Every person matters.
Providing second chances is an investment into hope that benefits our communities. JPW3 strives to make our world better by breaking the barriers to employment for those who are willing to change their lives.
Reentry Community Network (RCN)
- Every human life matters and has value!
- As a community of people, we should reach out to help each other.
- Taking personal responsibility is the first step to second chances.
- Ignoring a problem does not make the problem go away.
- Successful reentry of an ex-felon is a critical need of the community.
- Reduction of the recidivism rate has positive social and economic significance.
JPW3 will be the bridge and the voice to form the Reentry Community Network in the Central Valley of California. The goals of the RCN are five-fold:
- Work closely with the U.S. Probation Office, California State Parole Office, Alternative Sentencing Programs, and At Risk Youth Programs to identify qualified individuals for employment and one-on-one mentoring.
- To facilitate the interaction and collaboration of Central Valley reentry programs to unify available program resources to achieve the greatest return.
- Mobilize and educate the Central Valley business community in order to employ and mentor qualified ex-felons.
- Bring the need for dealing with the mental health issues of inmates and parolees into the light of government and public awareness.
- Raise community awareness regarding ex-felon entry and the social and economic impact on our community.
Region and Population Served:
The population served by RCN will be pre-release inmates and California Central Valley area parolees. Secondary prevention work will align with other organizations serving At Risk Youth (13 years and above) and organizations providing alternative sentencing programs for all ages.
The U.S. Justice Department reports that approximately 2.2 million people are in federal and state prisons and local jails. This fact is compounded by a staggering 66 percent recidivism rate. With an estimated 54,000 parolees being released into Central Valley of California each year, a nearly 7 out of 10 recidivism rate is unacceptable and represents a significant social and economic problem for state and local communities. We simply cannot ignore this problem.
JPW3 Reentry History:
Founder and President, Paul A. Willis: In 1998, Mr. Willis became a member of the volunteer leadership with Match Two Prisoner Outreach, which focused on providing a prison visitation and mentoring program for adult inmates incarcerated in California. From this beginning, his work quickly transitioned into pre-release programs, prison yard outreach, chapel ministry, and, eventually, a full “one on one” parolee reentry program based in Fresno, CA. In 2002, Match Two lost their California State funding for adult prisons. In an effort to maintain the mentoring program and hold the Fresno area volunteer group together, Mr Willis launched JPW3 Outreach.
Proven Voice for Reentry:
JPW3 has the distinct privilege of having Dr. Mark Whitacre on staff, an Ivy League PhD and proven voice for reentry. Mark Whitacre is the subject of the Warner Brothers and Steven Soderbergh-directed feature film, The Informant, starring Matt Damon as Mark Whitacre, the Discovery Channel TV-documentary, Undercover, and the new book, Mark Whitacre Against all Odds. Mark Whitacre was the highest-level executive of a Fortune 500 company to become a whistleblower in U.S. history. After blowing the whistle in 1992, Mark worked undercover daily with the FBI for 3 years wearing a wire in one of the largest price-fixing cases in history.
As Mark’s life demonstrates, if under immense pressure (such as wearing a wire for the FBI for 3 years), a person can make incorrect life choices. As a result of these poor decisions in his early 30s, Mark served almost 9 years in federal prison (1998 to 2006). Following his release in December 2006, Mark continued his purpose driven path to bring hope to others facing life’s adversities and letting them know that redemption and second chances are possible. In the publicly-stated words of Douglas Burris, Chief of U.S. Federal Probation in Missouri, “The story about Mark Whitacre’s redemption and second chance is one of the most inspirational stories of our time.”
As a powerful national voice for reentry, Mark has recently given speeches to the Quantico FBI Academy, where the FBI made public proclamation, calling Mark Whitacre a “national hero.” In 2011, Mark has also been invited to speak in two different Districts to several federal judges in order to discuss “first hand” the need for reentry assistance and the need for mental health assistance programs both in prison and during social reentry. These innovative Federal Judges consider Mark Whitacre to be the “poster boy” of successful reentry. More information about Dr. Mark Whitacre can be obtained at www.markwhitacre.com.
Mark Whitacre: A Proven Voice for Reentry
Dr. Mark Whitacre has been a part of our JPW3 prison outreach ministry for several years and, in many ways, has been the role model and living example as to how we all can live in God’s grace. As Douglas Burris, Chief of U.S. Federal Probation in the Eastern District of Missouri, has stated publicly, “The story about Mark Whitacre’s redemption and second chance is one of the most inspirational stories of our time.”
Mark Whitacre is best known for his whistleblower role in the Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) price-fixing case in the mid-1990s. He was the FBI informant of the historic case and wore a wire every day for almost three years. However, he was charged for several white-collar crimes including fraud that occurred during his tenure as President of the Fortune 500 company’s Bio Products Division. Whitacre served over eight and a half years in federal prison, almost all of that in minimum-security camps.
Steve Macy: Mentoring, Pre-Release, and Reentry
San Luis Obispo County California
As a former Area Director for the Match-Two (M-2) Prisoner Outreach program, Steve has extensive experience working in a wide range of mentoring, pre-release, and re-entry programs as well as volunteer coordination in California adult and youth facilities. Steve joined Match-Two in 1984 and was active until M-2 discontinued their adult prison program in 2002. At that time Steve joined JPW3 in our combined effort to maintain the on-going volunteer mentoring program while expanding critically needed pre-release and re-entry programs. Steve is Area Coordinator for Prison Fellowship Ministries and works closely with many volunteers in the San Luis Obispo area.
Steve and his team of volunteers currently operate in three separate Central Coast facilities in the San Luis Obispo county area.
Paul Willis: Visitation and Parole Reentry Program
In 1998, Paul Willis became a leadership volunteer with Match Two Prisoner Outreach, which focused on providing a prison visitation and mentoring program for adult inmates incarcerated in California. From this beginning, his work quickly transitioned into pre-release programs, prison yard outreach, chapel ministry, and, eventually, a full one-on-one parolee reentry program based in Fresno, CA. Paul and Susan Willis have housed former inmates in their home, mentored them, secured outside counseling for them when needed, employed them, and have been fully-engaged in the reentry lives of five former inmates. In addition, they have participated in varying degrees with numerous others paroling in the Fresno area. In 2002, Match Two lost their California State funding for adult prisons. In an effort to maintain the mentoring program and hold the Fresno area volunteer group together, Mr Willis launched JPW3 Outreach.
Center for Community Transformation (CCT)
Through their Spark Tank program, CCT rallies together businesses and churches to provide solutions to poverty through investing in and mentoring start-up companies. These social enterprise efforts establish sustainable businesses that address social needs and employ people with barriers to employment in the Central Valley of California. CCT is working with Communities, Inc., Wells Fargo, Cypress Systems, Inc. through JPW3, and other businesses to create market solutions to poverty.
JPW3 collaborates with CCT to create employment opportunities for those with barriers to employment by organizing a coalition of businesses that provides financial support and mentorship, and JPW3 is a major link for communication within the valley network.
CCT has helped catalyze numerous start-ups in the Fresno area, and they are expanding the Spark Tank program to the neighboring rural communities.