Volunteers of America Delaware Valley operates the PROMISE (Program for Returning Offenders with Mental Illness Safely and Effectively) in partnership with the New Jersey State Parole Board. This program is designed to meet the unique needs of adult males who are exiting the criminal justice system and have chronic mental health conditions. NJ State Parole Board identifies participants prior to their release, and they are required to participate in the program as a condition of parole.
PROMISE clients are assigned a multidisciplinary team upon admission to the residential programs. Clients will then collaborate with this team for up to 180 days during their stay. During this time, residents are provided linkages to behavioral health and substance use treatment services.
- 24/7 access to support staff
- individualized case management and discharge planning
- cognitive skills training
- education and assistance with activities of daily living
Participants may elect to participate in transitional or supportive housing through PROMISE upon discharge. Both options have been designed to promote independent living and successful community integration. PROMISE participants may stay in transitional housing for up to six months. Meanwhile, they develop the skills and supports needed to transition into stable, permanent housing. Participants in supportive housing, however, may stay in the program indefinitely.
PROMISE provides a highly structured and therapeutic environment which seeks to prepare participants for all aspects of community living. A recent recidivism study showed that only 15% of PROMISE participants who were in the program in 2014 were re-incarcerated in the three years after participation. Additionally, PROMISE participants were found to be 13% less likely to be re-incarcerated than their peers when compared to follow-up studies conducted by the NJ Department of Corrections.
“This work is necessary…
…without programs like PROMISE, many formerly incarcerated persons experiencing mental illness would endlessly cycle in and out of incarceration. We prepare and assist them in returning to their communities safely.”
Director of Mental Health Counseling at PROMISE