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The Connect Conversations, connecting the reentry community in the PNW through healthy dialogue.

The Connect Conversations, connecting the reentry community in the PNW through healthy dialogue.

By Zakiya
This podcast is brought to you by Arms Around You - armsaroundyou.org a not for profit entity in Washington State, focused on reducing recidivism from Seattle to Tacoma and beyond. Each episode will highlight reentry stories, community resources, partner organizations and share raw conversations around reentry. Join the conversation! Interested in being highlighted shoot us an email to communications@armsaroundyou.org.
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Meet Mrs. Nicquelle Jones and hear her story of recovery, transformation and community impact.

The Connect Conversations, connecting the reentry community in the PNW through healthy dialogue.

Meet Mrs. Nicquelle Jones and hear her story of recovery, transformation and community impact.

The Connect Conversations, connecting the reentry community in the PNW through healthy dialogue.

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Meet Jessica Means of New Connections in Tacoma, serving women transitioning from incarceration...
Jessica is someone who was handpicked by our Executive Director as someone to highlight because of her tremendous impact in the reentry community. Jessica also is a formerly justice involved individual who has used her journey to allow her to make positive change in the reentry community. She wears many hats in the reentry community. Here is a little about Jessica, from Jessica... Jessica Means is the Co-Executive Director of New Connections, a reentry shelter program for women in Tacoma and works part time as an Early Resolution Ombuds for the Office of Corrections Ombuds. Additionally, with her experience as an impacted woman, she often brings her  knowledge and expertise to projects, agencies, and reentry groups in her community which led to the creation of her business, Monarch Consulting LLC, along with her business partner. Monarch Consulting is currently working to expand Tacoma Pro Bono's LFO Clinic and operates the Pierce County Participatory Defense Hub. Jessica achieved an Associate's degree in Human Services from Tacoma Community College and a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Community Organizing from The Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus. She plans to pursue her Master's in the future. Interested in getting involved?: Community Partnership for Transition Services Interested in internship opportunities?: Email Jessica
51:06
August 2, 2020
Meet Gerald Bradford and learn how he is using Fresh Start and RTC to impact the reentry community.
We had the opportunity to catch up with Gerald Bradford and not only hear about the amazing work he is doing, but also his journey that led to the reentry work he does at Renton Technical College and his non-profit, Fresh Start PS.  A little about Gerald from Gerald... My name is Gerald Bradford; I am from the Central Area of Seattle. I graduated from Garfield High School and University of Washington. Over the last 25 years I have been working in the community to promote education as a ladder to economic success. I currently work as the Re-entry Manager/DOC at Renton Technical College. In addition, I am part of a Non-Profit called Fresh Start PS, which works with System Impacted person transitioning from incarceration back into the community. Fresh Start PS currently provides Diversion programming of King County Juvenile, transition groups at YWCA Passage Point and Green Hill school. I am truly committed to working with under-served persons. During my professional journey I had the opportunity to work at SVI (2005-2012) as a Recruiter and Planning and Placement Officer. At this time, I started to do Re-entry service for King County Jail, I started to talk with men about continuing their education and finding a career, not a J.O.B. (JUST OVER BROKE). Contact Gerald at: gbradford@rtc.edu
1:18:19
July 30, 2020
Meet Mrs. Nicquelle Jones and hear her story of recovery, transformation and community impact.
