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WHAT WE DO

VSC offers comprehensive services to individuals who are processed through the D.C. correctional system annually that need our assistance, as well as post-release from D.C. Jail, District residents returning from the Bureau of Prison (BOP) facilities, and those returning from BOP facilities that are temporarily detained in community corrections (also known as "halfway houses") before release.

These individuals are often living on the margins of society: poor, lacking education, and without access to jobs, housing and health care. Their incarceration puts an additional and serious strain not only on their own economic mobility/opportunity, but on their families as well. Their needs fall into general categories, but each person requires individualized care and strategic support services in order to succeed with their reentry.

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First Responder Services

Outreach and Direct Supportive Services in Jails and Prisons

VSC's First Responder Services provide individuals comfort knowing help is near and available during incarceration. It is having valuables stored safely. Or it could be notifying loved ones of their detainment as well as alerting an employer or landlord of circumstances. Or sending a message of hope and care with a greeting card or a phone call to stay connected to children and family. Or the assurance of having a trusted counselor to seek guidance and direction. 

 

VSC is a necessary and calming extension of community to many incarcerated individuals. For many, they are the consequence of poverty, crime, homelessness, hunger, and unemployment - the desolation of ignored communities. 

 

For many incarcerated individuals, VSC is the pulse to the outside world and their families. For others, VSC is the adhesive that maintains relationships with family and community. Through our services and programs, we work in partnership with individuals to design a plan that garners hope and vision for a successful reintegration.

In this video,  Program Director Margot Kirkland provides an overview of our first responder services to the University of Maryland student body during a fundraiser held by UMD for VSC.

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Reentry Services

VSC's Welcome Home Center is the first touch point with the outside for many returning citizens. Through this, VSC provides comprehensive community-based resources to justice-involved persons transitioning back to their communities from the D.C. Department of Corrections Central Treatment Facility and the Central Detention Facility, as well as the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and those under CSOSA and pretrial community supervision. 

 

VSC offers a wide variety of services to help individuals with reentry, including:

  • Case management

  • Individual & support group counseling

  • Vital records: birth certificates, identifications, and police clearances

  • Limited-time use of address to receive mail

  • Clothing and toiletries

  • Referrals for housing, employment, education, training, substance abuse, and mental health treatments

  • Voter registration application

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A VSC client and advocate speaking on the rights of returning citizens

COMMUNITy Of Voices 

Sustainable Bridges to Actualization

VSC works to identify and provide the vital resources and educational spaces for our clients. We work to integrate our lives with our clients' and their families to be part of a supportive network to help them navigate their new normal: life after incarceration. As we advocate for their basic needs, we also provide them the tools they need to be more self-reliant. It is important to us for them to elevate and mobilize their voices to better advocate for themselves both during the crucial initial transition period from incarceration, and well beyond it.

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A VSC Healthy Lifestyle Education support group

Children of incarcerated parents support group

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