The Need for Partnership Annual Conferences
Partnership and Networking are two words that PIRCOD value in relationship to reentry service providers and support of PIRCOD Partner initiatives. In 2015, a resource fair was held in Dover which involved multiple organizations sharing information on services available in the community. Two years later, PIRCOD began hosting the Need for Partnership Conferences focusing on the mitigation of barriers associated in reentry. These conferences held, in September each year have resulted in education and networking opportunities.
The Need for Employment, 2017. PIRCOD held the first annual conference in collaboration with the Delaware State University Sociology and Criminal Justice Program and addressed barriers to employment and discussed concerns associated with hiring ex-offenders. Both employers and employees shared their experiences related to employment. In addition, attendees received educational materials on bonding programs and tax incentives.
The Need for Housing, 2018. PIRCOD partnered with the Wilmington University College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The objective of this conference was to show case known barriers and create awareness about how accessibility to stable housing is necessary in reducing recidivism. This conference highlighted innovative practices and included presentations by Patricia Mckernan, Volunteers of America and the NJ Reentry Program as well as Kevin Smith from 2 Fish Home Renovations, a Delaware employer who provides employment opportunities to individuals with a criminal record.
The Need for Legislation, 2019. The annual conference took on legislation and explained how to transform an idea into legislation outlining the process for a bill to become law.
The Intersection of Trauma and Reentry, 2020. Held via a virtual platform. This conference resulted in the development of an ongoing dialogue called Trauma Talk on the Table. Trauma Talk focuses on the difficulties of reentry as it pertains to trauma’s impact on the individual, family reunification efforts and adjustment to the community.
The Virtual Reentry Networking Summit, 2021. PIRCOD hosted a Virtual Reentry Networking Summit, focusing on the need for evidence based practices and networking strategies.
Changing the Narrative of the Family, 2022. Changing the Narrative of the Family—Helping to Put the Pieces Back Together Again. The conference highlighted the needs of families who are left behind due to incarceration and how collaborative strategies can produce resources to mitigate barriers and engaging these families. The conference featured lessons learned and the perspectives of Chaplains working within Delaware Department of Correction facilities. Conference participants had opportunity to distribute information on their programs and build relationships during the Resource Networking Lunch. The conference concluded with an overview of evidenced based programs and initiatives currently in place or implemented in Delaware.