For this episode we sat down with Mrs. Nicquelle Jones to hear her story of transformation and community impact.  It was great to connect with a women who not only is an amazing contributor to her community, but has an amazing story of transformation. A little about Nicquelle from Nicquelle... I am Nicquelle Jones my most recent job was working at Therapeutic Health Services in Seattle, WA in the Capitol Hill area as a treatment supervisor.  I decided to resign to finish my bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science and to take care of my husband. At THS I supervised SUDPT’s,  SUDP’s and worked with a diverse population of Clients in the Seattle, King Co area. I began at THS working with the King Co. Drug Diversion Program, Alcohol and Drug Program and Opiate Substitute Treatment Program. I use evidence based practices and psychoeducation with the Clients I’ve worked with. I am certified in Moral Reconation Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I have personal experience being in recovery for multiple years and use the 12 steps model and mental health services as a form of support to stay healthy.  I am a mother of two children and three grandchildren. I have personally experienced homeless and how hard it can be to find a job with a criminal background. In my early recovery I found out that she I could reinvent myself by going back to school while living in a women’s transitional housing. My hobbies are: gardening, sewing, and I enjoy public speaking and participate in multiple positions at the church I attend. I also participate in feeding the homeless through a church organization and facilitate recovery workshops using the Seeking Safety Model. Nicquelle is an advocate for: Change Women and children Those who suffer from co- occurring disorders Those who want a second chance Enjoy this amazing conversation!
42:59
July 19, 2020
Meet Franklyn Smith and hear Part 2 of his reentry story and current community impact.
Listen to Part 2 of the conversation with Seattle Native, Franklyn Smith as we conclude the discussion about his current reentry work with Department of Corrections and his successful reentry story. Franklyn Smith is a (Correction Specialist 3 / Reentry Navigator) with WA/DOC Reentry Division, where he serves as a critical point of contact to support WA/DOC cross-agency release planning effort for adult’s reentering the community. Franklyn Smith (formerly justice involved) has held positions as; o Community Resources Program Manager (WADOC) 2nd Chance Reentry Grant Pilot Project o Community Resources Navigator (Freedom Project) o Co-Founder of Sober Solutions, Transitional Housing Services LLC, (a 140 bed Supportive Transitional Housing Program) where he successfully created and managed a reentry program model that was presented to both King County and WA State stakeholders and is founded in the WA/DOC Successful Transition Model. Franklyn Smith hold a degree in Business w/Certificates in Supervisory Management and Leadership Training, Advance Corrections, Case Management, Offenders Workforce Development and Employment System, WA/ DBHA Peer Support Counseling and Credible Messengers Mentoring Training. Franklyn is considered a boundary spanner who understands how to help adults in transition navigate through the various systems, programs and services available within their communities of their release, and has been recognized by other community leaders for his work in developing homeless outreach activities and feedings, community reentry support groups and peer based mentoring.
55:38
July 12, 2020
Meet Franklyn Smith and hear about his community impact and sustained transition post-incarceration.
Today, we sat down with Seattle Native, Franklyn Smith to discuss his current work with Department of Corrections and his reentry story, which both are important when it comes to reentry work in Washington.   Franklyn Smith is a (Correction Specialist 3 / Reentry Navigator) with WA/DOC Reentry Division, where he serves as a critical point of contact to support WA/DOC cross-agency release planning effort for adult’s reentering the community. Franklyn Smith (formerly justice involved) has held positions as; o Community Resources Program Manager (WADOC) 2nd Chance Reentry Grant Pilot Project o Community Resources Navigator (Freedom Project) o Co-Founder of Sober Solutions, Transitional Housing Services LLC, (a 140 bed Supportive Transitional Housing Program) where he successfully created and managed a reentry program model that was presented to both King County and WA State stakeholders and is founded in the WA/DOC Successful Transition Model. Franklyn Smith hold a degree in Business w/Certificates in Supervisory Management and Leadership Training, Advance Corrections, Case Management, Offenders Workforce Development and Employment System, WA/ DBHA Peer Support Counseling and Credible Messengers Mentoring Training. Franklyn is considered a boundary spanner who understands how to help adults in transition navigate through the various systems, programs and services available within their communities of their release, and has been recognized by other community leaders for his work in developing homeless outreach activities and feedings, community reentry support groups and peer based mentoring.
53:38
July 4, 2020
Meet Marcus White and hear his reentry story
