A New Approach to Prisoner Reentry

Every year, people are released from prison with almost a guarantee that they will end up back inside before too long.  We know that, for whatever reason, they will not avoid reoffending, that society will bear the cost of that future incarceration and criminal behavior, and that they will, unfortunately, spend many more years behind bars.  Programs have tried for decades to stop this cycle and there have been considerable successes, but they have not been able to establish a proven model for rehabilitation--one that creates verifiable, life-long change with participants.

9 Yards is an innovative approach to this problem, and its first evaluation in 2016 showed that the program cut crime by 40% and reduced time in prison by 31%. 9 Yards started in 2013, and is now in its 3rd year. The program has doubled in size, and in 2015 it won the Rhode Island Foundation's Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence's Innovation Award. Read more about the program below:

2017 Recidivism Evaluation

 Support 9 Yards by donating
Read about 9 Yards in RI Monthly--"Making it on the Outside" and in the Providence Journal

Read our 2014 report on results


Watch the 7 minute video Going the Whole 9 Yards

Learn about 9 Yards and the welding training program

Providence TEDx Talk about 9 Yards

Going the Whole 9 Yards to End the Cycle of Incarceration

9 Yards is a program funded by the Governor's Workforce Board, the Providence Dexter Fund, the RI Foundation, and the Damiano Fund to work with a small group of men for about one year. In 2015, the program will be working with two classes of 15 individuals each. Clients start while incarcerated, and if they work hard for 7 months in prison, they will receive a big helping hand when they get out.  It's a unique program that is putting established ideas into practice in a new way:

  • Most programs just work in one risk area and do not address all risk factors.  9 Yards provides a large amount of support in all risk areas, including education, employment, housing, behavioral therapy, mentoring, and addiction treatment.
  • Most programs just work in prison or outside of prison.  9 Yards provides support with continuity, working for 9 months in prison and at least 6 months after release.
  • Most programs work with the easy to serve.  9 Yards follows the well proven principle that reentry programs should work with high risk individuals, not low risk ones, to have the best chance of preventing future incarceration.  The program criteria was developed to hone in on people that need support but also have the potential to succeed.  
  • Most programs do not take advantage of incarceration.  While incarcerated, people have a lot of time to begin the process of change.  9 Yards demands that they put that time to use and provides them the tools to do that.  

We Need Your Support

The program can only succeed with continued support.  

   Volunteer:  join our mentoring program or volunteer as a tutor

   Donate:  We need to raise $50,000 for the supportive housing program, which is just the cost of what we already pay to                       house one inmate for one year.  Donate here, every dollar helps.

Program Design

9 Yards started July, 2013 with 15 men in Medium Security prison in Rhode Island.  For 9 months in prison, services will focus on individualized education, occupational training, and cognitive self-change.  After release, participants will be immediately placed into part-time jobs, provided with fully-subsidized supportive housing, case management, mentors, and wrap-around services.  The program will provide support for at least 6 months with the goal of moving clients onto the path towards skilled employment and higher education.  The program is a controlled study and results will be evaluated 1 year after release.

For more information contact Nick Horton, 9 Yards program coordinator, at 401-781-5808 ext. 127 or nhorton@opendoorsri.org




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