In the past 3 years and 9 months I have literally saved lives. Now maybe you aren’t caught up in the system, but I promise you if it happens to you or your family you will wish you had a Kate!
I have gotten inmates moved to safer facilities, gotten them out of the hole, gotten medical attention, approved visitation, found their mail, helped them get glasses, shoes, money on their books. I have listened to mother’s cry with fear about their children inside, I have guided them to the resources necessary to help them. I have turned angry family members into calm, rational people who can speak to this very irrational world they are caught up in.
I have played with children in line, wrote letters of appreciation to officers, counselors and wardens. I have challenged the system to be better at communicating with families and loved ones. I have addressed the visitation issues and helped get things improved.
I helped create The Hub Family Resource Center to help families find resources and the Citizens Advisory Panel with the Georgia Department of Corrections to connect our concerns with the DOC.
I sit on several task forces and have helped to drive change. I have been able to speak with the Governor, District Attorney, Chair of the Board of Commissioners, Judges, CEO’s and Indian Chiefs. I have spoken to several Rotary’s, Kiwanis and the JCC to name a few.
I have worked on projects with The Power of Peace Project, The Georgia Prisoner Reentry Initiative and have attended dozens of conferences around the country.
One of the most important arenas I have engaged is the one with those that live behind the razor wire. I receive letters and emails almost daily. I have become their safety net and I give them hope. I am Momma Kate to all of them.
Now remember, through all of this work I do I am not naive about the concerns of public safety. The logical person that I am drives me to find solutions that will help those we lock up learn to be better citizens. I work to make sure that the public understands that we need full engagement to provide programs, jobs, housing and medical care for those who are returning in order to prevent recidivism. The naysayers may think I am off track, but ultimately over 95% of inmates will be released. My goal is to have them released with skills, training and a strong spirit to stay home. The day we lock someone up is the day to start fixing them.
So after reading this blog, I hope you will agree that I am capable of building The National Incarceration Association as a platform that will connect families, integrate assets and drive change. My advisory board is compiled of corporate leaders, former judge, inmate counselors, addiction counselor, mentors, community leaders and media professionals.
There is one thing missing from my program. That is, you. If you haven’t joined The NIA, please do so today. This is the only way we can drive change. Through critical mass.
Membership shows us that we are on the right track.
Thanks for your support, and remember, Momma Kate is here if you need her, I just pray that you never do.