“InsideOUT”: Stonewall Columbus LGBTQ Inmate & Formerly Incarcerated Support Program
This program was created to act as a bridge to support, encourage and provide robust resources to LGBTQ inmates inside local correctional facilities and LGBTQ formerly incarcerated individuals that are re-entering the mainstream population. As if the psychological, economic and societal burdens on the heterosexual formerly incarcerated individuals attempting re-entry weren’t difficult enough, in addition our LGBTQ formerly incarcerated community often finds themselves also abandoned by family and their faith communities due to the still disfavored minority status of the larger LGBTQ community. This program will sincerely attempt to alleviate some of those rehabilitational disparities and connect them with their local community and peers.
The InsideOUT program has 2 components:
The LGBTQ inmate support component of this program entails visits to correctional facilities by Stonewall Columbus staff along with other local LGBTQ organizations and leaders. These visits are meant to encourage dialogue and unity amongst LGBTQ inmates who may be identifying as a group for the first time and to facilitate interaction and understanding between the LGBTQ inmates and prison officials and administrators. Education and familiarity regarding the LGBTQ resources available in the community may also assist individuals as they move from inmate to formerly incarcerated status and re-enter the community. Prior contact with LGBTQ organizations and individuals may greatly encourage formerly incarcerated individuals to reach out for services and peer support once they leave correctional facilities.
The LGBTQ formerly incarcerated support group component of this program entails further engagement in the community, through a variety of social programs, therapeutic and peer-driven support groups, counseling services and more. In addition to providing much needed emotional and social support, Stonewall Columbus works with many local businesses and organizations to provide referrals for employment and other needs. Stonewall Columbus does not, at this point, provide direct reentry support.