November 2017 Newsletter

Rally for Reentry

November 3rd was the National Day of Reentry Nonprofits and Charlotte’s Reentry Day. The Reentry Partners of Mecklenburg (RPM), of which CCT is a member, organized a special march and rally for reentry that evening.

The rally highlighted urgent needs in the reentry community in Charlotte: jobs with a living wage and housing. As you know, many people with a criminal record have difficulty finding work due in part to the stigma their record carries and a lack of employers willing to hire them. Finding a job with a living wage in Charlotte is even more difficult. What you may not know is how difficult it is to find housing in Charlotte. Not only does the individual need to prove they have an income, they also often must pass a background check. Very few landlords will rent to people with a criminal record. At CCT, we often have clients who will disclose their record right up front to a landlord, the landlord will encourage them to still apply (and take their application fee), and then reject them for having a criminal record. This rally sought to shed light on these issues and more, and bring the people working on them together.

The rally began in front of Jail Central and marched to Marshall Park where speakers shared their stories of challenges and successes in reentry. Participants carried signs reading “Believe in Second Chances” and chanted “What do we want? A second Chance! When do we want it? Now!”. News media was in attendance, and you can watch the story here.

CCT was proud to have a fantastic turnout of our representatives including board members, volunteers, donors, and staff. We hope the rally will become a tradition by continuing next year.

We streamed the rally on Facebook Live and you can watch it here.

Left: Board member and Center for Women volunteer with her husband Jeff, who also volunteers with CCT. Top Right: CCT LifeWorks! Director, Erik Ortega, poses with Pat Cotham, County Commissioner at Large and CCT and reentry champion. Bottom Right: Participants greet each other and begin assembling for the march.


A Release Story

About once or twice a month our Center for Women gets to experience the joy of seeing one of our residents get released. As some of you may know, the women who reside at the Center for Women are still incarcerated and are serving out the last years of their prison sentence in our residential reentry facility. Seeing their sentences end and the excitement of release is always a happy day for us.

Recently, one resident, whose name and photo we are withholding for privacy reasons, had an especially happy release day. She had not seen her son for years and he showed up for her release. The reunion was incredibly emotional. On top of that, this resident had been 100% involved in her reentry process since coming to CCT. She found full time employment and had managed to save over $10,000 while getting her other finances in order. She also knew she needed to get her health under control and was able to lose 40lbs and go off of some of her chronic medication. She is off to a bright start in her new life and we look forward to hearing from her in the future.


What our Clients are Saying

Every now and then we like to share with you some quotes from our clients about their time with CCT, and today we have a very “sweet” one for you from one of our LifeWorks! class evaluations:

“General Comments: CCT should buy donuts more often (LOL) Seriously you guys are so genuinely helpful and have made this a great experience.

Recommendations: Feed your clients more often (LOL) nah keep up the good work.”


At CCT we rely on generous donors like you to provide the resources we need. Thank you to everyone who donated in the month of October.

Audra Atkinson
Myra Clark
Paul and Linda Ibsen
Janine Lafferty
Kenneth and Jane Schorr
Katherine Southerland
John A. Tate

Sponsors
Arlington Baptist Church
Elevation Church
Mecklenburg County ABC Board
Rountree Plantation
Sally Jordan Family Fund
St. Martin’s Episcopal Church
The Sunshine Lady Foundation
TK2 Ministries
United Way of the Central Carolinas
Valley of the Sun United Way


Opportunities to Give

Our Families Doing Time program is putting together “Caregiver Christmas Baskets” for 30-60 families. As you know, many of the families in the program struggle with making ends meet. These baskets will help lift some of that burden. Supplies needed are:

  • laundry detergent
  • household supplies (i.e toilet tissue, paper towels etc.)
  • new fleece blankets
  • candles
  • coffee mugs
  • novelty Christmas treats
  • $20 Walmart gift cards

Donations can be dropped off at the facility on Old Concord Rd. 24/7. Please check in with the PA if you come outside of regular business hours. Please let the PA know the donations are for the “Families Doing Time program”

5825 Old Concord Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28213

If you have any questions please contact FDT Director, Charis Blackmon, at cblackmon@centerforcommunitytransitions.org

As always, you can make a monetary donation securely online. Just click the button below.

Donate Button



Volunteer Opportunities

The Center for Women

If interested contact Nyeshia Carpenter at volunteers@centerforcommunitytransitions.org

Community Volunteer Sponsors are needed to be trained to transport the women residents into the community for excursions to church and various other activities like shopping and entertainment, substance abuse meetings, etc. Due to state regulations, volunteers must be female.