Marcus White is approaching his 5 year mark post incarceration which is a huge milestone in the reentry world. He has accomplished professional success, has a daughter who is his world, lost his mother and more. Hear from him about what contributed to his incarceration at the age of 19 and what it takes for him to sustain his positive life post incarceration. A little about Marcus, from Marcus... After spending nearly 17 yrs in prison, I emerged on to the concrete of society full of hopes and ambition. I had been incarcerated since the age of nineteen and was determined to succeed against all odds. Rejecting all doubt, filling myself with an unbreakable resilience. While in prison I had taken advantage of all the programs that Department of Corrections had to offer. Committed to the renewal of my mind. Facilitating cognitive behavior programs, studying correspondent courses, and learning as much as I possibly could about financial literacy. The reading of countless books help instill a confidence within me.. All in hopes of a seamless transition. Freedom brought forth a newfound meaning to me as I embark on various paths. Collaborating with WashingtonCan as a spokesman on a number of issues regarding "social injustices". Teaming up with the Department of Corrections as I spoke at various prisons inspiring hope, and displaying sound presentations on re-entry. Post prison, has afforded me a small business, home ownership, a career in carpentry, and inspiration to so many of my family and friends. So many achievements, yet none of them has been rewarding as fatherhood to my beautiful daughter Nahla. I continue to strive for greatness as I continue to search for and embrace the best of me. Sincerely, Marcus.
57:27
June 21, 2020
Meet Terrance Turner and hear his story of transformation and growth post incarceration.
In this episode, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Terrance and really breaking down his life since release at the age of 21. He shares his learning opportunities, his victories and what it takes for him to remain free. (Please note that profanity is used in this conversation). A little more about Terrance... Terrance Turner is one of the rare voices – thinking, speaking, writing, and delivering the stories and messages that few can… from a place of experience. Terrance is a philosopher, motivational/inspirational speaker, writer, author, spoken word artist/poet and more. Hailing from the City of Destiny, (Tacoma, Washington) Terrance’s path is one that combines tragedy with triumph. A former gang-member, Terrance is reputed as a natural leader, who often walks alone. But before learning how to walk alone, Terrance found his self, serving a Juvenile-Life sentence in Washington State’s Juvenile Intuitions (from age 15-21). And this destination would inevitably transform Terrance’s life trajectory. In 1997 while incarcerated, Terrance was introduced to the Gateways for Incarcerated Youth founded by, Dr. Carol Minugh a professor at The Evergreen State College. This program was the pivotal moment for great change in Terrance’s life. Through this program Terrance, as well as many other youth, were able to begin their conquest towards upper education earning their bachelor’s Degree and beyond. During his endless quest for knowledge through post-secondary education Terrance reinvented himself, and as a result of finding his voice, he began to use his voice through various mediums and efforts to get his message of “change” not only to those incarcerated with him, but outside the confines of imprisonment as well. By the ages of 19 and 20, Terrance had written and published two books: Incarceration (1999) and Through the Eyes of The Judged (2001) (required reading if you are a student taking the Gateways Class at The Evergreen State College) while still incarcerated. Terrance was released from his six year sentence in late August of 2000 and ever since, his life-work has consisted of shamelessly sharing his testimony and teaching/lecturing at hundreds of schools during the last 20 years his life. For Terrance, giving back is inextricably part of who he is – there is no separation.
57:45
June 14, 2020
Learn more about the Clean Slate Reentry Program in South Carolina from Derek Gamble
In this episode, I have to privilege of sitting down with Derek Gamble the founder of Clean Slate Reentry Program out of Sumter, SC. To his credit, this reentry program has the largest social media following on Facebook with more than 80k followers and attributes it to their substantive content.  Clean Slate Reentry Program uses a combination of peer to peer support, transitional housing and navigational services to help men navigate life, post-incarceration, as they re-integrate into the community. This organization was founded by Derek Gamble, a USC graduate and former SC Department of Corrections Inmate.  Enjoy!
43:50
June 7, 2020
The Connect Conversations Is Coming Soon....
We are excited to bring to you inspiration, conversation and more around successful re-entry and re-integration from incarceration in Washington State. Together we will go on this journey, share stories, highlight organizations and more. Stay tuned.
00:53
May 25, 2020