Who can provide the Getting Ahead while Getting Out Model?
- Getting Ahead while Getting Out can be provided by a community organizations, correctional facility, or an organization that has the approval of the corrections facility. Getting Ahead while Getting Out can be offered by organizations that adhere to the Getting Ahead while Getting Out model, including but not limited to Bridges initiatives, reentry programs, faith- based programs, non-governmental organizations, and correctional facilities.
What does it take to get started?
- There are 4 steps in developing a Getting Ahead while Getting Out Model:
- Training in Bridges Concepts and the Getting Ahead while Getting Out Reentry Model to create common language for all
- Embedding, via initial consulting, the concepts into program design and delivery
- Innovating, evaluating, reflecting, and improving
- Sharing with other sites (participating in larger Bridges and Getting Ahead learning communities)
- Training in Getting Ahead while Getting Out Model provided by authors of Getting Ahead while Getting Out:
- Informational sessions on Getting Ahead while Getting Out Model—1 to 2 hours online and/or onsite, for interested people, organizations, institutions, and communities
- Training in Getting Ahead while Getting Out Model—6 hours online and/or onsite for institutions and communities
- Trainer Certification for Getting Ahead while Getting Out Facilitators—6 hours online and/or onsite
- Training in Bridges Out of Poverty concepts and Getting Ahead:
- Training in Bridges Out of Poverty or Bridges to Sustainable Communities for community members, institutions, and reentry providers—6 hours by Getting Ahead while Getting Out authors or other national Bridges consultants
- Facilitator training for Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World—6 hours online and/or onsite by author or other national consultant
- Training for correctional staff and/or parole and probation officers based on book Tactical Communication—6 hours provided by aha! Process, Inc. consultants
- Training for Facilitators of The R Rules by author—6 hours onsite
- Embedding and consulting, which are provided by authors of Getting Ahead while Getting Out, include:
- Building a reentry program within a Bridges Community Collaborative and/or building partnerships with existing reentry programs that meet best-practice criteria
- Innovation, evaluation, analysis, and improvement activities include:
- Documentation of activities and decisions of Getting Ahead while Getting Out Collaborative, analysis of data from web-based providers, maintenance of a continuous quality improvement cycle, and development of new procedures, policies, and programs
- Getting Ahead while Getting Out Model sites will develop a community of practice to advance learning and share best practices with sites from U.S. and beyond; activities will include participation in conferences, conference calls, webinars, and online conversations, as well as writing papers and contributing to website
What elements should be introduced first?
- The goal is to build a complete model. It’s logical to build it in phases, starting with the Getting Ahead while Getting Out workbook (including facilitator training) and Bridges training in the community as first steps. It’s a matter of putting the pieces of the puzzle together to form the whole picture. Some elements need to be developed at the same time, such as trainings in Bridges and/or Tactical Communications for community members and correctional professionals, Getting Ahead while Getting Out for offenders, and GA for their family members.
What does it take to become a Certified Facilitator for Getting Ahead while Getting Out?
- Prerequisites to attend a Certified Facilitator Training event:
- Attend a full day Bridges Out of Poverty training event.
- Read Getting Ahead while Getting Out prior to the training event.
- Read the User’s Guide to Getting Ahead while Getting Out prior to the event.
- Register and attend a six-hour online Facilitator Training
- Or register and attend an onsite Facilitator Training
- Please note that online recertification is required every 2 years for Getting Ahead while Getting Out.
Why is it necessary to become a Certified Facilitator for Getting Ahead while Getting Out?
- There are four reasons why facilitators must be certified:
- Facilitators who guide the learning experience in Getting Ahead while Getting Out are central to its success. Facilitating, rather than teaching, requires special skills that make it possible for group members to take charge of their lives.
- The conditions and problems that returning citizens face are complicated and demand a comprehensive support system. It would be unethical to use half measures and short cuts. Facilitators must understand and adhere to the model.
- The model calls for a common data collection, evaluation, and reporting system that can be used to document results and support a quality improvement cycle. Validity of the data and reports is based on the consistency of the delivery of the learning experience.
- Most importantly, we want to provide returning citizens with the best possible learning experience. Certified facilitators are supported by a learning community that assists with trouble shooting and continuous learning.
Do you have to use the whole model?
- Yes, but it can be developed in phases, and different groups can provide different elements. An existing reentry program or pre-release program can provide elements of the Getting Ahead while Getting Out Model to create a complete model. For example, a Bridges initiative might offer the Getting Ahead while Getting Out and GA elements, whereas a reentry program provides supports for returning citizens—such as access to medication, treatment, transportation, housing, employment, and so on.
What elements are not essential?
- It’s not always possible to offer Getting Ahead and The R Rules for the returning citizens’ family members. The circumstances are too varied to make that an absolute requirement. Family members may not want to be in a GA workshop. Getting Ahead while Getting Out participants in a facility may come from a number of communities, making it impractical or impossible to launch GA in each of their communities.
