No Violence Alliance, (NOVA)
The No Violence Alliance (NoVA) Project reflects growing national concern about prisoner reentry - the process by which people leave prisons and return to their communities. Nationwide, more than 600,000 individuals are released from state or federal prison each year. Upon release, ex-offenders face significant barriers to obtaining employment, housing, medical care and other basic needs, factors that affect their ability to reunite with their families, reintegrate into their community, and to lead law abiding, productive lives. Indeed, within three years, 68% are rearrested and nearly half return to jail or prison for either a new crime or parole violation. According to the US Department of Justice, far greater number reenter communities from local jails and for many offenders this may occur multiple times during a year. The prison reentry challenge has potentially profound implications not only for ex-offenders and their families, but also for public safety and the economic and social health of the community.
To address the significant number of ex-offenders who are reentering the communities of Bayview Hunters Point, Western Addition and the Mission, the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, in collaboration with community and faith based organizations, developed the No Violence Alliance (NoVA) project, that begins in the County jail and continues throughout an offenders transition to and stabilization in the community.
The primary goal of the NoVA Project is to address the violence plaguing San Francisco and in particular, the significantly high crime communities of Bayview Hunters Point, Western Addition, and the Mission Districts, by providing intensive services to violent ex-offenders to aid in their reentry into the community and reduce recidivism.
The NoVA Project approach engages men and women, and encourages them to take control of their violent behavior through rehabilitation, and to the extent possible, successfully reenter the community as a productive member of society. The comprehensive approach stresses offender accountability and violence prevention education. The Sheriff's Department runs many programs inside the jail, however; the NoVA project addresses the needs of ex-offenders who have the desire to put their criminal past behind them and lead productive lives.
The NoVA Project has three primary program components that work in conjunction with each other to provide participants with a variety of services to encompass the following:
- Intensive case management by community based organizations that includes anger management and counseling.
- Overcoming barriers to employment along with vocational placement and job training services
- Supportive residential and transitional housing.
In addition, the NoVA project has a victim component that seeks out and offers services to victims identified by clients as a first step in helping individuals to deal with the trauma associated with violent crimes.
Individuals are introduced to the NoVA Project in jail prior to release and by organizations working with ex-offenders in the community. Upon referral and after signing a commitment to participate, a qualified participant is assigned a case manager, undergoes an assessment, helps develop and agrees upon a short- and long-term life plan.
NoVA case managers have significant expertise in working with ex-offenders and are experienced in connecting to existing community resources for services. Case managers serve as counselors and mentors and use an individual approach to helping ex-offenders stabilize their life situation and become productive members of society.
Case managers are responsible for monitoring, identifying and referring participants to necessary resources including substance abuse treatment, job training programs, private employers, housing services and services from other community and faith based organizations.
- African American Family Healing and Resource Center
- Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
- Community Works, Inc.
- Pendergrass Smith Consulting
- Positive Directions Equals Change, Inc.
- Potrero Hill Neighborhood Center
- San Francisco Pretrial Diversion
- San Francisco Reentry Council
- Senior Ex-Offender Program, Bayview Hunters Point Senior Services
- Tabernacle Community Development Corporation
- Up From Darkness
- City and County of San Francisco
- California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
For more information contact Senior Deputy Ron Terry by phone: 415-850-6169 or email: novaterry1278 at yahoo.com
Five Keys Board Meeting Agenda
March 25, 2014
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