North Carolina SOAR Program leads the country in comprehensive offender treatment
SOAR is an intensive residential therapeutic community. Participants are in treatment six hours per day, five days per week for twenty weeks (approximately 600 hours of treatment). Approximately 40 participants are selected for each of two treatment cycles, with about 72 inmates completing SOAR each year. The program is staffed by psychologists with experience in working with sexual offenders as well as inmate peer counselor-inmates who have completed the SOAR program and who, as peer counselors, provide support services to staff and participants.
We urge that everyone give support towards NCDOC’s continuing support of this program. The place for therapy is while still in custody, and not when the offender is standing outside the gates with a $45 dollar gate check and a looming debt of $1,000, or more(!), for out-care.
Instead, SOAR needs to be radically expanded to insure that everyone in custody has a chance for the two R’s. Rehab and Redemption. This link is to the Justice Center’s evaluation. This link is to the SOAR program director, Dr. Richard Carbo, program description of SOAR, which is converted to pdf format for download.
See what CSI was up to at the NC Reentry Summit on March 11. View the Video
Communicating Effectively With Your Legislator
Don’t be intimidated. Legislators are in the business of representing the public’s interest. A significant part of their job is listening to people like you.
Ask to speak briefly with the legislator. If the legislator is not in his or her office, ask for their contact information and leave the Second Chance Alliance Action Request with the secretary.
Address the legislators as “Representative ____” or “Senator _____.”
Introduce yourself clearly. Tell the legislator your name, where you are from, and why you are there. If you are a member of their district, it is especially important for you to let them know.
Share your reentry story and/or support for second chances. This is the most important thing you can do on Second Chance Lobby Day. In just 2 or 3 minutes, describe the barriers that you have faced as a result of your criminal record, why the legislator should try to address these barriers, and how you would use (or have used) your second chance. If you do not have a criminal record, please describe why you support lowering barriers to reentry.
Be specific. Suggest actions the legislator might take, including specific bills he or she should support. Use the Second Chance Alliance Action Request as a guide.
Listen, and always be respectful. Listen to what the legislator has to say, even if you do not agree with what he or she is saying. You can state facts or personal stories to support your opinion, but try to avoid arguing with the legislator.
Share Action Request. Be sure to leave the legislator with a copy of the Second Chance Alliance Action Request.