Great article in the Christian Science Monitor about Peer Reentry Navigation Network (PRNN):
Nationwide, the population of prisoners sentenced to life increased by nearly five times between 1989 and 2016, according to the nonprofit Sentencing Project. In many states, the chances of a “lifer” being released have been slim to none. But in California, that began to change in 2008 with key legal decisions, and since 2010, more than 6,000 people with life terms have been granted parole.
For the newly released, the tripwires of daily life lie in wait. That’s where the Peer Reentry Navigation Network (PRNN), launched five years ago, can come in. The program, in which ex-offenders serve as mentors, is based on the premise that those who have already successfully navigated life on the outside are best suited to light the way for others.
“The most important people you have are the people in this room,” says Joe Calderon, a peer mentor, at PRNN meetings in San Francisco.
Mr. Calderon’s past included gang involvement and the fatal shooting of a security guard during a botched robbery attempt. Eventually, he became a lifer parolee, and in addition to his PRNN mentoring, he’s now a senior community health worker. “Helping is my medicine,” he says. “It keeps me humble.”
And here’s a video showing the day that the founder of the program received the Jefferson Award for service:
We look forward to participating in this good work as modeled by PRNN and other successful reentry programs.