Program Teaches Inmates Life Tools For Post Prison Success
EAGLE RIVER- "I have been in a cycle of using drugs and alcohol, going to jail, treatment. I've been cycling through that for quite a while," said Donna Fischer.
Fischer is an alumni of the "Success Inside and Out" program at Hiland Mountain Correctional Facility.
The program teaches inmates with less than a year left on their sentence life tools they can use once they are released from prison.
"We have set up sessions for them that they can sign up for that include how to write a resume, how to do a job interview, how to look for a job and how to keep the job," said program founder and Chief Justice, Dana Fabe.
According to Fabe, the original concept came from seeing a "revolving door" inside the courts from repeat offenders.
Inmates spend an entire day attending sessions about money management, finding stability and making healthy choices in the future..
Mentors are professional women from communities across the state, "it makes us feel like we're wanted in the community and everybody is supportive of us," says program participant, Emma Shine.
Shine also acknowledges the women do not have to be there, but says she appreciates knowing the volunteers want to help them succeed outside of prison.
According to Alumni Fischer, the program can work, "If you take advantage of the support the women provide, you can make a difference, you can change your life, you really can," she says.