NETWORK SUPPORT SERVICES
The Network in the Prisons Program and the Network in the Community Program offer an intensive and well-coordinated community-based approach that combines reentry planning with individualized and highly effective transitional and recovery services that can break the cycle of alcohol and/or drug abuse leading to criminal behavior and incarceration. Network in the Prisons therapeutic communities—with substance abuse prevention, anger management training, peer mentoring, one-to-one mentoring, life skills, education and discharge planning—serve 400 individuals each year in six (6) New York State Correctional Facilities. In New York City, the Network in the Community Reentry Program annually assists 500 parolees through substance-abuse prevention services, anger management training, intensive peer- and one-to-one mentoring support, and a wide range of reentry services, in-house and by referral. That the practices developed by NSSI have resulted in an effective reintegration model is reflected in Network’s recidivism rates: only 5.93% of the 2,140 program participants receiving services from 2002 to 2010 have committed a new crime or parole violation while Network’s current 3-year recidivism rate for the 1,293 released offenders served from 2008 to 2010 is 8% compared to a U.S. rate of 75% and 40% in New York State.
The Network Philosophy
- A positive environment for human development in a caring community where individuals can help themselves and each other.
- Community members work together to establish and maintain a growth-filled environment. We focus on behavioral change and confront attitudes which are destructive to ourselves and to the community.
- A place to set goals and practice behaviors which lead to successful living.
- A disciplined lifestyle, bringing a process for examining attitudes and values for learning to deal with stress.
- A chance to change, to confront our mistakes and accept responsibility for our lives.
Launched in 30 prisons in 1979 by the New York State Department of Correctional Services, Network was originally intended as a therapeutic-community quality of life program. Then, as now, separate prison dorms, cottages or cell blocks in medium and maximum-security facilities became home to positive men and women committed to turning their lives around through daily therapeutic activity, education and peer/ staff support. After state budget cuts led to Network's closure in the mid-nineties, the program was reborn in 1999 when it was adopted by the Episcopal Social Services of NY Program family. In 2010, with the blessing and support of Episcopal Social Services, Network was officially spun off and became an independent nonprofit organization. Today, Network in the Prisons and its sister program, Network in the Community--developed in 2004 to meet an urgent demand for more and better services for prison re-entrants--are sponsored and directed by Network Support Services, Inc.(NSSI). Together, the two Network Programs support, guide and walk the walk to freedom with over 1,000 individuals each year.
In the U.S., when 100 people are released from prison, 75 go back within 3 years.
In New York State, when 100 people are released from prison, 40 go back within 3 years.
When 100 people are released from prison and have gone through Network, whether behind bars or in the community, only 8 go back within 3 years!