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Mentor Program Helps Ex-Inmates
By projo.com
Published: 01/18/2011

Most programs that try to prevent released inmates from going back to prison involve probation offices, job-training classes and counseling visits. But on Wednesday night at the Broad Street offices of OpenDoors this month, it was pizza, backgammon and a book club.

OpenDoors, a nonprofit social-service agency that helps released inmates reenter society, is one of 16 organizations across the country to participate in the Second Chance mentoring program that tries to match recently released inmates with people who can provide them with friendship and guidance as they adapt to the world after prison.

Some of their mentors are ex-inmates who say they get to give the help they’d wish they’d gotten when they were released.

On a recent evening, the program was in high gear. About a dozen mentors and their matches were in the main meeting room at OpenDoors, chatting and joking while others played chess, backgammon or cards. In another room, a smaller group was discussing “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom,” by Don Miguel Ruiz

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