Skill building volunteers are needed to assist the women with school tutoring, computer training, resume writing, cover letter writing, etc.

Third Tuesdays – Families Doing Time

If interested, contact Families Doing Time Program Manager, Charis Blackmon at cblackmon@centerforcommunitytransitions.org.

Toys for Tots volunteers are needed to sort and prepare toys for our client families. Additionally, we will need volunteers to assist on the day of distribution.

Caregiver Christmas Baskets: We will need volunteers to assist with stuffing, wrapping, and delivering Christmas baskets to families during the holiday season.

Empowering Kids with Incarcerated Parents (EKWIP): We will need assistance printing and binding EKWIP workbooks for these school-based support groups. Additionally, volunteers that are consistently available during school hours on weekdays are needed to serve as group assistants during EKWIP groups. A background check would be required for all potential group assistant volunteers.

Data Entry: As we shift to a new data system, we will need volunteers to help with data entry.

Chaperones are needed to assist with our quarterly cultural excursions (Enrichment Institute) to be held in November, February, and April.

LifeWorks!

If interested contact Erik Ortega at eortega@centerforcommunitytransitions.org

Mock Interviews: Every Other Monday@ 10:45 AM & Thursday 10:45 AM (Schedule may vary with holidays) – Assist staff with conducting mock job interviews with clients participating in our employment readiness classes. Questions and evaluation tool will be provided and individual feedback from the experience is welcomed.

Resume Development: Every other Wednesday @ 10:45 AM (schedule may vary with holidays) – Assist clients participating in the employment readiness program with the development/revision of their resume.

FRESH START Goal Setting: Schedule open but will need to be consistent – Assist clients with their goal setting and stability tracker – training will be provided.


Events

Connecting Charlotte, Friday, November 17, 7PM

Warehouse 242
2307 Wilkinson Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28208
https://playingforothers.org/event/1718-connecting-charlotte/
On November 17th, the organization, Playing for Others, celebrates the amazing work being done in Charlotte’s non-profit community by shining the light on other non-profit organizations that are making a significant local impact.

Join us for an inspiring evening, including…

Original spoken word poetry written in honor of our 2017-2018 Non-Profit Honorees
Micro-grants for 12 non-profits, presented by PFO teens
Unique art installation, created by PFO teens in collaboration with artists from UMAR
Let’s gather together to honor the great work being done in our community. Get your tickets today!

SPECIAL OFFER:
Buy 5 or more tickets, receive $2 discount per ticket!

2017-2018 Non-Profit Honorees:
Camp Dogwood
The Center for Community Transitions!!!!!!!
Code for Charlotte
Girls Pursuing Science
HopeWay
Right Moves for Youth
Sustain Charlotte
Teal Diva
The Third Place
Wings Scholarship Program

Giving Tuesday , November 28th

You know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday – well now there’s Giving Tuesday, an international day of giving back. You can give to CCT through volunteering or your financial support.

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Volunteer Soc Med

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

Families Doing Time

Contact Charis Blackmon, cblackmon@centerforcommunitytransitions.org

Toys for Tots volunteers are needed to sort and prepare toys for our client families. Additionally, we will need volunteers to assist on the day of distribution.

Caregiver Christmas Baskets: We will need volunteers to assist with stuffing, wrapping, and delivering Christmas baskets to families during the holiday season.

Empowering Kids with Incarcerated Parents (EKWIP): We will need assistance printing and binding EKWIP workbooks for these school-based support groups. Additionally, volunteers that are consistently available during school hours on weekdays are needed to serve as group assistants during EKWIP groups. A background check would be required for all potential group assistant volunteers.

Data Entry: As we shift to a new data system, we will need volunteers to help with data entry.

Chaperones are needed to assist with our quarterly cultural excursions (Enrichment Institute) to be held in November, February, and April.

LifeWorks!

Contact Erik Ortega, eortega@centerforcommunitytransitions.org

Mock Interviews: Every Other Monday@ 10:45 AM & Thursday 10:45 AM (Schedule may vary with holidays) – Assist staff with conducting mock job interviews with clients participating in our employment readiness classes. Questions and evaluation tool will be provided and individual feedback from the experience is welcomed.

Resume Development: Every other Wednesday @ 10:45 AM (schedule may vary with holidays) – Assist clients participating in the employment readiness program with the development/revision of their resume.

