Connecting Community: BAIL AND BEYOND
Our new program "Bail and Beyond" program that provides information and peer support to individuals on bail. There are 9 consecutive sessions being held. Each session comprises two sections; a peer support group and a community information session.
The program offers a variety of resources and activities that assist people in becoming informed and acquainted with services and resources in their neighbourhood . There will be opportunities for participants to visit various community sites.The program's focus is to reduce recidivism amongst participants by building relationships with other group members and the community. The program aims to offer a positive reintegration to the community for program members.
The Community Session
The community information session offers both information and face-to-face contact with staff from various community agencies. Group members can ask questions about the agency allowing the participants to gain knowledge about the agency. Participants successfully make connections that allow them to take concrete steps in securing the supports needed to integrate into the community. The resources presented deal with: mental health challenges, substance use issues, individual and relationship counselling and alternative healing practices. Participants also learn ways to find stable and affordable housing.
The community session also features visits to local community resources and a series of community activities. These outings provide the opportunity for program members to develop a positive connection with the community.
It is our hope that by developing positive connections with the community, a reduction in the rate of recidivism by program members will occur.
The Peer Session
The peer support group offers participants the chance to interact with other program members in a safe, welcoming environment. The shared experience of being involved in the justice system gives a common understanding to build community with each other. By connecting with others in similar circumstances, in a supervised environment, program participants learn that they are not alone in their attempts to navigate the justice system.
In the peer session participants can find a sense of purpose and belonging. They learn that they don't have to go it alone. There are others that understand and "get it".
The peer sessions are led by people who have successfully completed a period of bail, have received training and now want to support others going through the same experience. There is the opportunity for others to become a peer facilitator.
Eventually the peer session will become a peer aftercare program for those that have successfully completed the program.