The Long Walk to Freedom is set for October 19th:
Richmond, Virginia is among the top 100 metropolitan areas identified by the National Corrections Reporting Program as receiving the most returning non-violent prisoners. Over 10,000 men and women are released from the Richmond City Jail each year. An even greater number are released from nearby federal, state and other local penal institutions. Many find the social bars of life on the outside far more confining than the iron bars of prison, and many choose to return to the safety of prison.
The cost of recidivism to the community is approximately $31,000 per person a year – plus the loss of a productive citizen’s income. The need for effective solutions to aid men and women in rebuilding their lives has never been more critical.
Long Walk to Freedom is designed to achieve two goals: 1) raise awareness of the challenges facing released prisoners and 2) raise funds for programs like ours that provide solutions to these challenges. The walk, scheduled for Saturday, October 19, 2013 will begin at Richmond City Jail and end at the Richmond Juvenile Center.
Long Walk to Freedom participants will experience the “virtual reality” of re-entry issues from the perspective of released prisoners. They exit the Richmond City Jail and the challenges begin:
- How and where do I eat and sleep?
- How do I get a job and/or training for a job?
- How do I cope with the broken relationships I left behind
- How do I recover from self-destructive habits
- How do I become part of a productive, law-abiding community?
- And the question underlying all the others: Who Cares?
Along the way, walkers will encounter the challenges of re-entry and the community resources dedicated to helping individuals needing a second chance. Stations along the walk will represent the various barriers to and solutions for the ex-offender. These stops will address housing, food, identification, self-esteem and emotional competency, addiction recovery, transportation, employment and restoring relationships with family and community.
So please join us on October 19th for this worthy cause. To register, go to www.longwalktofreedom.org or feel free to call/email me. The registration donation is $15 of which $10 goes to the solution provider of your choice.