Structural government budget cuts have far-reaching consequences for prisoners and prisons. Where inmates could once count on help restructuring their personal debt and finding work and housing after release, now correctional institutions must increasingly restrict their services to their core task: incarcerating suspects and convicts. Institutions are now opening their doors to specialized external parties who can help ease prisoners’ transition back into society.
Gevangenenzorg Nederland (Prison Fellowship the Netherlands) is one such party. The organization recruits and coaches volunteers who regularly visit inmates, forensic psychiatric patients, and their families. The 552 volunteers in the Netherlands provide a listening ear, primarily to people who are rarely or never visited by friends and family. By paying attention and discussing matters such as how to give one’s life meaning, the volunteers try to help prisoners create a new vision for the future. The organization continues to provide follow-up care in the crucial post-incarceration period. Gevangenenzorg Nederland has also developed the SOS program, a method that helps prisoners develop greater insight into the consequences of crime for themselves, their families, and above all, the victims and others involved.
“We believe in recovery” is the organization’s credo. Gevangenenzorg Nederland wants to help increase self-reliance, enabling prisoners to once again take meaningful part in society. Studies show that the organization’s work is an important source of support for prisoners who want to escape the vicious cycle of recidivism.
Adessium Foundation is supporting Gevangenenzorg Nederland as part of our commitment to promote self-reliance.
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