In our society of overcrowded prisons and drastically cut funding for prison education, it is hopeful to see an organization whose mission it is to support successful reentry into society and to promote alternatives to prison incarceration. Many inmates who are incarcerated have made mistakes in their past and have paid for their mistakes by serving their time in prison. The Fortune Society helps inmates to become positive, contributing members of society.
The Fortune Society was founded in New York state to help reduce recidivism by offering non-traditional reentry services such as: Alternatives to Incarceration, drop-in-services, employment services, education, family services, health and housing services, substance abuse treatment, transitional services, recreation and lifetime aftercare.
The Fortune Society’s main goal is to give incarcerated prisoners core life skills so that they can avoid returning to prison!
“The Fortune Society will connect you with the services and support you need to build a successful life in the community.”
The Fortune Society is a unique organization in that over 70% of the staff and Board of Directors were formerly incarcerated, homeless or had histories of substance abuse. Staff with this background have a strong understanding of the difficulties that prison inmates are challenged with behind bars and upon release into society. One of the by-laws of the Board of Directors is that at least half of the board must be people of color and a minimum of one-third must be formerly incarcerated or with histories of substance abuse.
The Fortune Society works with former prisoners to help with reentry transition. Services include connecting you with appropriate programs and services for your individual situation, helps to ensure that you receive the proper benefits for which you may be eligible and is there for future support for reintegration into the community.
In addition, the Fortune Society offers Alternatives to Incarceration. This program is designed for felony-level offenses with at least a year’s sentencing. Offenders are still under strict supervision and yet they are receiving intense life-stabilizing services in a safe and structured space. Those who complete their program successfully always receive sentences that require no further incarceration.
The Fortune Society has three main service centers in the New York City area: Long Island City, The Castle Gardens and Fortune Academy in West Harlem.
The Fortune Society is funded privately and through donations.