9 episodes

This podcast is brought to you by Arms Around You - armsaroundyou.org a not for profit entity in Washington State, focused on reducing recidivism from Seattle to Tacoma and beyond. Each episode will highlight reentry stories, community resources, partner organizations and share raw conversations around reentry. Join the conversation! Interested in being highlighted shoot us an email to communications@armsaroundyou.org.

The Connect Conversations, connecting the reentry community in the PNW through healthy dialogue. Zakiya

    • Non-Profit

This podcast is brought to you by Arms Around You - armsaroundyou.org a not for profit entity in Washington State, focused on reducing recidivism from Seattle to Tacoma and beyond. Each episode will highlight reentry stories, community resources, partner organizations and share raw conversations around reentry. Join the conversation! Interested in being highlighted shoot us an email to communications@armsaroundyou.org.

    Meet Jessica Means of New Connections in Tacoma, serving women transitioning from incarceration...

    Meet Jessica Means of New Connections in Tacoma, serving women transitioning from incarceration...

    Jessica is someone who was handpicked by our Executive Director as someone to highlight because of her tremendous impact in the reentry community. Jessica also is a formerly justice involved individual who has used her journey to allow her to make positive change in the reentry community. She wears many hats in the reentry community.

    Here is a little about Jessica, from Jessica...

    Jessica Means is the Co-Executive Director of New Connections, a reentry shelter program for women in Tacoma and works part time as an Early Resolution Ombuds for the Office of Corrections Ombuds. Additionally, with her experience as an impacted woman, she often brings her  knowledge and expertise to projects, agencies, and reentry groups in her community which led to the creation of her business, Monarch Consulting LLC, along with her business partner. Monarch Consulting is currently working to expand Tacoma Pro Bono's LFO Clinic and operates the Pierce County Participatory Defense Hub. Jessica achieved an Associate's degree in Human Services from Tacoma Community College and a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Community Organizing from The Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus. She plans to pursue her Master's in the future.

    Interested in getting involved?: Community Partnership for Transition Services

    Interested in internship opportunities?: Email Jessica


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    • 52 min
    Meet Gerald Bradford and learn how he is using Fresh Start and RTC to impact the reentry community.

    Meet Gerald Bradford and learn how he is using Fresh Start and RTC to impact the reentry community.

    We had the opportunity to catch up with Gerald Bradford and not only hear about the amazing work he is doing, but also his journey that led to the reentry work he does at Renton Technical College and his non-profit, Fresh Start PS. 
    A little about Gerald from Gerald...
    My name is Gerald Bradford; I am from the Central Area of Seattle. I graduated from Garfield High School and University of Washington. Over the last 25 years I have been working in the community to promote education as a ladder to economic success.
    I currently work as the Re-entry Manager/DOC at Renton Technical College. In addition, I am part of a Non-Profit called Fresh Start PS, which works with System Impacted person transitioning from incarceration back into the community. Fresh Start PS currently provides Diversion programming of King County Juvenile, transition groups at YWCA Passage Point and Green Hill school. I am truly committed to working with under-served persons.
    During my professional journey I had the opportunity to work at SVI (2005-2012) as a Recruiter and Planning and Placement Officer. At this time, I started to do Re-entry service for King County Jail, I started to talk with men about continuing their education and finding a career, not a J.O.B. (JUST OVER BROKE).

    Contact Gerald at: gbradford@rtc.edu

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    • 1 hr 19 min
    Meet Mrs. Nicquelle Jones and hear her story of recovery, transformation and community impact.

    Meet Mrs. Nicquelle Jones and hear her story of recovery, transformation and community impact.

    For this episode we sat down with Mrs. Nicquelle Jones to hear her story of transformation and community impact.  It was great to connect with a women who not only is an amazing contributor to her community, but has an amazing story of transformation.



    A little about Nicquelle from Nicquelle...

    I am Nicquelle Jones my most recent job was working at Therapeutic Health Services in Seattle, WA in the Capitol Hill area as a treatment supervisor.  I decided to resign to finish my bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science and to take care of my husband. At THS I supervised SUDPT’s,  SUDP’s and worked with a diverse population of Clients in the Seattle, King Co area. I began at THS working with the King Co. Drug Diversion Program, Alcohol and Drug Program and Opiate Substitute Treatment Program. I use evidence based practices and psychoeducation with the Clients I’ve worked with. I am certified in Moral Reconation Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

    I have personal experience being in recovery for multiple years and use the 12 steps model and mental health services as a form of support to stay healthy.  I am a mother of two children and three grandchildren. I have personally experienced homeless and how hard it can be to find a job with a criminal background. In my early recovery I found out that she I could reinvent myself by going back to school while living in a women’s transitional housing.

    My hobbies are: gardening, sewing, and I enjoy public speaking and participate in multiple positions at the church I attend. I also participate in feeding the homeless through a church organization and facilitate recovery workshops using the Seeking Safety Model.

