Many people are oblivious to the wonderful work that is taking place behind the walls of prison that completely defeats the negative stigma that has been placed upon the incarcerated. In a unified effort to show that we as prisoners want to make a difference, the Pre-Reentry, Veterans, and S.O.A.R. communities of Augusta Correctional Center have been organizing charity drives for a vast array of non-profits.
Most recently in January the communities sent $200 to "Big Brothers and Big Sisters" of Richmond for National Mentor's Month. We wanted them to know that the work that they do proceeds to inspire us to change and step into the roles of mentors in an effort to give back to our communities beyond these walls. We believe that mentorship and social reproduction are keys to reversing the effects of our negative actions upon society.
This April, in honor of the victims of crimes (Victim Impact week), we have organized a drive to donate to the "Virginia Victims Assistance Network" which does great work for the victims of crime in Virginia. In fact we have created our own "Victim Impact Tree" were the Residents of our communities place the names of victims on leaves and then paste them on the tree in their honor. These men understand that they can never take back what they've done, but perhaps they can find some peace in helping others and becoming instruments of positive change.
This is all a part of Investing in Community Action Networking (I.C.A.N.) which is one of the cognitive workshops that is offered in the Re-entry Community. Our message to the Residents in our community is that "we must become the change that we seek." When we do this we help to bring about social reproduction through our positive actions thereby changing our community in the process. We want those on the outside to know that we are not just talk, we are all about action which speaks much louder than words.
Hassan Shabazz, Re-entry Senior Mentor
Skyy Reese, Re-entry Mentor
Augusta Pre-Reentry Community
"Self-governing and Healing Environment"