FRESH START Goal Setting: Schedule open but will need to be consistent – Assist clients with their goal setting and stability tracker – training will be provided.

Center for Women

Contact Nyeshia Carpenter, volunteers@centerforcommunitytransitions.org

Community Volunteer Sponsors are needed to be trained to transport the women residents into the community for excursions to church and various other activities like shopping and entertainment, substance abuse meetings, etc. Due to state regulations, volunteers must be female.

Skill building volunteers are needed to assist the women with school tutoring, computer training, resume writing, cover letter writing, etc.

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Fall Newsletter (September-October 2017)

CCT News

Back in Style a Success!

We held our 7th annual Back in Style event August 24, the Thursday before Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools returned to class. The purpose of the event is to serve low-income households that have been further disrupted by the incarceration of a parent. These families struggle to afford school supplies that are costly but obviously necessary tools for a successful education.

During the event we provided participants with a hot meal, school supplies, back to school haircuts or styling, and a variety of fun enrichment activities. St. Luke’s Lutheran Church on Park Rd hosted our event in their building in addition to helping fund the event. The event ran past midnight despite only being scheduled to run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with dedicated volunteer barbers and stylists staying late to make sure all of the children were “back in style”!

Our volunteers deserve the credit for helping us succeed in this undertaking. Over 30 volunteers came out to support over two-hundred children. They served a variety of roles including checking people in, set up and clean up, cutting and styling hair, distributing food and school supplies, and even simply interacting with our clients.

Each year Back in Style has been able to serve more clients in our largest event of the year and we hope to continue that trend in 2018. Thank you to everyone who donated either money or school supplies making the event possible. We rely on your support to fund Back in Style as well as our other events. And we especially want to thank all of our sponsors:

  • Amdocs
  • Elevation Church
  • St. Matthew’s Catholic Church
  • New Waves of Joy
  • Uncle Maddio’s Pizza
  • Domino’s Pizza (Patterson Pizza Co.)
  • St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
  • West Cabarrus Church
  • Sonny’s BBQ
  • Coca Cola
  • Aon Hewitt

Photo Credit: Organic Imagery by Keyna (THANK YOU!). See more photos at http://www.organicimagerybykeynab.com/backinstyle

Top Right: A volunteer helps give out school supplies; Bottom Left: A volunteer works on a haircut; Bottom Middle: One of our clients is all smiles after getting his backpack; Bottom Right: A volunteer stays late into the night to finish up hair styles.


At CCT we rely on generous donors on you to provide the resources we need. Thank you to everyone who donated in the months of August and September.

Anonymous
Audra Atkinson
Frankie Barnes
Beth Bennett-Hill
Milt Childress
Myra Clark
Robert K. Daniels
David L. Drum
Jeffery S. Eason
Sallie Fitton
Fannie Flono
Eric and Robin Franz
Rosemarie Gancer
Gary Guffey
Betty Hong
Atalaya Henrietta Johnson
Dorian A. Johson
Wendy Kauffman
Cora Knox

Sponsors

Amdocs
Aon Hewitt
Arlington Baptist Church
Charlotte Friends Meeting
Coca Cola
Domino’s Pizza (Patterson Pizza Company)
Elevation Church
Making a Way Transportation
Mecklenburg County ABC Board
New Beginnings Church
New Waves of Joy
The Sally Jordan Family Fund
Sonny’s BBQ
St. John’s Baptist Church
St. Luke Catholic Church
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
St. Martin’s Episcopal Church
St. Matthews Catholic Church
Uncle Maddio’s Pizza
United Way of the Central Carolinas
Valley of the Sun United Way
West Cabarrus Church


Opportunities to Give

Our Center for Women still needs more new bedding sets. Some of our sets are more than 10 years old and becoming thread bare. Help incoming residents feel more welcome by donating a new set today!

Donations can be dropped off at the facility 24/7. Please check in with the PA if you come outside of regular business hours.

5825 Old Concord Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28213

Thank you to those who have already donated!

As always, you can make a monetary donation securely online. Just click the button below.

Donate Button

 

 

 


Volunteer Opportunities

The Center for Women

A volunteer to train to drive women to Elevation Church for Sunday Services is needed. If you are interested, please contact the Center for Women’s Volunteer Coordinator, Nyeshia Carpenter at volunteers@centerforcommunitytransitions.org.

