Local governments are faced with escalating costs for maintaining public safety and a host of other serious problems such as homelessness, drug addiction, mental health, disability, veteran issues, chronic illness and emergency medical care. Texas is the largest criminal justice system in the United States, with 85,000+ individuals returning from prison/state/county jails to our Texas communities annually. Historically, the community-based offender programs throughout the State are limited to those offenders on probation or parole supervision.
And despite the existence of some well-established programs to help meet certain reintegration needs, these programs have not coordinated their services to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts; nor have the individuals themselves had one place to go to help access these services as part of a comprehensive reentry plan. It was to meet this need, first in Dallas County, but now statewide, that Unlocking Doors was formed.
Through its nationally-unique model, Unlocking Doors is revolutionizing the delivery of reentry services to former offenders through community empowerment, education and engagement. Recognizing the interlinking relationships among the various parts of the criminal justice system, Unlocking Doors nationally-unique model (known as Reentry Brokerage) spearheads a paradigm shift in the delivery of reentry services by fostering a "community-based" cooperative/collaborative effort to address this historically complex problem. By empowering the client to take an active role in mapping his future, the client's outlook changes: he begins to appreciate the Model's comprehensive and collaborative approach; becomes personally aware of the resources (and, agencies) available and willing to assist him; thereby, making him more committed to his role in achieving success. He feels hopeful, secure, confident, happier and healthier; increasing the likelihood that he will find a future of self-sufficiency that is crime-free. This model embraces a systematic approach to a compendium of ideas, practices and programs that improve response time. This innovative delivery method ultimately eases the burden, both financially and physically, on the criminal justice system, empowering societies to flourish by solving issues locally in a comprehensive manner.
Current needs include:
(1) General operational and program funding so as to expand our service model to as many individuals with criminal backgrounds as possible
(2) Funds to hire an Employment Specialist who will manage the Unlocking Doors' Employment Council comprised of background-friendly employers who hire Unlocking Doors' clients
(3) Funding for/donation of office space for expansion of Reentry Brokerage offices throughout North Texas
(4) Funding for/donation of Reentry Brokerage materials and other office supplies