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Healthy Reintegration Part 3: Support & Partnerships

As Better Life has worked together with faith communities across the Pacific Region, we hear many different responses to the invitation to provide reintegration support.

Some faith communities and their members feel that providing reintegration support is an important expression of their faith. They’re all in, and they want to provide support as effectively as possible.

Others respond with desire to get involved, but feel overwhelmed by questions.

Our hope at Better Life is that having clarity around a REINTEGRATION STRUCTURE AND SYSTEM answers many of your questions and gives you confidence that you can help develop a healthy reintegration pathway that can literally be life changing for a parolee and an invaluable contribution toward them experiencing a better life.

However, we recognize that Structures and Systems only take us so far.

We experience this in our own life. At times we have great aspirations, sometimes expressed in New Year’s resolution. But living out our resolutions can be another thing entirely.

This leads us to acknowledge that we’re all individuals who are made up of many different influences—our families, our experiences, and our habits, to name a few.

What type of influence has each of these areas had on our life?

As human beings, we each respond to varied circumstances in different ways. Specifically, we experience and are impacted by trauma in very different ways.

In your own family, your experience growing up may have impacted you in a radically different way than a sibling. You could have experienced very similar circumstances, but how you experienced those circumstances and integrated them may have been very different for each of you.

The same is true for a parolee.

You’ve listened to their story, you’ve created a pathway together that you hope will lead to a healthy reintegration experience, but so much of an individual’s experience, their growth, their ability to overcome painful experiences and trauma, and to believe that they can live a different and better life, rests with them.

With this understanding, we want to assure you that not only is Better Life made up of an experienced team of Reintegration Chaplains, but that we are a part of an invaluable network of organizations and caregivers committed to healthy reintegration.

The Better Life Reintegration Chaplain who, in many cases, has provided an inmate support for a year within the prison, who has worked with the inmate’s Correctional Team and has supported them to complete the recommended steps so that they can have a positive parole hearing outcome, is now available to support you as you support that parolee.

While the Better Life reintegration chaplain doesn’t remove their support from the inmate as they enter parole, they shift their primary support to you as a caregiver.

When you have questions, when you wonder what healthy next steps should be, when you’re concerned about certain patterns of thinking, or behaviour, and wonder what to do next, the Better Life Reintegration chaplain is available to provide you with support.

This is also true of the connections Better Life can provide you with various reintegration partners—often beginning with the parolee’s Parole Officer. Through the Parole Officer you can gain a clear understanding of what the parolee’s conditions are, as well as specific areas that may need attention (work, education, therapy, certain thought patterns, etc.)

Beyond a connection with a parolee’s Parole Officer, Better Life has close relationships with many Reintegration Partners operating in various regions and areas of specialization.

At Better Life we are here to support you. We believe that you can make a life changing difference in providing reintegration support, and we want to support you to do that effectively.

Thank you for joining us for this series on providing healthy reintegration. We’re grateful to be on this journey with you.

With thanks,

Adam Wiggins

Executive Director

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