Third Tuesdays – Families Doing Time

Volunteers are always needed to assist with Third Tuesdays (family support nights). Volunteers may help set up, clean up, do activities with the children, serve and/or provide food, and more. If interested, contact Families Doing Time Program Manager, Charis Blackmon at cblackmon@centerforcommunitytransitions.org.


Events

National Day of Prison and Reentry Nonprofits , November 3rd

The National Day of Prison and Reentry Nonprofits is on Friday, November 3rd.

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Newsletter – August, 2017

CCT News

Love Week at CCT

Each year Elevation Church dedicates a week to service, called “Love Week”. For years now, Elevation Church has sent a group of volunteers to CCT to give their time and energy and this year was no different.

Groups of volunteers came to both of our locations. First, a group came to LifeWorks! at the Goodwill Opportunity Campus and conducted mock job interviews with our clients. Mock job interviews are extremely helpful to our clients who are preparing for employment. The interviews allow them to practice some of the interview skills they learn in our LifeWorks! classes, including how to navigate any questions that come up about their criminal records. But our clients weren’t the only ones getting something out of the interviews. Some volunteers came away saying their hearts had been opened to people with criminal records, as our clients had completely dismantled the idea they had of what a person with a criminal record is like. What’s more, one volunteer stated they may have found a suitable and valuable employee!

A group of volunteers also came to our Center for Women where they again hosted “Family Day”. Family Day is an invaluable event for the resident women at the center. The center’s residents are women who are completing the last years of their prison sentences. Each of them was transferred to our facility from a NC state prison. For many of them, coming to CCT is the first time they have been able to receive family visits. Even for those who did receive visits in prison, those visits leave much to be desired! CCT does our best to create a more home-like environment at our Center for Women, so families can come and enjoy quality time with their loved ones. This helps restore family bonds and build healthy relationships – a key factor in reducing recidivism.

Family Day is an extra special visitation day for families at the Center for Women, because it creates a festival-like atmosphere and gives children the chance to play and have fun with their mothers in a relatively normal setting. Many of our clients’ families tell us this is a cherished experience for children who have spent years visiting their mothers behind bars.

We are so grateful to Elevation Church for making Family Day possible, and for providing opportunity to our LifeWorks! clients.

Top Right: Volunteers at LifeWorks!; Bottom: families and volunteers at Family Day


At CCT we rely on generous donors on you to provide the resources we need. Thank you to everyone who donated in the month of July.

Anonymous
Audra Atkinson
Frankie Barnes
Beth Bennett-Hill
Milt Childress
Myra Clark
Robert K. Daniels
David L. Drum
Jeffery S. Eason
Sallie Fitton
Fannie Flono
Eric and Robin Franz
Rosemarie Gancer
Gary Guffey
Betty Hong
Atalaya Henrietta Johnson
Dorian A. Johson
Wendy Kauffman
Cora Knox
Janine Lafferty
Hugh Lewis
Catherine Long
Thomas Patrick Long
Brenda Ford McCray
Patricia Morrison
Adair Morrison
Marcus Reddrick
Gail Swaim
Crystal Turner
Peter Q. Zeiler
Arlington Baptist Church
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated
Mecklenburg County ABC Board
St. John’s Baptist Church
The Mary Norris Preyer Fund
United Way of the Central Carolinas
Wells Fargo Community Support Campaign
Wilson Heights First Church of God


Opportunities to Give

The average American family spends $200 per child per year on school supplies. CCT’s client children have experienced the incarceration of a loved one, most often a parent. Families whose household incomes have been cut due the incarceration of a family member often struggle with the financial burden of school supplies. That’s why each year we host Back in Style, a back to school event that provides free school supplies, a free meal, and free haircuts to kids impacted by incarceration. Will you join us in helping prepare these kids for school by donating for school supplies today?

Donate Button


Volunteer Opportunities

The Center for Women

A volunteer to train to drive women to Elevation Church for Sunday Services is needed. If you are interested, please contact the Center for Women’s Volunteer Coordinator, Nyeshia Carpenter at volunteers@centerforcommunitytransitions.org.

Back in Style – Agency Wide

Volunteers are still needed for this annual Back-to-School event on August 24th. If interested, please fill out this interest form and staff member will contact you.


Events

Back in Style, August 24th

CCT’s annual back-to-school Back in Style event will be held August 24th for CCT clients only. We will need volunteers and donations of school supplies and backpacks. If you are interested in volunteering or in organizing a school supply drive, please fill out this interest form. If you would like to attend as a client REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED – please contact Charis Blackmon at cblackmon@centerforcommunitytransitions.org or 704-494-8601 ext. 13 to register.

