Talbot County’s unique Re-Entry Support Group, “Inspire Fatherhood,” (IF), recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. Seven men, Douglas (Chip) Ewing, Jason Gilliece, DeWayne Camper, Kevin Leonard, James Carter and Allen Deibel, and Vincent Bratcher, were honored for achieving milestones with the group. At the recognition event at the Talbot County Department of Corrections, each of the men wearing their IF shirts and jackets, introduced themselves, shared a bit of their past, their present, and their hopes for the future with a small group of men currently incarcerated at the facility.
The IF Re-Entry Support Group is an extension of the Inside Out Dad Program and was created through collaboration between The Talbot County Department of Social Services (DSS) Young Fathers/Non-Custodial Parents Employment Program and the Talbot County Department of Corrections. The group supports fathers leaving the correctional facility, providing additional support in their journeys back to their families and the community.
According to Tom Wardrop, Outreach Facilitator and Mentor, Talbot County Department of Social Services, the Inside Out DAD’s Curriculum at Talbot County Department of Corrections and the launch of the IF Group a year ago has brought into focus reducing recidivism and celebrating milestones for these men. Certificates and pins are awarded at critical levels following their release into the community at three, six, twelve, eighteen, twenty-four, thirty and thirty-six months. Emily D. Joiner, Program Coordinator for the Young Fathers/NPEP Program, presented Vincent Bratcher and Kevin Leonard with their 30-month recognitions. DeWayne Camper, President of the IF Group, shared statistics from a class project he presented at Chesapeake College regarding recidivism and the adverse effect on children of incarcerated fathers.
Captain Leone Tillman, Chief of Support Services at the Talbot County Department of Corrections, commented, “Collectively these men verbalized that they all have children who didn’t ask to be put on this earth, nor should their children have to ask to be cared for. As fathers, these men have realized it is their responsibility to help raise these children.”
Doug Devenyns, Director, Talbot County Department of Corrections, added, “The programs we are offering, like the Inside Out Dad Curriculum, help inmates find the prime motivator for them to be successful. I think programs like this one are having a positive effect on our incarceration numbers in Talbot County. Right now, Talbot County is at 50 percent capacity at the Talbot County Department of Corrections.”
“While these men still continue to struggle, they are determined that their future will not include a return to the bad decisions that had them returning to jail in the past,” concluded Dawn Coleman, Child Support Supervisor, Talbot County Department of Social Services.
For further information about the Talbot County Child Support Program or Young Father’s/Non-Custodial Parent Employment Program, contact Dawn Coleman, Child Support Supervisor, Talbot County Department of Social Services at 410-770-4848.
Pictured standing left to right are Tom Wardrop, Outreach Facilitator and Mentor, Talbot County Department of Social Services, with the Inspire Fatherhood (IF) Re-Entry Supprt Group members: Douglas (Chip) Ewing, Jason Gilliece, DeWayne Camper, Kevin Leonard, and James Carter. Kneeling in the front row is Allen Deibel. Absent from the photo is Vincent Bratcher.