Winner of the 2012 Community Program Award from Crime Prevention Ottawa
Winner of the 2012 Community Program Award from Crime Prevention Ottawa

Program Details

THE PROBLEM

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.

 

Many people leaving prison have next to no help in charting a new direction. 

 

There is a difference between being alone and being loney. Being alone is being away from others because you choose to. Being lonely is when there is no one there for you. 

The Solution

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

The Process

 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.

The Training

People who want to become a coach in a MAP Team have to:

  • fill out an application form, & provide references, and obtain police security clearance
  • attend a MAP Training Workshop
  • commit to serve as a coach for at least one year


At the MAP Training Workshop future coaches will learn about  the of released offenders, the purpose of a MAP Team, and how a MAP Team functions.

They will learn about: 

  • safety & boundaries
  • resources available in Ottawa for the focal member and how to access them
  • how to aid the focal member without making him or her dependent

Only after this process can anyone be accepted as a MAP coach.

 

There was a lot to learn; about prisons and released offenders, housing and employment, MAP and community services. But mostly I learn about being accepting. - Joan

Confidentiality

The MAP Team presupposes trust, yet all members need to guard themselves from naiveté. The Coach's security is paramount. MAP training and the MAP support system are geared to keeping coaches safe, while working towards the client's goals. Confidentiality is key to the MAP Team, and will be breached only in cases where clients show signs of potentially harming themselves or others.

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MAP is a registered Canadian Charity # 87997 5019 RR0001

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Winner of the 2012 Community Safety Award from Crime Prevention Ottawa