Stories of Justice
The ERUUF Justice Ministry would like to thank the following ERUUFians for helping us sponsor 6 boxes for the Welcome Home project:
Rose and Susan
Denise and Bev
Julie and Sarah
David and Mary
Emily and Tim
Jane and Tom
The Welcome Home project started in November of 2018. The program offers peer support and a package of essential items — including toiletries, food, and a letter from the mayor — to residents returning to Durham from state prison. During a resident’s first month home, the program helps orient people to the resources available in our community, provides social and emotional support, and illustrates to returning residents that their community wants them to succeed in reentry.
In early April, Durham Congregations, Association, and Neighborhoods (CAN) wrote a letter to District Attorney, Satana Deberry requesting the early release of incarcerated persons meeting certain criteria as COVID was making its way into NC federal and state prisons. Scalawag did a nice piece about COVID-19 and the need to reduce our NC prison populations and mentioned the letter to D.A. Deberry.
With D.A. Deberry’s authorization, seventeen people have received early release with another round on the way. The extra boxes ERUUF sponsored along with boxes other congregations in Durham will help the project keep up with the need.
Durham CAN continues to work on this front, including urging the Sheriff to do increased COVID testing in our county jail and working on state legislation that would require the state prison system to alert local leaders that a reentering resident is on their way home. Currently, a reentering resident without a home plan can be dropped off at the courthouse with simply the clothes on their back. There is no way to get them services and support if local leaders do not know they have arrived.
For more information about the Welcome Home Project or Durham CAN, contact Heather Ladd.