When returning home after incarceration, people convicted of offenses face many obstacles that prevent them from securing housing and accessing employment and educational opportunities.
These obstacles are also often compounded by additional barriers, including limited access to prosocial activities and restrictions on reuniting with family, among others.
The Community of Care, a restorative circle of support and accountability model, focuses on the safe reintegration of people returning home from incarceration through relational mentoring, community involvement and collaboration with other providers and employers.
Our board is strongly committed to the vision and pursuing excellence in achieving it.
M. Shane Willbanks, organizer, founder and Executive Director, Shane is the reason we exist. Shane organized our first mentoring initiative in 2006. Trained by Prison Fellowship International to recruit, train and sustain prison and parole mentors, Shane brings inspiration, hope and a strategic plan to men an women desiring a new direction for their life.
Brad Janowski, organizer, founder and Board member, Brad has served as teacher, counselor, and mentor at Prison Fellowship Ministries, Minnesota Department of Corrections. He also served a Reentry Manager with Prison Fellowship’s Innerchange Faith Initiative (IFI) in Arkansas. Brad presently Director of Career & Educational Pathways, AccessAbility Inc., Minnesota.
Jennifer Harrison, serves as Board member, brings a community approach to our mission. Jennifer is affiliated with Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas in several capacities, serving as a member of the Missions Team, the First Impressions Team, and Vine & Village, a 501c3 spawned from Mosaic that is devoted to improving lives in the 72204 zip code and beyond.
O’Neal Payne, one of our first mentors, joined us in 2008. O’Neal has co-directed the New Direction 4 Life mentor program in Conway, AR, and is a graduate of Downline Disciples mentor association. He brings diversity to future thinking on our mission. O’Neal is an IT Manager with the University of Central Arkansas.
Leta Anthony, a respected community activist served as Executive Director for LB Employment Finders were she gained over 30 years service in the “helping felons” services in Central Arkansas. Leta serves with excellence as Chair of Central Arkansas Re-Entry Coalition, a 134-member community organization dedicated to policy reform of Arkansas’ criminal justice system and eliminating the lack of resources for successful reentry.
Shawntel Ann Brown is employed by the Central Arkansas Planning and Development District as Business Services/Special Projects Coordinator. Shawntel assisted in AND4L’s launch of the Tucker Unit reentry program and taught Job Readiness, Career Tracks, and Navigating the Arkansas Workforce Services system. Shawntel brings a broader approach to meeting the needs of Returning Citizens in transition. Her network with employers is a needed asset.
Michael and Paula Willbanks are founders and mentors in the organization since 2006. Mike serves as Chairman of the Board and Paula is Director of Reentry, and writes and manages the development of curricula “Opening the Mind to a New Normal”. Like Shane, Mike trained with Prison Fellowship in 2006 and served as statewide Mentor Volunteer Recruiter and Coordinator.
COMMUNITY OF CARE IMPACT
Our solution to mass incarceration and high rates of recidivism is a "COMMUNITY OF CARE" support approach that reduces the numbers that return to prison and the reduces costs to taxpayers.
Current laws, policies, and regulations make life nearly impossible for returning citizens to find housing, work, and be treated with dignity. As a result, many re-offend.
Scaling a three-tiered approach will benefit America by helping the returning citizens, their families and communities. The value is that it equips returning citizens in finding work, housing, and dignity.