Southfield (CW50) – Chance for Life is a prisoner reentry program that was founded 27 years ago. It provides leadership, critical thinking, and mediation skills to inmates behind bars as well as support services upon release. The program is established inside nine Michigan prisons. 

Chance for Life was started when the program’s President, Thomas Adams, was given the opportunity to develop a project on some land. He decided to make it a project that would help returning citizens find work on the land. Adams thought that giving them a job would transform their lives, but he quickly discovered that people re-entering society needed much more than just a job. He saw that inmates needed to have a transformation of their lives while serving their time, and do so by becoming non-violent, contributing members of the prison.

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Community Connect Host Lisa Germani, with Thomas Adams, President of Chance For Life

Thomas Adams, President of Chance For Life, joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect to discuss the foundation of the program and how it helps transform the lives of returning citizens, and decrease the violence in the state’s prisons.

In 1999, Chance For Life (CFL) implemented the first “Transformation Project” at the Mound Correctional Facility. Twenty-five (25) inmates who were leaders of diverse religions and other prison-based organizations, were selected to participate in CFL’s long-term training program consisting of Mediation and Communication. As a result of the participants learning how to resolve their disputes using mediation skills and how to pass these skills on to the other inmates (Train-the-Trainer), the Mound Facility saw a 40% decrease in violent incidents among inmates within a year of implementation. 

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At CFL, their vision is to transform minds, change hearts, and create safe communities by giving returning citizens an opportunity to develop themselves in a positive manner in spite of adverse conditions. 

To learn more, go to ChanceForLifeOnline.org

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