In 1988, Judy Clarke spent a day in the City of Richmond Jail with her Leadership Metro Richmond class. That experience was engraved indelibly on her mind. She couldn't figure out how to help people who were headed for jail and prison. There had to be a better way to "rehabilitate" convicted felons. Judy was recruited to the Justice Fellowship Task Force (legislative and lobbying arm of Prison Fellowship) and was trained by the Department of Justice in their Victim Offender Reconciliation Program. She formed a non-profit organization titled the Capital Area Victim - Offender Reconciliation Program (CAVORP). An Executive Director was hired and Judy became Chairman of the Board. Over a period of 6 years this organization trained 40 people in victim offender conferencing and ultimately due to Judy's increasing work responsibilities, the organization was transferred to the Norfolk, VA area.
"I have a record. Who's gonna hire me?"
With a small budget and a huge number of hours freely given by our dedicated volunteers, VCRJ was able to teach our Values Class to 235 women, furnish and pay the first three month’s rent for two apartments, and welcome 4 women into our reentry program in our first year. As grateful as we are for these accomplishments, we know this is not the time to slow down for there are at least 3000 more women who need our help.
When I started volunteering in prison seven years ago, I met weekly with thirty women for two hours in the morning and another thirty women for two hours in the afternoon. Secretly, I asked God to show me just one person in whose life I had made a difference. One day, Linda came up to me with tears in her eyes and said these simple words, “Mrs. Clarke, I want you to know that I get it. I realize that I don’t have to go back to that old relationship anymore.” You see, Linda had been severely abused by the man she was living with for seven years. She would leave him and then go right back. This time would be different. She called her parents to come pick her up from prison. Her parents asked her to thank me for helping her reach this decision. They wanted me to know that they had been praying for their daughter for a long time. We spent only five weeks together talking about trust, honesty, respect, empathy and forgiveness and Linda “got it”. Our loving God answered my secret prayer.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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