Services that we offer:
The Opening Doors three day Workshop
This is where we began. This three day workshop conducted in the prisons is a very engaging way to begin working with people. It builds trust quickly and establishes rapport.
On a therapeutic level we would say that the workshop utilizes a cognitive behavioral approach, together with adult learning principals; communication skills development, conflict resolution materials, and assists clients identify and communicate about their emotions. This unique three day program has proven to be helpful in promoting movement along the stages of change and enhances change readiness. We focus on "I" messages (ownership) which have been useful as clients seek to engage with estranged family members. All of this is done in the context of activities and the gift of fun and laughter. This program costs the clients three days away from their commissary and other routines, however in every institution in which it has been offered a waiting list soon developed. One measure of the effectiveness of this program is that over 2500 men, women and youth have attended these workshops in groups of no more than 20 at a time.
Trauma Recovery and Empowerment
(TREM) for women and M-TREM for men are gender specific courses that help clients address and begin to resolve issues of abuse that they have suffered. These courses begin with the childhood strategies that may have been the child's only option for survival but may now impede relationship building. TREM offers a safe place to learn psycho-educational perspectives on their experiences. No one is required to talk or share their stories. No one is "exposed" or made to feel shame or guilt. The ODOI staff has been trained in facilitating these groups by Community Connections in Washington DC where the courses were developed. These 22 week best practice courses have been demonstrated as being effective in assisting clients get free of old thought and behavior patterns that contribute to addictions, relational problems, and criminal lifestyle and recidivism.
The Parenting Wisely class
This class is an engaging way to look at parenting. Using videos of actual family interactions, people can see conflict arising and comes up with solutions to solve those. After watching typical conflicts arise they can then choose effective or ineffective options and watch them play out. In this way people engage and see themselves in a way so that it is easy to identify and learn. This computer based curriculum is offered to both the clients and their partners and is useful in promoting communication and more effective parenting.
We provide journals to every ex-offender to encourage them to continue their own work of change. These help the person personalize and retain what they learn. Houses of Healing deals with many family life issues and has been very effective in addressing issues of personal forgiveness. It is a faith neutral workbook. Restoring Relationships is a faith based journal focused on relationship skill building, forgiveness and restoration.
Honorable Men and Women of Grace
Are the names we use for ongoing gender specific courses offered pre-release. We have found that it is not enough to work on the issues such as addiction that need to stop, we must also focus on what the new life could look like. So these two courses use a Cognitive Behavioral approach to engaging the men and women around change. We begin with discussion about the "stages of change" (Prochaska and DiClemente) and personal motivation to change. These courses focus on thinking errors, personal values, and personal survival strategies. Subjects like domestic violence, trust, communication, parenting, family of origin, emotional vocabulary, and hope are all addressed. In addition this is a time for building relational skills. This has been our most popular course.
Criminogenic Domain Based Case management
Best practice research has identified key life needs that are significant in the reduction of recidivism. Identified as: "Criminogenic domains" these areas are often divided into static domains such as: age, criminal history, abuse, etc. and dynamic domains that are malleable with intervention. The ODRC list includes these 7 domains: 1.Education/Employment, 2. Substance abuse, 3. Marital and Family, 4. Associates and Social Interaction, 5. Community Functioning, 6. Personal Emotional Orientation, 7. Attitude.
ODOI has developed a case planning template based on these 7 domains. Each plan developed together with the ex-offender pre-release and then updated post release has objectives and action steps in three to four domains at a time. Whenever possible we seek to include goals and action steps in the Attitude area (7) since this includes hope, which has been identified by Prochaska, and DiClemente as well as others as fundamental to all change. In addition whenever possible we include goals in the Marital and Family area (3) as this includes the family in the reentry process which has been highlighted in the work of Carol Shapiro and Family Justice as being important in reentry. This leaves two additional goal areas for the individual to address in conjunction with their case manager. Upon completion of one set of goals the plan is updated.
This planning assists the client to take ownership of their change process and successful reentry. The stages of change model assists the client identify their current location on the stages of change and assists them identify barriers to forward movement. In all a "Motivational Intervening" approach assists the clients by "enhancing intrinsic motivation" for change which is a best practice and fits within a CBT approach.
Post release services
We aid clients and their families to community services such Jobs and Family Services, food pantries, Benefits, IDs or drivers licenses, housing and employment services.
Free At Last
Is a weekly support group for ex-offenders and their families.
Ongoing support for reentry
Follow up on case plans, linkage to mental health, and treatment programs as necessary. Generally Reentry is the difficult part and we focus on the first six months since that is when most people have difficulty in establishing a new lifestyle. This time is focused on problem solving, and the maintenance of intrinsic motivation for change. We also promote the development of new supportive friendships.
Positive friendships are very important in maintaining a new life. We recruit and train mentors to accompany ex-offenders as they begin their new life. Here too we offer a spiritual option and a faith neutral option. The spiritual option is mentoring based on the "Stand in the Gap" material developed in Tulsa for ex-offenders and with Biblical principals build in. The Faith neutral option is called Citizen Circles.
Services to Families
The Parenting Wisely class
This is also offered to family members. This help both parents develop parenting skills and also promotes communication. Together with the program we also offer material on childhood development to help clients become aware of age appropriate development issues.
We offer the same journals to family members so that they can accompany the changes that the ex-offenders are addressing.
Reentry can be difficult for family members as well as the person returning. Our case managers assist family members with planning for reentry and offers mediation and linkage to community services.
Other courses and services
This 6 week course is based on the book by Cloud and Townsend and introduces the concept of boundaries in relationships.
Motivational Interviewing I and II
These two workshops introduce the skills and overall approach of Motivational Interviewing as developed by Miller and Rollnick. The workshops will help participants work to enhance the intrinsic motivation of clients and work with them to progress through he stages of change. Each workshop offers 3 CEUs. Taught by James Himsworth.
From Nothing Works to What Works
A presentation of the research into best practices in ex-offender reentry.
An introduction to the Criminogenic Domains
This workshop introduces the static and dynamic domains and discusses how they can be addressed.
Mentor recruiting and training
ODOI has considerable experience in recruiting mentors to come alongside of ex-offenders to support them in their return to the community. We use the "Stand In the Gap" model developed specifically for ex-offenders.
Outreach to churches and the faith community
ODOI is available to assist in the development of local prison ministries. We can provide training, consulting and vision casting.
The team at Opening Doors of Ohio, Inc. believes that real change is possible. The hard work of change is best done in relationship with others. We believe in treating people with dignity, offering hope and challenge. We believe in building relational skills and taking ownership.
We share the same little story with everyone we serve in order to describe our view of case management: "If you have a car and it's broken you take it to the mechanic. You don't even need to know what's wrong. The mechanic takes the car and fixes it. Well you are not a car and we are not mechanics. However, if someone wanted to become an athlete, they could join a team and get a coach. That coach with develop a workout plan, teach new plays and skills. The coach would encourage, challenge, listen and teach. However in the end, who is the one who is running, working and sweating? That would be the athlete."