Tag Archives: Families Doing Time

CCT Program Reports Released

Each year, CCT compiles an Annual Report to provide an overview of our finances and accomplishments to our stakeholders. In Fiscal Year 2017, CCT released more detailed individual program reports. You can read them below.

  

Newsletter – February 2018

 

CCT Executive Director Participates in City-Wide Panel on Mass Incarceration

On February 6th, CCT Executive Director, Myra Clark, participated in a panel at a city-wide event about mass incarceration. The event, “Rethinking Incarceration” was hosted by Warehouse 242 and featured a new book by the same name, authored by Dominique DuBois Gilliard. Mr. Gilliard was the keynote speaker and also served on the panel. The other panel members were Toussaint Romain, Ramona Brandt, and Councilman Braxton Winston. <Continue Reading>
The event was a wonderful start to a much needed ongoing conversation in Charlotte. Creative Loafing did a lengthy story that is worth a read if you would like to learn more:

Imagine being sentenced to four years in prison just for stealing clamps.

It’s a case that will stick with Toussaint Romain for years to come, and has only gone to further his belief that, as he told me during a recent chat, “There is no justice in the criminal justice system.”

<Read the full article here>


Charlotte Junior League HostsDonation Drive Benefiting CCT

On February 3rd, the Junior League of Charlotte hosted a wonderful donation drive benefiting our Families Doing Time children and families. The drive brought in a ton of hats, gloves, scarves, and snugly stuffed animals to keep children with incarcerated parents warm during this unusually cold winter. As you know, most of the children and families we serve are living in or near poverty income levels. Most need assistance with obtaining items for basic needs, like warm winter clothing. We are so grateful to the Junior League for their tremendous effort in putting on this successful event!


CCT Client Profiled in Charlotte Five

Online news and culture publication, Charlotte Five, did a profile of LifeWorks! client, Tyrone Miller. In the piece, Tyrone shares his outlook on life after prison and his journey to try to find employment. <Read On>

Photo by Katie Toussaint


CCT Honored by Playing for Others

CCT is one of ten nonprofits being honored by the Playing for Others (PFO) class of ’17-18 this year. PFO is an organization in Charlotte that provides a space for teens to explore and answer the questions, “Who Am I?” and “How will I give of that?” through programming in Personal Development, Service, and the Arts. Each year they choose ten local nonprofits for their teen artists to honor through spoken-word, video, music, dance, and more. On March 2nd, PFO will hold a huge culminating event called HeARTBeat at McGlohan Theater. <Keep Reading>


Join us for a one-of-a-kind event honoring 10 local nonprofits through music, dance and digital art. Playing for Others teens create and perform original works of art in honor of these incredible organizations and their service to the Charlotte community. Tickets Available Here.


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 January.


Opportunities to Give

Support CCT While
You Shop!

If you’re an Amazon Prime member you can easily set up your account to donate a portion of your purchases to CCT. AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is thatwhen you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to CCT. Start supporting CCT today!


Volunteer Opportunities

For a full list of volunteer opportunities visit our Volunteer Page.

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.


Events

February 17 – JustLeadership USA’s Emerging Leaders Training

By Application Only
JustLeadershipUSA is dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in half by 2030. JLUSA empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform. On Saturday, February 17, JLUSA brings its Emerging Leaders program right here to Charlotte! <Learn More>

March 2 – HeARTbeat – Honoring Nonprofits through the Arts

8pm-10pm, McGlohan Theater
This year CCT is SO EXCITED to be one of 10 nonprofit honorees at the annual Playing for Others HeARTbeat event! Join us for a one-of-a-kind event honoring 10 local nonprofits through music, dance and digital art. <Learn More>

March 8 – Applause for a Cause

6pm – 8pm, Sugar Creek Charter School
Sugar Creek Charter School will be hosting a student led open-mic night with all proceeds coming to the Families Doing Time program. The event will surround children of incarcerated parents and will highlight Families Doing Time’s work within the community. Ticket info to come.

March 14 – Professionals Who Happen to Have a Criminal Record – New Group Interest Meeting

Are you a Charlotte area professional who happens to have a criminal record? Are you interested in giving back to the community by helping others who have a record? CCT is holding an interest meeting on March 14th to discuss possibilities for forming a new group just for you. <Learn More>

March 22 – Build People, Not Prisons

5pm – 7pm, Advent Coworking

CCT is hosting its first ever Build People, Not Prisons evening event. The event will feature a live performance by Playing for Others teens, Hors d’oeuvres, and beer and wine. More details and tickets available here.

May 10 – Spring Fling

SAVE THE DATE for CCT’s 6th Annual Spring Fling. Details to come.

CCT Executive Director Participates in City-Wide Panel

Last night CCT Executive Director, Myra Clark, participated in a panel at a city-wide event about mass incarceration. The event, “Rethinking Incarceration” was hosted by Warehouse 242 and featured a new book by the same name, authored by Dominique DuBois Gilliard. Mr. Gilliard was the keynote speaker and also served on the panel. The other panel members were Toussaint Romain, Ramona Brandt, and Councilman Braxton Winston

More than 300 people attended the event and discussed topics ranging from the huge racial disparities in our criminal justice system, to the need for affordable housing and jobs for people with criminal records, to the impact of mass incarceration on children and families.

The event was a wonderful start to a much needed ongoing conversation in Charlotte. Creative Loafing did a lengthy story that is worth a read if you would like to learn more:

Imagine being sentenced to four years in prison just for stealing clamps.

It’s a case that will stick with Toussaint Romain for years to come, and has only gone to further his belief that, as he told me during a recent chat, “There is no justice in the criminal justice system.”

Romain, a public defender in Mecklenburg County who represents repeat offenders and habitual felons, was telling me about a client he represented last year named Charles. He had been caught at Lowe’s shoplifting metal hand clamps. When he was searched, he was found to also be concealing a package of fish he had stolen from BI-LO. Because he was a repeat offender, he was charged with a felony in relation to the shoplifting incident, and because he had previous felonies on his record, he was stamped as a habitual felon and faced 15 years in prison.

When Romain asked Charles why he was stealing when he knew his record meant he could be facing harsh punishment, his answer was heartbreaking.

“He said, ‘Listen, I’ll tell you. I stole the clamps so that when I put a fish on my metal rod, and I put the clamps on my fish, when I turn the rod over my campfire, the fish will cook evenly. Because I’m homeless. I learned how to do this when I was in the military,'” Romain recalled.

<Read the full article here>

Charlotte Junior League Hosts Donation Drive Benefiting CCT

Yesterday the Junior League of Charlotte hosted a wonderful donation drive benefiting our Families Doing Time children and families. The drive brought in a ton of hats, gloves, scarves, and snugly stuffed animals to keep children with incarcerated parents warm during this unusually cold winter. As you know, most of the children and families we serve are living in or near poverty income levels. Most need assistance with obtaining items for basic needs, like warm winter clothing. We are so grateful to the Junior League for their tremendous effort in putting on this successful event!

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.

#DoGoodWeek in Charlotte and CCT

It’s #DoGoodWeek in Charlotte – a week of honoring AND recruiting volunteers! CCT Executive Director, Myra Clark, and CCT Volunteer, Joanna Patcha, appeared on FOX 46’s “Good Day” show to talk about our work and some volunteer opportunities.

Our current volunteer opportunities are listed on our ShareCharlotte Page.