Posts byRalph Gutkin

Cooperative Model Instrumental in Supporting Reintegration

Blog highlights why cooperatives are such a valuable component of the reintegration process

In preparing for the upcoming Summit on establishing Worker Coop for former inmates, I came across this blog, “Social co-operatives and prison systems” which reports on the panel discussion on point at the 2015 International Labour Organization’s Co-operatives and the World of Work Research Conference in Antalya, Turkey. Drs. Beth Weaver and Isobel M. Findlay, whose findings are discussed in my blog series were joined by Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard, professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, who organised and moderated the panel.
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Co-creating a Restorative Community

Part 9 in a blog series exploring a community-based response to our criminality crisis

People commit crimes for many reasons. There is a high correlation between criminal acts and unemployment, poverty, under education and substance abuse. Hugh Segal has written about it in his work on guaranteed income. It is acknowledged in the publication of the Fraser Institute, the bastion of Canadian conservative values, which I mentioned earlier in this series. People who work in the field deal with it on a daily basis. Spend any time inside prison walls or talking to those who have offended, as I have, and the connection is glaringly obvious. Crime is a societal phenomenon — our response ought as well to emanate from the collective will.
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The Resilience of and Success Markers for Worker Co-ops

Part 7 in a blog series exploring a community-based response to our criminality crisis

As you read in my last post, the recent research conducted by two scholars, corroborates earlier studies and concludes that the worker co-op model goes beyond just providing an employment opportunity (which is in itself a vital piece of successful reintegration) but its culture and relational environment “provide(s) holistic and individualised resettlement support for both former/prisoners and their family… which create(s) opportunities for social participation.”
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Worker Co-op Model Proving Supportive of Rehabilitation

Part 6 in a blog series exploring a community-based response to our criminality crisis

In my last post, I quoted from the report produced by the John Howard Society which recognized how the worker co-op model could be supportive of the rehabilitation process. That suggestion has now been supported by the work of two other researchers.
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A Co-operative Approach to Reintegration

Part 5 in a blog series exploring a community-based response to our criminality crisis

In my previous post we looked at our track record of funding programs that provide life and job skills training, a work experience and assistance in finding ‘permanent’ employment for inmates and ex-offenders. We know that these have proven quite valuable in the reintegration/rehabilitation process but the model has its sustainability issues. We will now shift our focus to the (multi-stakeholder) worker co-op model, examine what we know of its efficacy and the plan I am proposing for this community.
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The Rehabilitative Impact Of Social Enterprises

Part 4 in a blog series exploring a community-based response to our criminality crisis

It is generally recognized that employment (and appropriate training/education) are crucial components in the successful reintegration following a jail sentence. As outlined in the Huffington Post blog to which I previously referred. “Those who return from prison and get jobs are far more likely to keep from going back to prison…
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Successful Reintegration Requires Community Support

Part 3 in a blog series exploring a community-based response to our criminality crisis

“A stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially for better or for worse, is determined; turning point” — the definition of crisis that we looked at in the first post. A doubling of the cost in crime in 16 years, mounting research which documents the detrimental cost on children of witnessing a violent crime or of being brought up in a home with an incarcerated parent and our alarming rates of recidivism.
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