According to the National Adult Literacy Survey, 70% of all incarcerated adults cannot read at a 4th-grade level, “meaning these adults lack the basic reading skills needed to navigate many everyday tasks or maintain lower (paying) jobs.” This lack of basic literacy skills, which include reading, writing, and comprehension are necessary for securing a job when released from jail or prison. This barrier can make reaching goals difficult and increase the chance of repeat offenders.
At A Better Day Than Yesterday Initiative Program (A Better Day), we place a strong emphasis on helping you reach your full potential. Our education program offers access to a variety of educational and training programs for individuals with a criminal record, such as GED training.
We incorporate resources and partnerships to assist you in acquiring literacy and marketable skills, thus increasing your capacity to obtain gainful employment or to start a successful business. The program encourages post-secondary education in vocational and occupationally oriented areas as well as provide assistance in applying for and acquiring federal financial aid to pursue traditional college courses for increased educational attainment. In addition to academic enhancement, the program offers classes and workshops that are fundamental in increasing development of cognitive behavioral thinking and empowerment.
We believe in giving you all the tools you need to ensure your success, and we believe education is vital for clients’ successful re-entry.
According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2,220,300 adults were incarcerated in US federal and state prisons, and county jails in 2013 – about 0.91% of adults (1 in 110) in the U.S. resident population. Additionally, 4,751,400 adults in 2013 (1 in 51) were on probation or on parole.
A Better Day Than Yesterday Association (A Better Day) serves individuals released from prison or jail in Metro Richmond, who are in need of education, mentorship, housing, job skills training and employment opportunities. Our goal is to provide adults with a criminal record the support they need to start fresh and provide an opportunity to lead healthy, productive lives. Learn more about what we have to offer.
Former inmates often have trouble finding a job for a number of reasons, including a lack of education, a weak work history or employers’ reluctance to hire ex-prisoners (Buck 2000; Solomon et al. 2004; Taxman, Young, Byrne 2002). At A Better Day, we believe everyone has a chance for change if provided with the Right Tools for change. We also believe employment is vital for helping formerly incarcerated individuals walk a new positive path. We offer a range of basic job readiness skills and occupational training programs to help you find and retain jobs. Our comprehensive curriculum focuses on areas such as time management, problem-solving, team-work, and specific professional skills. Our programs are designed to focus on your strengths, identify your areas of weakness and turn them into strengths, and prepare you for employment.
In addition to providing you job-readiness skills, our program includes skill-building training to help you learn how to make better choices, within their personal and professional lives and to ensure long-term stability and employment success.
ADULT & FAMILY PROGRAMS
At A Better Day, we firmly believe every client’s health is their greatest asset, and your health should be carefully guarded. Healthcare is an essential component of re-entry. Every client is given the opportunity to incorporate health education and awareness training as part of their re-entry goals. A Better Day provides clients identifies resources such as low-income insurance plans, locally affordable health clinics, and pharmacies. We also identified key partners to address mental health issues as well as provide one-on-one counseling or group therapy sessions.
Each year, more than 600,000 people leave the criminal justice system and return to their communities. A substantial percentage of these released individuals were homeless prior to incarceration, and many will return to homelessness when they depart from jail or prison. Other formerly incarcerated individuals may experience homelessness for the first time.
Individuals with a criminal record may face a variety of barriers when trying to secure affordable housing. At A Better Day, we offer support and stability for individuals and families seeking for a place to call home. We have established partnerships with local shelters, transitional housing programs, property owners, and the local housing authorities to assist our participants with independent living in a safe community.
Approximately 9 million individuals are released from jail each year. Nearly 4.9 million people were on probation or parole at the end of 2010. In a study that looked at recidivism in over 40 states, more than four in 10 offenders returned to state prison within three years of their release. (NRRC Facts & Trends | CSG Justice Center) Identifying ways to support formerly incarcerated individuals after their release from jail or prison is key to ensuring their successful transition back into society. Research has shown that ex-prisoners who obtain steady jobs and develop social bonds have much lower recidivism rates (Austin, Hardyman, Irwin 2002), but many find it difficult to secure stable employment (Western 2002) and establish positive relationships.
At A Better Day, we offer group mentoring or one-on-one mentoring to all of our program participants. We employ a mentoring model that works with you and provides strong mentoring relationships to help minimize the risk of recidivism.