Support Social Enterprises Run by Changed People With Criminal Records
Some inmates call prison a hate factory because it does very little to turn the individual around. In most cases it only makes pre-existing issues worse. The recidivism statistics back this up. About three-quarters (76.6 percent) of released prisoners are rearrested within five years. Of those, more than half (56.7 percent) were arrested by the end of the first year. Prison rehabilitation is broken. Re-entry programs cycle through participants to hit grant numbers and bed quotas without acheiving any true reform—some wonder if they're even doing more harm than good.
The Other Side Academy (TOSA) is based on a helping model, not a funding model. TOSA provides a therapeutic community with stringent accountability, constant peer-to-peer feedback, and a minimum two-year stay. The secret sauce is addressing the underlying behaviors that feed addictions and trigger bad behaviors. The key is not just focusing on sobriety and “getting clean” but rather helping an individual transform their very character from the inside out. “We can get people clean and sober all day long,” said Dave Durocher, Managing Director of TOSA, who has spent over 23 years in prison himself. “Just lock them up. That’s the easy part. Whole person change—that’s the hard part. It takes time. That’s why The Other Side Academy is a multi-year program with a minimum two-year requirement.
In its first three years, 98 percent of The Other Side Academy graduates were employed, housed, crime free and drug free. Revenue from the students' social enterprises enable 100 percent self-suffiency for a TOSA facility and operations within 24 months.