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Newsletter – July, 2017

CCT News

SummerSHARE in Full Swing

For the third year in a row there’s a city-wide effort to bring donations into Charlotte-area nonprofits during the month of July. Summer is a time of high need at many nonprofits, including CCT, and yet we see a lull in charitable giving during these same months. The SummerSHARE campaign seeks to remedy that by encouraging Charlotte residents to give! Organized by SHARECharlotte, presented by Bank of America, and sponsored by Mecklenburg County, SummerSHARECLT runs July 10-21. CCT is one of more than 100 participating nonprofits. Each nonprofit is asked to highlight one item of great need. For us, that item is a backpack!

As you know, CCT’s Families Doing Time program serves families and children impacted by incarceration. Many of these families experience great financial strain due the incarceration of a loved one. For these families, school supplies, including backpacks, are a major burden. Each year, CCT seeks to lift this burden by providing our client families with necessary school supplies. We’re asking our supporters to give back to the community by giving a backpack!

You can purchase backpacks directly in our “Give Shop” online, or give a monetary donation.

To learn more about our SummerSHARE efforts, visit: www.centerforcommunitytransitions.org/summershare17


The Cost of Parental Incarceration

by guest blogger, Nicholas Perry, CCT Intern

If you asked me a week ago about the financial struggles of a family with an incarcerated parent, I’d have brought up the lost income of the family member imprisoned or maybe the lack of job prospects upon release. 2.3 million children in the United States have an incarcerated parent and face the realities of a damaged financial present and future. Research clearly shows that having a parent in jail can pull a child into poverty or worsen the situation for one already impoverished. As I dug into the topic, I was shocked to learn that when it comes to financial burden, the loss of the incarcerated person’s income is only the tip of the iceberg. Other costs associated with having a loved one in jail include  legal costs, costs of staying in contact with the incarcerated person, and lost income of the child decades down the road. For a child having a parent incarcerated during their formative years, financial stability is threatened both in the short term,and in their long term future, through the hindrance of their own opportunities for success. <keep reading>


At CCT we rely on generous donors on you to provide the resources we need. Thank you to everyone who donated in the month of June.

Jill Blumenthal
Myra Clark
Morrison Creech
John Garver
Alicia Gaul
JoAnn Germen
Robert Henderson
Janine Lafferty
Audra Mitchell Atkinson
Jeanne R. Ross
Blaine Sanders
John Tate
Arlington Baptist Church
Bank Of America
Foundation for the Charlotte Jewish Community
Katie & Tim Coff
St. Gabriel Catholic Church
St. Luke Catholic Church
The Leon Levine Foundation
United Way Of The Central Carolinas


Immediate Needs

We need volunteers and drive organizers for our Back in Style event August 24th! Back in Style is an annual event at which CCT provides our client families with needed school supplies, haircuts, and a hot meal in preparation for sending children back to school! We expect 300 participants and we need YOUR help making it a success. To volunteer at the event or to host a school supply drive at your church or office, just click the big green button and fill out the form!

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Events

#SummerSHARECLT, July 10-21

CCT is participating in #SummerSHARE 2017. Summer is the biggest time of need for many of our Charlotte nonprofits.

Visit our website for more details and to donate.

Family Day, July 29

Family Day will take place at the Center for Women on July 29th as part of Love Week with Elevation Church.

Back in Style, August 24th

CCT’s annual back-to-school Back in Style event will be held August 24th for CCT clients only. We will need volunteers and donations of school supplies and backpacks. If you are interested in volunteering or in organizing a school supply drive, please fill out this interest form. If you would like to attend as a client please contact Charis Blackmon at cblackmon@centerforcommunitytransitions.org or 704-494-8601 ext. 13 to register.

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The Cost of Parental Incarceration

by guest blogger, Nicholas Perry, CCT Intern

If you asked me a week ago about the financial struggles of a family with an incarcerated parent, I’d have brought up the lost income of the family member imprisoned or maybe the lack of job prospects upon release. 2.3 million children in the United States have an incarcerated parent and face the realities of a damaged financial present and future. Research clearly shows that having a parent in jail can pull a child into poverty or worsen the situation for one already impoverished. As I dug into the topic, I was shocked to learn that when it comes to financial burden, the loss of the incarcerated person’s income is only the tip of the iceberg. Other costs associated with having a loved one in jail include  legal costs, costs of staying in contact with the incarcerated person, and lost income of the child decades down the road. For a child having a parent incarcerated during their formative years, financial stability is threatened both in the short term,and in their long term future, through the hindrance of their own opportunities for success.

