2020 In Review
IMPACTOver 500 Families Assisted by NIA Volunteers
FAMILY DAYThe NIA created its first virtual workshop to provide information to families with incarcerated loved ones after Georgia DOC canceled all of theirs due to COVID-19
COMMUNITYThe NIA is actively engaged in 16 partnership projects and initiatives to reflect the pertinent needs of families
ADVOCACYThe NIA was involved in the strategic planning of Justice Day 2020 that resulted in over 450 attendees in support of criminal justice reform and continues to hold that seat for Justice Day 2021
VOLUNTEERSNIA maintains an energetic corps of action responders, advocates and organizers, a professional Advisory Council, and a dedicated Working Staff, all as teams of committed volunteers
People are talking about our work:
- “I am unable to find words to express how grateful and thankful we are for you and to have met you at this time. Exasperation runs deep. Thank you!” – Anne J.
- “My compliments to you and to your ability to “get things done” and create a “professional network.” I was more than impressed with the results that I personally experienced after you introduced me to Commissioner Bryson, Tom McElhenney and Jack Koon. I was able to have private conversations with all 3 of those gentlemen plus 3 Medical professionals including a Dr. Williams (medical) and Dr. Jackson (mental health).” – Randy H.
- “I am thankful someone out there thinks about the pain our families are going through on the outside.” – Kyle B.
- “It is inspiring to know that there are people like you who know what is going on and care.” – Burrell E.
- “I can’t tell you how proud I am of you. You’ve helped so many families.” Christine D.
- The NIA was instrumental in getting wheelchair parts to Anne’s son, who is a double amputee serving time in Georgia State Prison with most of the gratitude coming from officials who admit they missed the point.
- The NIA worked tirelessly with Sierra’s mom to help get her sentence modified, she is home today, 5 years sooner, no longer angry, now participating and growing
- The NIA has helped hundreds of families navigate the Georgia Department of Corrections Family Day event, getting them to the right people and helping them to identify their real concerns for their loved ones while lessening an earned disdain for the system and officials
- The NIA has been involved in many community events that have help push other nonprofits and government agencies to work together in collaboration for focused and sustainable results
- The NIA spearheaded a letter to Governor Kemp of Georgia to continue the good work in criminal justice reform with 22 other organizations signing on
- The NIA has kissed babies in prison lines, hugged distraught mothers, shaken hands with Department of Corrections leadership, given hope to thousands of offenders and victims of unchecked, uncured behavior, and has extended specific talents and expertise to dozens of initiatives
WHY THE NIA?
Why did we form the NIA?
- Because every social problem we choose to ignore ends up packaged in a life and standing before a judge.
- Because of the out-of-control costs of protecting ourselves from repeated uncured criminal behavior.
- Because of our personal experience watching too many uncounted cases of individuals, children and families living in desperation at a growing and uncalculated cost to society.
- Because private-sector power players and many public-sector systems still need to feel this continual push to do business differently with respect to restoring and sustaining families.
- Because reform efforts are still too disconnected and fragmented yielding too little of measurable impact on families and their capacity to participate and consume.
Where are we today?
- In 4 short years, the NIA has attracted the attention and the working interests of scores of agencies and organizations as an authority with distinctive prowess in approaching problems and innovating systems.
- We have mapped out resolutions to hundreds of personal issues resulting in a customer/client portfolio of over 1,500 family cases who are becoming stronger, healthier, and more productive.
- Our sought-after and active engagement among poly-sector partners include over 20 active and completed initiatives and task force engagements.
To provide the community of families, loved ones and advocates of the incarcerated reliable information and resources to help them during their difficult journey while also coordinating actions among community and those who have the authority to make measured changes, and reform our system of justice for the better public interest and safety.
Our vision is that the justice and corrections system of the United States becomes a system of dignity, safety and progressive personal improvement for all involved.
WHERE ARE WE HEADED
Where are we going in the next 2 years?
Grow our 3 program areas:
Expand the NIA CPR Program Model:
Our interactions with fellow family members evolved into a case-by-case model of Conflict Resolution and Personal Interactive Rehabilitation (CPR). We are working to complete the building of this direct services program as a virtual call room/customer service command center for constituent families and their incarcerated loved ones as well as victims of crime with our integrated “restorative justice” program sub-set. We are now facing a constituent/customer demand to provide more evidence-based best practices in our method of emotional de-escalation in the process of delivering prompt and appropriate referrals services. We also want to expand our capacity to track this data; identify more problem and solution trends and offer reports to agencies and other stakeholders in regular communications or as we discover their situational need.
The NIA Informed Empathy Campaign:
Despite the 65 million families directly impacted by incarceration and the $100 billion cost affecting every American taxpayer, too many people remain distanced from the problem. We call this an “empathy gap.” This Informed Empathy Campaign seeks to narrow that gap with ongoing mass-communication messaging and interactive events. Over the next two years we will be intensifying our public awareness efforts.
Partner Asset Integration Projects & Initiatives:
The primary reason why we get involved in projects and initiatives is to take advantage of every opportunity to infuse into partner efforts our “working-together” culture. We see these as opportunities to help local stakeholders realize the value of shared resources, an open exchange of ideas, cross utilization of assets, and more coordination in pursuing resources for program sustainability.
Expanding our capacity to play active roles in various local and national projects and initiatives helps to relax the costly walls of fragmentation and duplication and erase the unintended culture of competition among stakeholders.
We are working to earn much needed support…
The NIA is a 501c3 nonprofit. We have dozens of committed volunteers. We also have hundreds of families, primarily in Georgia, but also nationwide who count on us. We need hands-on, intellectual and financial support to grow this movement and meet the growing needs of our mission.
Our dashboard of other work:
- Fulton County, GA Conviction Integrity: Sentencing Review Board Member
- Second Chance for Georgia Campaign: Partner
- Georgia Justice Reform Partnership: Steering Partner
- Multifaith Initiative to End Mass Incarceration: National Strategy Team, Georgia Strategy
- Fulton County Justice and Mental Health Task Force
- Department of Community Supervision: GaPRI Steering Committee, Atlanta Circuit
- DeKalb County Sheriff’s Inmate Rebound Program for Enhanced Public Safety
- Legal Action Center No Health = No Justice Community Conversations
- Justice Talk Tuesday’s and Justice Advocacy Day Steering Committee
- ACLU National Smart Justice Campaign
- Atlanta/Fulton Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative
- Sponsoring the Establishment of Arise Recovery Residences
- Sponsoring the Establishment of Truth’s Place Family Restoration and Recovery Services
- Georgia Department of Corrections Citizens Advisory Panel; Founding Member
- Fulton County, GA: Heroin Working Task Force; Court Watcher Program; Records Restriction & Expungement Ad Hoc
- US Department of Health and Human Services: Game Changers Working Group; Stay Strong! Stay Connected Summit 2018
- Georgia Employment Working Group: Local Beyond Ban the Box Strategies
- National Day of Empathy and Public Awareness Initiative with Dream Corps, Inc.
- International Prisoners Family Conference - Advocacy in Action Coalition
- Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities: Family Reunification Working Group
- Shatterproof Rise Up Against Addiction Annual 5K Walk/Run
- Fulton DeKalb Hospital Authority Annual Health Summits: Institutions Committee