    Nicquelle is an advocate for:


    Change

    Women and children

    Those who suffer from co- occurring disorders

    Those who want a second chance


    Enjoy this amazing conversation!


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    • 44 min
    Meet Franklyn Smith and hear Part 2 of his reentry story and current community impact.

    Meet Franklyn Smith and hear Part 2 of his reentry story and current community impact.

    Listen to Part 2 of the conversation with Seattle Native, Franklyn Smith as we conclude the discussion about his current reentry work with Department of Corrections and his successful reentry story.

    Franklyn Smith is a (Correction Specialist 3 / Reentry Navigator) with WA/DOC Reentry Division, where he serves as a critical point of contact to support WA/DOC cross-agency release planning effort for adult’s reentering the community. Franklyn Smith (formerly justice involved) has held positions as; o Community Resources Program Manager (WADOC) 2nd Chance Reentry Grant Pilot Project o Community Resources Navigator (Freedom Project) o Co-Founder of Sober Solutions, Transitional Housing Services LLC, (a 140 bed Supportive Transitional Housing Program) where he successfully created and managed a reentry program model that was presented to both King County and WA State stakeholders and is founded in the WA/DOC Successful Transition Model. Franklyn Smith hold a degree in Business w/Certificates in Supervisory Management and Leadership Training, Advance Corrections, Case Management, Offenders Workforce Development and Employment System, WA/ DBHA Peer Support Counseling and Credible Messengers Mentoring Training. Franklyn is considered a boundary spanner who understands how to help adults in transition navigate through the various systems, programs and services available within their communities of their release, and has been recognized by other community leaders for his work in developing homeless outreach activities and feedings, community reentry support groups and peer based mentoring.


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    • 56 min
    Meet Franklyn Smith and hear about his community impact and sustained transition post-incarceration.

    Meet Franklyn Smith and hear about his community impact and sustained transition post-incarceration.

    Today, we sat down with Seattle Native, Franklyn Smith to discuss his current work with Department of Corrections and his reentry story, which both are important when it comes to reentry work in Washington.  

    Franklyn Smith is a (Correction Specialist 3 / Reentry Navigator) with WA/DOC Reentry Division, where he serves as a critical point of contact to support WA/DOC cross-agency release planning effort for adult’s reentering the community. Franklyn Smith (formerly justice involved) has held positions as; o Community Resources Program Manager (WADOC) 2nd Chance Reentry Grant Pilot Project o Community Resources Navigator (Freedom Project) o Co-Founder of Sober Solutions, Transitional Housing Services LLC, (a 140 bed Supportive Transitional Housing Program) where he successfully created and managed a reentry program model that was presented to both King County and WA State stakeholders and is founded in the WA/DOC Successful Transition Model. Franklyn Smith hold a degree in Business w/Certificates in Supervisory Management and Leadership Training, Advance Corrections, Case Management, Offenders Workforce Development and Employment System, WA/ DBHA Peer Support Counseling and Credible Messengers Mentoring Training. Franklyn is considered a boundary spanner who understands how to help adults in transition navigate through the various systems, programs and services available within their communities of their release, and has been recognized by other community leaders for his work in developing homeless outreach activities and feedings, community reentry support groups and peer based mentoring.


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    • 54 min
    Meet Marcus White and hear his reentry story

    Meet Marcus White and hear his reentry story

    Marcus White is approaching his 5 year mark post incarceration which is a huge milestone in the reentry world. He has accomplished professional success, has a daughter who is his world, lost his mother and more. Hear from him about what contributed to his incarceration at the age of 19 and what it takes for him to sustain his positive life post incarceration.
    A little about Marcus, from Marcus...
    After spending nearly 17 yrs in prison, I emerged on to the concrete of society full of hopes and ambition. I had been incarcerated since the age of nineteen and was determined to succeed against all odds. Rejecting all doubt, filling myself with an unbreakable resilience.
    While in prison I had taken advantage of all the programs that Department of Corrections had to offer. Committed to the renewal of my mind. Facilitating cognitive behavior programs, studying correspondent courses, and learning as much as I possibly could about financial literacy. The reading of countless books help instill a confidence within me.. All in hopes of a seamless transition.
    Freedom brought forth a newfound meaning to me as I embark on various paths. Collaborating with WashingtonCan as a spokesman on a number of issues regarding "social injustices". Teaming up with the Department of Corrections as I spoke at various prisons inspiring hope, and displaying sound presentations on re-entry.
    Post prison, has afforded me a small business, home ownership, a career in carpentry, and inspiration to so many of my family and friends. So many achievements, yet none of them has been rewarding as fatherhood to my beautiful daughter Nahla. I continue to strive for greatness as I continue to search for and embrace the best of me.
    Sincerely, Marcus.

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    • 58 min

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