Immediate effects of having either parent incarcerated are either the placement of children in a foster home or strain on the other parent to provide for the children without the second income. This was the impact that was most apparent to me already but even the short term financial strain was worse than I thought. The three main fees are: legal costs, visitation fees, and loss of an income. 65% of families with an incarcerated member struggle meeting basic expenses. 49% with food and 48% with housing. The average debt is over thirteen thousand for court fees, however 40% of children supported by our Families Doing Time program are in households with an annual income of under $10,000 and 92% are in households making under $35,000 a year. What was most shocking to me were the enormous costs associated with visitation and even calling an imprisoned parent. It is difficult enough to maintain a connection through calls and letters but visits are costly and often offer no contact. Out of prison visits for important events or family emergencies can reach up to $100 each day as families are forced to foot the bill for the parole officer themselves. But most significantly, without the parent’s income, a child simply has less resources.

Even after release, having a criminal record remains a large obstacle for parents providing for their children. There are more than 44,000 local, state, and federal restrictions placed on people with criminal backgrounds. The parent will find they no longer have freedom over where they live or what jobs they can work. While housing discrimination is illegal, it still occurs. Daniel Bowes, an N.C. Justice Center lobbyist, explained that every arrest shows up on a background check and he estimates that 64% of employers are influenced by it. While I knew this to be the case as every job I have ever applied for asks whether I have a record, thinking about people with records as parents adds a different dimension. This further limits work opportunities and may even worsen a family’s economic situation since there is a possibility of having to feed one extra person now out of jail without that person’s income. Their children were innocent yet they pay the price even after their parent’s sentence ends.

Long term, children whose parents have been incarcerated tend to suffer mentally and emotionally during their development leading to an increased risk of incarceration themselves.Mental illness is more common amongst these children and their grades tend to suffer. Kristin Turney, a UC Irvine sociologist, examined minors with parents in jail and even when controlling for race and socioeconomic status found an increased probability of attention disorders, anxiety, and learning disabilities. But here is what really gets me: there is some evidence that a having a parent incarcerated is more traumatic than having divorced parents or even a deceased parent. Studies by various psychologists have shown how important our relationships with our caregivers are during our formative years and having a parent who is unable to be present, is devastating to children. This devastation leads too often leads to academic struggles and future financial instability.

Financial stability of children with incarcerated parents is threatened through no fault of their own. What is most heartbreaking is that parental incarceration has not only short term but lifetime long consequences. Long term these children are less likely to attend college or be employed and more likely to go to prison themselves. I’ve always been aware of how your parent’s income or education level can affect your future income or education but I have never thought about the effect incarceration of a parent has throughout the rest of a child’s life.  

I’m grateful that a program like Families Doing Time exists in Charlotte to help children with incarcerated parents. CCT’s mission is to help not only individuals, but families impacted by incarceration. Through Families Doing Time, CCT offers an in-school support program called “Empowering Kids with Incarcerated Parents” (EKWIP) that teaches coping skills and life skills to kids to help curtail the ill-effects of parental incarceration. Annually, the program serves about 300 children in 16 different schools. Families Doing Time also offers case management support and referral services to families, family support groups, and much more.

Despite CCT’s work with families, the need in Charlotte is still great. CCT estimates that at any given time there are around 5,000 children experiencing parental incarceration in Charlotte. CCT’s is stretched to capacity trying to serve just a fraction of those children. If we want to break the cycle of poverty and incarceration we need more resources and services for children impacted by incarceration.

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summersharewebbanner

It’s SummerSHARE! Give Back with a Backpack!

July 10-21 is SummerSHARE in Charlotte!

Summer is the greatest time of need for many nonprofits in Charlotte, when needs are high and supplies are low. CCT is no exception. SummerSHARE, presented by Bank of America, is a fun way for YOU to make an impact and see exactly where your dollars are going!

CCT’s greatest need this summer is backpacks for children impacted by incarceration. Backpacks and other school supplies are costly, especially for households who are experiencing financial instability due to incarceration. You can help lighten the burden by donating backpacks and other school supplies. <READ MORE>

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Newsletter – June, 2017

CCT News

Spring Fling 2017

CCT held its 5th Annual Spring Fling event on May 11th. The event was a great success with the highest turnout yet! We had a great time honoring our volunteers and supporters while enjoying live jazz music and FUNdraising activities. For the first time ever, we held the event at the Goodwill Opportunity Campus. The community garden provided an excellent backdrop for this event which celebrates growth and fresh starts.

