Dr. Thomas Adams - Better Futures Minnesota, Guest Speaker

Dr. Adams shared an overview of the Better Futures Minnesota organization.  This is an organization dedicated to helping men of color transition from incarceration to learning life skills that assist them in getting and keeping jobs, and from not re-entering prison.  Te goal is to provide the tools and pathway for these men to enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling future.  Better Futures Minnesota offers an intense 2 year program that teaches 12 specific life skills. Their approach is to acknowledge core hurts and help heal those wounds through compassion and focusing on housing stability, health and wellness, workforce development, and life coaching and compassion care. 
One of the main areas of focus is on changing the laws and policies in Minnesota.  It was very surprising to learn that Minnesota has has one of the highest probation lengths in the country, and one of the highest incarceration rates for men of color.  There is a 66% chance that a person will be sent back to prison on a technical violation.  Minnesota has a mandatory 366 days back in prison if a violation is made and this makes it very difficult to help establish momentum in healing and learning.  Areas of focus on policy change include Mandatory Child Support Modification (meaning, if a person is in prison for a certain length of time, child support payments are suspended until they are released), expand voting rights (Felons in particular have a difficult time getting their voting rights reinstated in the State of MN), and eliminate or reduce the mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines.
Ways to support this program is by shopping at their ReUse Warehouse in south Minneapolis, utilize their work crews for property maintenance, street cleaning and grounds care, or to volunteer your time or donate money.  Please click here for more details.
Pictured: Dr. Thomas Adams, PJ Hubbard, George Lee