The mission of FOCUS Reentry is to reduce recidivism and enhance community safety. As the only formal program available to offenders leaving the Boulder County Jail FOCUS mentors serve as a bridge in the offenders’ transition back into society, helping them to stabilize, rebuild their lives and eventually achieve self-sufficiency. In fact, a third party evaluation showed FOCUS achieving an astonishing 17% recidivism rate, in contrast to the State of Colorado’s 49% (according to The Sentencing Project, 2008).

We have structured our program on researched best-practices for reducing recidivism: addressing cognitive-behavioral changes, enhancing motivation, using positive reinforcement, and encouraging ongoing support in natural communities. Further, activities that mentors and mentees engage in and the modeling mentors provide are based on the growing consensus among professionals that desistance from crime is the result of positive social reintegration within the family, workplace and community. The methods to work with these factors are integrated into the one-on-one mentoring relationship and support activities whose goal is to normalize the offender’s relationship with the extended community.

Ultimately, the philosophy behind the work of FOCUS is that there are no “throw-away” people. This is our most fundamental and indispensable commitment as we observe our clients rebuilding their lives to become contributing members of society. We understand and accept that part of our job is to educate the community that this change is possible; that given the right interventions, ex-offenders can rebuild their lives. Eventually, we hope that, through education and civic engagement, the attitudes and beliefs of the community at large will transition to embrace this same philosophy and ensure that no marginalized populations are deemed “disposable” and thus lost forever in the harsh and unforgiving criminal justice system.

7 thoughts on “About FOCUS

  1. My case was out of Boulder county. While in prison I put in for the boulder halfway house, which accepted me, but the boulder boards denied me. I ended up getting picked up by ICCS in jefferson county. A place Im unfamiliar with. Now the time has come that my MRD is here. However…despite being called an Mandatory Release Date. Its no longer mandatory to be released. I am trying to find my own apartment in the Denver metro area but this halfway house does not allow us to sign leases. Parole requires that you send them a signed copy of a lease in order to be released. This is an obvious catch 22, which I have grieved, called parole and talked to my case manager about it but nothing is getting done. Im literally stuck here…

  2. Hi, I work with a small prison ministry in Colorado Springs and I am new to this. I am trying to help one of out recent ex-felons find housing. He is coming to the end of his time in his half way house and most apartment complexes will not take him. He served 23 years and so a lot of our technology is new to him, and I do not believe he is allowed internet access in the house he is now. Do you know if there is a list anywhere of apartment or rental aganecies that will work with him?

  3. Wanted to find out if elig able g or this program….I’m tired of being stuck in a revolving door of going to jail losing everything being homless. I struggle get a job work and just can’t get off the streets and b edv as use of that I end up back in jail everytime..I need some kind of support system resources or help or I’m afraid my life will continue this endless cycle

  4. My fiance will be getting out in about two years from doing a 16yr sentence in federal prison, he was charged with murder a few days after he turned 18. What we are trying to do is get all the resources connected now before he gets out. I have found several programs here in Colorado that will help take his tattoos off but I really cannot find anything else. The FBOP, gives them so little to work with and he does not want to return to the reservation where he is from. Is there any way your agency would or could direct us to where we might be able to find some assistance with reentry? He knows he can go to college and wants to however, being in the half way house will not allow him to dedicate 100% of his time to school, he will need employment. His intergration back into society is not going to be with any bumps, since his term length is about half his age. He needs a steady stream of support and I want to make sure I can do what is needed so that he, we can get through his release. Thank you all and I appreciate any help that is given to us.

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