- We can’t wait for the perfect conditions to offer Getting Ahead while Getting Out; we must start with the basics and build the model as we go. Henry Ford, the innovator of the automobile assembly line, didn’t envision the complete assembly line before he started making cars. He added elements as the need for them arose, inventing solutions as the process unfolded.
What’s the ideal approach to a start-up?
- There are hundreds of Bridges initiatives in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Czech Republic, Scotland, and Slovakia where Getting Ahead while Getting Out can be offered in local prisons, jails, and halfway houses. Where there is a fully developed Bridges Collaborative many of the reentry supports are already in place to support Getting Ahead graduates. Collaboratives often have representatives from many sectors, including colleges/universities, workforce development, courts, employers, early-childhood development, faith-based entities, social services, and treatment facilities. Similarly there are many reentry programs that already are offering typical support for returning citizens. Most of them can quickly add the Bridges, Getting Ahead, and Getting Ahead while Getting Out elements to enhance their programming.
What is the role of the correctional facility?
- The complete Getting Ahead while Getting Out Model calls for Getting Ahead while Getting Out to be offered pre-release. While it’s possible for Getting Ahead while Getting Out to be offered to ex-offenders, it’s most effective to help those who are incarcerated to take charge of their own plans before reentering their community.
- Correctional facilities play a crucial role in making the Getting Ahead while Getting Out workgroups a success. The buy-in of the warden and his or her staff can make the experience very positive by providing a safe and neutral learning environment. The training provided by the facilities for volunteers and professionals is crucial to the effectiveness and safety of the experience for all concerned.
How does Getting Ahead while Getting Out work with existing reentry programs?
- Getting Ahead while Getting Out is designed to fit into existing programs as needed. The books, workbooks, and training also are available as needed.
What role does the community play?
- Catalyst—someone to introduce the Getting Ahead while Getting Out Model to the community, institutions, and potential partners; it is someone who is attracted to Bridges and Getting Ahead while Getting Out who can engage others from the community
- Organizer—an individual or organization with the passion and ability to build and organize the Getting Ahead while Getting Out initiative
- Members, individuals, and organizations that are attracted to the Getting Ahead while Getting Out Model and committed to helping returning citizens reenter the community
- Funders, individuals, and organizations that can invest in and encourage others to invest in the initiative
- Trainers and facilitators who are passionate, willing to be trained, and effective communicators
- Those who provide support and programming to returning citizens at the individual and organizational levels
- Those who educate the community in general and employers specifically about the needs of returning citizens and the importance of this program to the community
What is the minimum training that is needed for community volunteers and agency staff?
- Attend a Bridges Out of Poverty or Tactical Communication workshop
- To facilitate Getting Ahead while Getting Out, one must become a Certified Facilitator of Getting Ahead while Getting Out by attending an online or onsite training
- Must be trained by the correctional facility that hosts Getting Ahead while Getting Out and comply with all rules and regulations
Required criteria for partnerships with existing reentry programs
- The program must have been or be in the process of conducting outcome evaluations.
- The program must serve previously incarcerated persons as its primary population.
- The program must meet multiple needs of previously incarcerated persons.
- The program must provide pre-release programming and post-release support.
- The program must provide mental health and substance abuse treatment.
- Focus on motivation, envision new roles and self-concepts, and nurture the commitment to change.
- Offer support and immediate access to income in the days following release.
- Look for compatibilities between individuals’ temperaments and available jobs.
- Provide non-punitive, problem-solving assistance.
- Develop resources or provide access to concrete supports like transportation, interviewing skills, work clothes, childcare, housing, and food.
- Create a well-developed network of potential employers.
- Cultivate employer satisfaction through frequent contact and willingness to mediate conflicts.
- Coordinate employment and criminal justice commitments to provide as little disruption to job responsibilities as possible.
- Focus on job retention.
- Programs should take place in community settings (as opposed to institutions).
- Programs should be intensive and offer services for at least 6 months.
- Programs should use cognitive-behavioral treatment techniques, which involve defining problems that led to conflicts with the law/authorities, selecting goals, generating a plan to meet goals, and implementing solutions.
- Praise and reward should generally outweigh punishments and other punitive measures.
- Previously incarcerated persons should be provided with vocational training and job-enhancing opportunities.
Source: Eisenhower Foundation—Reentry Programs for Previously Incarcerated Persons. Prepared by LFA (LaFrance Associates, LLC)
- Meet the Big 4 Criminogenic Needs
- Anti-social cognition
- Anti-social companions
- Anti-social personality/temperament
- Family and/or marital disruption
- Meet the Lesser 4 Criminogenic Needs
- Substance abuse
- Leisure and/or recreation