Monday, January 4, 2010


Mayor’s Office of Ex-Offender Re-Entry to Hold ‘First Day Out’ Mentor Training Tonight

When ex-offenders re-enter Marion County, the chances of a successful reintegration are aided by mentors and case managers that help them transition back into the community. Starting this evening, the Mayor’s Office of Ex-Offender Re-Entry and the Church of Acts will begin training sessions for men and women looking to become mentors through the “First Day Out Initiative.”

The “First Day Out Initiative,” focuses on mentoring offenders while they are still in prison and through the critical days after they return to Marion County.

“The First Day Out Initiative is key piece to the puzzle when you discuss re-entry efforts here in Marion County,” said Rhiannon Williams, the Director of Ex-Offender Re-Entry in the Mayor’s Office. “We are looking for a diverse group of mentors so that we can make lasting connections with current and soon-to-be ex-offenders in Indianapolis/Marion County.”

The program assigns each mentee both a mentor and a case manager. The job of the case manager is to coordinate services while the mentor serves as a support system, someone the mentee can contact if they need encouragement, or just someone that will listen. The first in a series of training sessions for mentors will be held this evening at 7 p.m. at the Church of Acts.

Federal funding for the “First Day Out Initiative” was provided by the Bureau of Justice Assistance with the support of U.S. Congressman Andre Carson’s Office.

About the Mayor’s Office of Ex-Offender Re-Entry

Each year in Indianapolis, approximately 5,000 ex-offenders re-enter Marion County. Many are faced with the difficult challenge of reintegrating into society after months and sometimes years in prison.

In 2010, training workshops for local service providers are being planned along with the implementation of a new re-entry website that will link ex-offenders with service providers and all other local and statewide criminal justice partners.

Last year, the Mayor formed a 26 – person Re-Entry Task Force charged with developing partnerships with government, business, service providers, faith-based organizations and community members to come up with creative solutions to the issues and problems facing ex-offenders.

The Mayor’s Office of Ex-Offender Re-Entry also held a Service Provider Forum last October which was designed to build leadership capacity within the Non-Profit Community, to define the City’s role within Re-Entry in Marion County, and to help Non-Profits assess their capacity to deliver quality services to Ex-Offenders.

To learn more about Ex-Offender Re-Entry or to become a mentor, please contact:

Rhiannon T. Williams

Director of Re-Entry

City of Indianapolis--Office of Mayor Gregory A. Ballard

Office: 327-5793


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