At GEO Reentry Services, we strive to provide our participants with the necessary social and interpersonal skills they will need upon community release. This is accomplished through social programming as well as pro-social events and activities.
In our group-based cognitive behavioral classes, participants are encouraged to share their stories and learn from one another. Participants also have the opportunity to role play and act out risky situations together. Through these interactions, they learn to feel more comfortable because they are surrounded by others in similar situations.
During these groups, GEO Reentry staff members also work to model positive behaviors for participants. This includes encouraging participants to think about why certain behavior is desirable and using positive and negative reinforcement to offer immediate feedback on why behaviors are approved or disapproved. Through pro-social modeling, participants gain control over challenging situations and positively shape their own behavior.
Some GEO Reentry centers also sponsor mentorship programs, which allow participants to assume leadership positions. For example, the Burke Confinement in Response to Violation Center, a residential reentry center in Burke, North Carolina, appoints a participant in each dorm to serve as a peer mentor and role model to others. One peer mentor from the Burke CRV said he gets satisfaction from helping others in his role.
In addition to facilitating peer-to-peer interactions, our programs sponsor monthly pro-social events that encourage positive thinking and behavior. The Fresno DRC, a non-residential reentry center in Fresno, California, hosts monthly Family Nights that not only encourage socialization but allow participants to actively involve their loved ones in their recovery. Participants from ADAPPT, a residential reentry center in Reading, Pennsylvania, frequently volunteer around their community, which help participants learn the value of serving others. These types of prosocial events are common at GEO Reentry centers across the country.
Improving social skills is also a key part in finding and maintaining steady employment. For individuals who exhibit antisocial behavior, succeeding in interviews and working with colleagues can be a challenge. GEO Reentry programs work with participants on job interviewing techniques and how to maximize their skill sets.
Read more about our centers’ pro-social events in our blog feed.