansas Time After Time
  • Arkansas Voices of the Child Left Behind
  • ARVets
  • Broken Chain Ministries
  • Center for Artistic Revolution
  • Center for Women in Transitions
  • City Connections
  • Difference Makers
  • Disability Rights Arkansas
  • Diverse Youth for Social Change
  • Goodwill
  • I Too Have a Dream
  • Incarcerated Disciples
  • Interfaith Arkansas
  • Little Rock Catholic Diocese
  • Lucie’s Place
  • Open Door Outreach
  • Personal Empowerment Recovery Coalition Boone County Recovery Project
  • Philander Smith College Better Community Developers, Inc.
  • Recovery Centers of Arkansas
  • SOAR Network
  • The Arc
  • Veterans for Peace – Arkansas Chapter #978
  • Women and Children First

For more information contact Robert Combs (501) 563-2197.

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Champion Awards

We are both proud and humbled: Help YourSelf Publisher & General Manager, Robert Kim Combs, was among a select group of business professionals, agencies and elected officials recognized by the Central Arkansas ReEntry (CARE) Coalition as CHAMPIONS of proactive reentry advocacy and public service.  Click here to see our pictorial of the Awards Luncheon and learn more about what what these folks did to deserve the recognition…!!!

Champions All: (left to right): Senator Eddie Joe Williams, Publisher Robert Kim Combs, City of Little Rock (Andre Bernard), CSI Construction (Jonathan Seman), Senator Stephanie Flowers, Senator Joyce Elliot,  Office of Child Support Enforcement (Dan McDonald).

Champions All (left to right): Senator Eddie Joe Williams, Publisher Robert Kim Combs, City of Little Rock (Andre Bernard), CSI Construction (Jonathan Seman), Senator Stephanie Flowers, Senator Joyce Elliot, Office of Child Support Enforcement (Dan McDonald).

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Champions declared by CARE Coalition

Arkansas State Senators Eddie Joe Williams, Stephanie Flowers and Joyce Elliot will be honored as Champions by the Central Arkansas ReEntry (CARE) Coalition at its Annual Membership & Recognition Luncheon, 23 January 2015.

In addition to the three legislators, the Champion distinction will also be awarded to Arkansas Office of Child Support Enforcement, CDI Construction, the City of Little Rock and Robert Davis.

The awards pay tribute to the individuals, state and municipal agencies for their work promoting the success of Arkansans reentering free society after incarceration.

Williams, Flowers and Elliot are being recognized as longtime proponents of criminal justice reform and outspoken dedication to eliminating prison overcrowding and reducing recidivism.

CDI Construction is being recognized for its willingness to employ ex-offenders, the Office of Child Support Enforcement for their work helping ex-offenders meet their legal obligations, the City of Little Rock for their general support of organizations working on reentry issues, and Robert Davis, founder of iahWeh Entertainment, for his success as a returning citizen.

In addition to the awards recognition, the coalition’s accomplishments of the past year will be reviewed and their strategic plan for 2015 will be outlined.

The luncheon convenes at 11:30am, Friday, 23 January 2015, at the Willie Hinton Center, 3805 W. 12th St., Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information, contact Leta Anthony, Chair of the Central Arkansas ReEntry Coalition, (501) 541-6038 or email centralarkansasreentry@gmail.com

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NEWS RELEASE co-authored and distributed copyright free as a public service by Christine Beems, Editor, and Robert Kim Combs, Publisher & General Manager, HelpYourSelf Publishing. Please email questions and requests to christine@gozarks.com
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