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.
California Men’s Colony (CMC)
This is a year- long program utilizing support materials from Prison Fellowship designed to take soon-to-be-released inmates through critical areas of re-entry. The PFM Shortimer, Preparing for Release materials outline much needed information vital for a successful re-entry and dealing with basic spiritual and life issues.
In this pre-release program, Steve and his team of committed volunteers work one-on-one for a full year with 15 soon-to-be-paroled inmates. The year-long program includes 2 hours of class time per week and monthly meetings between inmates and a volunteer mentor. This extensive mentoring and training program is designed to prepare the inmate for release while forming a strong mentoring relationship that will hopefully continue once they return to their home community. When possible, the on-going post-release phase includes support in critical transition areas such as: housing; job and skill evaluation; job interviews; clothing; finding a local church; accountability; emotional, mental, and behavioral support; and positive encouragement.
In addition to this one-on-one prerelease program, the team also conducts weekend seminars for the whole institution a couple times per year.
Reduce Recidivism Rates: The year-long pre-release program and the on-going post-release support is all designed to equip and enable inmates that have a resolve to turn a new leaf to be afforded every possible chance for success.
San Luis Obispo County Jail
Inside/Outside Mentoring: In working with the County Jail Coordinator, Steve and area Pastors volunteer to mentor county jail inmates. Unlike the adult prison program, most of the county inmates remain in the local community once they are released.
Therefore, a strong desire and vision is to establish an Inside/Outside Mentoring Program. This type of program is critical to providing every possible opportunity to individuals desiring to change their course in life. Foundational to this type of effort is properly evaluating persons who truly desire to change, building a relationship of trust on both sides, and determining those elements needed for a long-term successful reentry. The need is great, but building such a program requires a greater number of volunteers willing to invest in inmates’ lives over the long term.
San Luis Obispo Juvenile Hall
Change the Course!: Nowhere else is it more critical to change the course of future prison lives than in the youth found in Juvenile Hall and California Youth Authority. Is it possible, through positive interaction and guidance, to alter the course of a young person’s life in order to avoid a life in prison? Most assuredly it is possible, but, more than that, it is vital that we give it our best effort.
Once again, Steve coordinates a team of volunteers to mentor young boys and girls that are being held in Juvenile Hall. The team organizes various events, activities, movie nights, and Bible studies to interact with the youth and form mentoring relationships. The team coordinates weekly reward parties on Saturday evening for those that have stayed out of trouble for the preceding week. Steve shares that they enjoy some fast food, sweet treats, and the opportunity to praise a job well-done!
Focused on an Inside/Outside Mentoring model, the goal is to make every effort possible to change negative behavior and set a new positive course. An added element in outside mentoring is the potential interaction with the family of young people. In many cases, the mentoring effort goes well beyond the youth to working with parents and other family members to affect the overall family matrix.
The “Good News,” The Power to Change Lives: When appropriate, the team will share the Gospel with young people they are mentoring. They have reported seeing lives changed in ways that were not thought possible according to human perspective. On several occasions, they held baptism ceremonies. So, how does this happen in a county youth facility? Steve shares that they bring in a horse trough and fill it with water from a garden hose. The facility allows family and other detainees to witness and participate in this declaration of a life changed!!