The Community’s Necessary Role in Prisoner Reentry

The Sun Comes is part of a larger project of Chattanooga Endeavors’ to provide a thoughtful alternative to how prisoners plan for and complete their road to return — one which includes the community as a necessary and active stakeholder. Capitalizing on three decades of groundbreaking work in the field, the book includes supplemental materials with downloadable handouts and worksheets for group discussions, prison outreach, reentry planning and reentry itself. Also included, for those who want to launch an initiative of their own, is access to the complete design for Stephen’s Table, an intentionally non-funded, volunteer-driven, continuum of care program that provides support to former offenders and their families from the first days of incarceration until full restoration in society.

Our simple approach focuses on the eight most significant drivers of success for former offender — also known as, known as the “Central Eight.” But it does so in a way that is intentionally non-clinical and that deeply dignifies the experience both for former offenders and for those who are walking beside them.

This approach has been the cornerstone of freedom and a purposeful life for thousands of former offenders in Chattanooga.  By converting Chattanooga Endeavors’ curriculum to simple lessons that can be delivered by anyone who is willing to take the time to walk beside them, we hope that this approach will become widely available to former offender across the nation —  especially in small communities that don’t have the resources for a fully funded reentry program.

Although the immediate goal is to help people help prisoners to make the most of their time behind bars and to discover purpose as they strive to become contributive members of society; in a more basic way, we hope that The Sun Comes  will significantly increase the capacity of local communities to respond effectively to the many unique needs of former offenders and their families — and to do so in a way that brings true Hope to their journey.

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