People who leave the criminal justice system find it hard to stay on the right side of the law. The reason for this state of affairs is complex, but many people leaving prison have few good role models. They are often in need of help in getting the basic necessities of life, and have little spiritual and social support. They are often struggling alone with burdensome personal problems.
MAP represents "Mentorship - Aftercare - Presence". MAP Reintegration is a volunteer organization that provides community support to individuals leaving prison and settling in the Ottawa area. MAP works with low-risk offenders who request our help. The offender client is assigned a team of trained volunteer coaches who meet with him/her regularly to provide mentorship and aftercare, and to be present for the offender as anchors and social supports in the community. The team's aim is to help facilitate the offender's reintegration into society in such a way that he or she becomes a productive member of the wider community. MAP accepts both men and women as clients, although the majority are men.
"MAP is exactly what I needed." - Stewart, a former MAP client
Where feasible, the MAP Team will begin to meet together before the client is discharged. The Team will continue to meet regularly after discharge. As a result of this relationship the client acquires mentors and a meaningful support system.
A MAP Team provides the types of support that is often called aftercare:
they assist with physical needs like clothing, health concerns and housing
they help with social needs such as providing a sense of belonging and assisting with employment supports
they articulate and model positive social behaviours
they help the client to find a house of worship if he or she so desires
"Except for willing hands to serve and hearts to love, I don't think the terrible disease of being lonely and unwanted can ever be cured." - Mother Teresa of Calcutta
The MAP team becomes a presence in the released offender's life, as do each of the three coaches. The Team will relate with each other in light of the policies and practices that MAP has developed and with a commitment to treat each member of the team with respect.