September 12th, 2018
Dear Dep Vasaturo,
Here is a brief recap of our services over the past two years at GMDC. We had the privilege of working directly under Dep Calloway who is currently at GRVC and kindly available as a reference.
For the past two years every Monday under the auspices of CO Davis, we ran a two hour program once a week from 1-3pm at GMDC. It was 90 minutes of basketball accompanied by referees, strength training under the eye of professional coaches, and 30 minutes of positive life coaching to wrap it up. All our programs and services are open to everyone who wants to participate and have no restrictions based on belief[s]. We would then be available to our CO's in the cafeteria area for counseling. We were able to provide life changing encouragement, as some our CO's were struggling with addictions and battling severe depression. We will fight for our COs as long as we have a breath in our bodies!!! They will not be marginalized or forgotten on our watch!
From 5:00-7:00pm we taught a mentoring and advocacy class, using current movies to highlight different topics like forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Our primary emphasis on mentoring is based on assessing and then breaking old destructive habits while forming new life-giving approaches. A very important piece in what we offer is simply affirming personal value and driving home the truth that we are not going to desert them when things get tough. As advocates, with their permission, we also assisted boys in developing a logistical approach to facing long sentences, and using our contacts at DOCCS to help them from not being forced into in-prison gangs for survival. We do this while simultaneously reaching out to their attorney's, DA's, and families to make sure they are not being swallowed up by this system and are receiving proper representation in their cases. The abuse is staggering when you are black and have no money! Many of our boys needed an advocate to appear in court on their behalf. 98% were drowning and needed help desperately to disseminate the waves of information. I would be happy to elaborate more on this and share a number of our life-changing success stories.
We have accumulated an amazing track record of helping incarcerated Young Adults and adult men, who should be receiving an alternative to incarceration, or require an approved program to enter after making parole. Prison In The Wild has also assisted in obtaining legal representation for some of our YA's concluding lesser sentences, while assisting their families with a hand-up not a hand-out. (References are available to back-up every claim.)
I would then come in one or two more days a week depending on when CO's needed counseling, or when our YA's needed extra attention. For example, if I appeared in court that day for a child and he had no idea what was really happening, I would come in that night and explain the day’s procedures to him. By breaking confusion, it prevents despair, and ultimately breaks violence by providing hope. Despair and hopelessness were usually at the heart of violence and I was able to personally stop certain circumstances from escalating by substituting God's love.
We would also teach another official mentoring/advocacy class every Friday night with a movie from 5:00-7:00pm and come in earlier where necessary to meet with CO's or inmates.
Prison In The Wild also provides services to assist with reentry, starting before, and remaining with our young men after their release. We basically provide as much help as they require or are open to receiving. When they are sent upstate our mentors follow them and provide coaching as long as they are sentenced, and upon release, offer a road map for successful reentry. As we said previously, this program is open to boys of any faith and any race. The only prerequisite is a sincere desire for help. We want all of our young men to never again feel abandoned, and to always sense their intrinsic worth and God given potential.
To our knowledge there is no other organization in NY State offering our complete and comprehensive program packages specializing in the Young Adult category from ages 18-21, as well as working directly with our CO’s. We work from the inside out to create change.
Please feel free to call me with any other questions. I can be reached at my cell # [redacted for security].
Pastor Rex Duval
Prison In The Wild, Inc. a registered 501(c)3