Congratulations to volunteers of the year, Betty Ritchie, Joanna Patcha, and Tom Brown. Further congratulations to our employer of the year, Sam’s Sandwich Shop, which has been offering fair chance hiring and supporting CCT for over a decade. Last but not least, thank you and congratulations to this year’s Community of Faith award recipient, New Beginnings Church, which has sent us many committed volunteers and great programming over the years. See more photos here!

NC Seeks to “Raise the Age”

North Carolina is the only state that tries 16 and 17 year old children as adults for misdemeanors and nonviolent crimes. New York passed legislation just recently to phase out charging minors as adults for nonviolent crimes, leaving our state alone, and not in a good way. Current legislation in the NC General Assembly seeks to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction, also known as the age of criminal responsibility, to 18, bringing North Carolina in sync with every other state in the country.. Read More >


At CCT we rely on generous donors on you to provide the resources we need. Thank you to everyone who donated in the months of April and May.

Anonymous
AON Foundation
Arlington Baptist Church
Audra Atkinson
Beth Bennett-Hill
Jill Blumenthal
Shawn Buller
Tammi Burdine
Robert and Jo Caruso
Charlotte Friends Meeting
Myra Clark
Katie and Tim Coff
Brian Cromwell
Robert Daniels
David Drum
Duke Energy Foundation
Jeffery Eason
First Presbyterian Church
Mary Folley
GreerWalker
Ronisha Harris
Anne Hester
Beverly Hester
Brad Icard
Dorian Johnson
Atalaya Johnson
Stephanie Jones
Jerry Jordan
Wendy Kauffman
June Kimmel
Cora Knox
Janine Laffery
Thomas Patrick Long
Janelle Lozano
Hope Marshall
Matthew Martel
Brenda Ford McCray
Mike McNamara
James McQuage
Mecklenburg County ABC Board
Lu and Adair Morrison
Patricia Morrison
Rachel Nemecek
Claire Rauscher
Marcus Reddrick
Sanders Household
St. John’s Baptist Church
Heather Sweat
Anne Tompkins
Crystal Turner
United Missionary Baptist Association
United Way of the Central Carolinas
Katrina Wallace
Wells Fargo
Roy Wiggins
Loretta Wilson
Wilson Heights First Church of God
Whissette Wright
Peter Zeiler


Events

Third Tuesday, June 20

A monthly family event for those participating in our Families Doing Time program. New families are also invited. We request you please RSVP so we know how many people to expect.

For more information, and to RSVP, please contact Charis  Blackmon at cblackmon@centerforcommunitytransitions.org or 704-494-0001 ext. 13.

#SummerSHARECLT, July 10-21

CCT is participating in #SummerSHARE 2017. Summer is the biggest time of need for many of our Charlotte nonprofits.

You can shop July 10-21 for the products they need most this summer! More info coming soon.

Family Day, July 29

Family Day will take place at the Center for Women on July 29th. More details to follow.

Back in Style, August 24th

CCT’s annual back-to-school Back in Style event will be held August 24th for CCT clients only. We will need volunteers and donations of school supplies and backpacks. If you would like to attend, volunteer, or collect donations, please contact Charis Blackmon at cblackmon@centerforcommunitytransitions.org or 704-494-0001 ext. 13.

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NC Seeking to Raise the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction

North Carolina is the only state that tries 16 and 17 year old children as adults for misdemeanors and nonviolent crimes. New York recently passed legislation to phase out charging minors as adults for nonviolent crimes, leaving our state to stand alone and not in a good way.

Current legislation in the NC General Assembly seeks to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction, also known as the age of criminal responsibility, to 18, bringing North Carolina in sync with every other state in the country. Although raising the age has faced some opposition from lawmakers who wish to appear tough on crime, research shows that charging children within the adult system has been ineffective. The juvenile system focuses more on rehabilitation and has a more beneficial effect on preventing future crime. In recent years, the tide of public opinion has turned against trying children as adults, and the fact that NC now stands alone in doing so, is a testament to that change. The Center for Community Transitions is in favor of the North Carolina State House’s bill to raise the age because the current system is ineffective, harms our state’s children, and hurts our economy.

Charging minors as adults for nonviolent crimes needs to stop. Nearly 28,000 16 and 17-year-olds are arrested and face the prosecution as adults in criminal court each year. However, 72% of these crimes are misdemeanors, or less serious crimes. Children who face prison time in adult facilities are more likely to face violence and come out with a greater risk of committing another offense and returning to jail. Further, these individuals face barriers to employment, housing, and other basic needs. This in turn puts added strain on our economy and social services. Additionally, the trying, convicting, and sentencing of youth as adults disproportionately effects minorities and the working class. This is a problem. We as a society need to ask ourselves why we continue to use a system that is ineffective.

Subjecting children to the adult justice system is harmful. Children housed in adult prisons are more likely to be rearrested when they are released when compared to the inmate population at large. They also face higher risks of sexual assault and suicide. Why are we continuing to expose children with non violent offenses to this environment before they have even crossed the stage and received their high school diploma? Tough on crime policies are those that focus on zero tolerance to provide law and order. They emphasize the need to punish offenders rather than ensure they do not commit another crime. Some politicians and law enforcement leaders especially have held this view as to not appear weak or soft on crime. However, in Kamala Harris’ book “Smart on Crime” she explains that old tactics in crime prevention just aren’t working. Rehabilitative methods, however, are effective in terms of ensuring the person does not re-offend. Rehabilitation is especially effective with teenagers whose brains are not finished developing. In fact, our minds do not finish developing until our mid to late twenties. With teenagers being a work in progress mentally and emotionally, rehabilitative methods such as counseling and community service are more effective.

Limited economic prospects for youth hurts our entire state’s economy. It is a simple equation. If taxpayers are paying to hold people in prison who could be working, the state is losing money. To look exactly at how raising the age will save the state money, we will take a look at past examples. According to William Lassiter, North Carolina’s head of juvenile justice, past reforms to the juvenile-justice system have led to short-term cost increases but long-term savings have ultimately resulted. In the late 1990s, the system of youth justice was reformed placing a greater emphasis on mental health. Lassiter said the reforms were largely responsible for decreasing juvenile crimes; significantly and while the programs were more expensive in the short term, they provided long term savings. Lassiter reports that, “In 2008 our budget was $178 million. Last year it was $132 million. So already we have saved the taxpayers a significant amount of money.” If somehow, the good for our children can’t motivate us to reform the system, maybe it will motivate us when the pockets of taxpayers feel the effects of a broken system.

Another disturbing aspect of trying juveniles as adults, is is has been repeatedly shown that minorities and low income whites are more likely to be tried as adults, convicted, and sentenced than higher income whites. Minority youth, particularly African Americans, typically face harsher sentencing for the same crime. According to Human Rights Watch, “more than 2,500 people in the United States have been convicted of a crime committed before they were 18 years old and sentenced to life without parole. Nationwide, African Americans make up only 11.1 percent of the population yet are 60 percent of the prisoner population serving life without the opportunity for parole for nonviolent offenses. This is especially a problem as incarcerating minorities at a high rate for non violent offenses promotes a generational cycle of poverty. We have to fight this and support a level playing field for all our state’s children.

Currently the bill to raise the age has passed in the state house and is heading to the senate. If it passes there, the law will go into effect in 2020. If every other state has figured it out, we can and will here in North Carolina. But don’t just wait for the vote. Call your state senators and tell them you support House Bill 280. We need to raise the age so all of our children are safe and are free to pursue opportunities for success.

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Our Volunteers of the Year: Joanna Patcha for LifeWorks! (top left), Tom Brown for Families Doing Time (top right), Betty Ritchie for The Center for Women (lower left), and Community of Faith Award: New Beginnings Church

Spring Fling 2017

CCT held its 5th Annual Spring Fling event on May 11th. The event was a great success with the highest turnout yet! We had a great time honoring our volunteers and supporters which enjoying live jazz music and FUNdraising activities. For the first time ever, we held the event at the Goodwill Opportunity Campus. The community garden provided an excellent backdrop for this event which celebrates growth and fresh starts.

Congratulations to volunteers of the year, Betty Ritchie, Joanna Patcha, and Tom Brown. Further congratulations to our employer of the year, Sam’s Sandwich Shop, which has been offering fair chance hiring and supporting CCT for over a decade. Last but not least, thank you and congratulations to this year’s Community of Faith award recipient, New Beginnings Church, which has sent us many committed volunteers and great programming.

Check out more photos in our PHOTO ALBUM!

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