Help Jodie Rehabilitate Prisoners

$3,486 of $5,500 goal

Raised by 40 people in 20 months

NEW PROGRAMMING for Ridgeland Correctional Institute 
Certified WhyTry Facilitator, Jodie Randisi

Much needed resiliency training for inmates.  

First class starting summer 2018. My goal is to train a few select inmates who can facilitate this training to other inmates. Check back for results and testimonies! 

Your support makes it possible for me to continue volunteer programs designed to rehabilitate and prepare prisoners for re-entry into society.

Why is this important and worthy of your support?

We made the news, not once but twice. Here's a clip about Toastmasters Behind Bars:

When it comes to our criminal justice system we can agree on one thing—we all want prisoners to come out better than when they came in.
 We have to decide what kind of neighbors we want—ones with less than a high school education, and on top of that, unaddressed behavior and addiction problems? Or, do we want ones who have taken steps to overcome obstacles, cultivated their character, found their voice and improved their communication skills, all of which makes them more eligible to become a taxpaying contributor to society?
Being incarcerated doesn’t diminish a human being’s value.
That’s why I go to Ridgeland on Wednesdays. Your donation will help support and sustain Toastmasters behind bars as well as keep the Adult Coloring class and prison book club well supplied.

As Treasurer of the club, I pay the inmate’s Toastmasters International membership dues, record educational awards, and obtain resources from TI’s website.  When you donate to sponsor a specific inmate, please note his name. A new member’s cost for 6 months is $65, or $110 for a year. Renewing an existing club member costs is $45 for 6 months or $90 for a year. If your donation is for non-specific, please note that we will make sure your support goes to inmates who cannot pay their dues from their own funds.

"To the sponsors of the Ridgeland Toastmaster club, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to have the opportunity to participate in this club. It has definitely been a life-changing experience." R. B., Secretary, Ridgeland Toastmasters

"I want to thank you all for helping us by sponsoring us here at Ridgeland Toastmasters. This program has helped us so much and in so many ways. I love this class and look forward to joining a club on the outside and continuing my growth." E.B

"Tremendous thanks to the sponsors of my newly developed character and positive personality and personal growth. God bless!" R.H.

Coloring Therapy for the Soul has been a huge success!

I no longer teach the class. The inmates, now dubbed the Coloring Gurus, run the weekly class. Word has spread throughout the dorm— COLORING THERAPY FOR THE SOUL is fun and it works!  

"Since I started this class, I haven’t stopped coloring. I  found that I have had some kind of ability left, but I needed the right person to help me awaken that which was asleep for some time. I can’t wait for my class to come each week because there is more to learn. With the right teacher, one who is willing to pass on her knowledge, much can be accomplished for the benefit of all involved. Ms. Jodie, I thank you for your caring, your kindness, and yes, your great big heart. Because you took the time to make a bunch of men realize that we still have worth. May you be blessed, along with your family, to continue on your mission in bringing joy to those in need. May your palette always be filled with many good memories and your case with many beautiful colors to be put to good use." M.H.

"Ms. Jodie, I enjoy your class. I’ve found that coloring frees my mind of this place.  P.S. I’m color blind."

"When I first signed up for this class, I didn’t know what to expect, but I must say that my expectations were pleasantly exceeded. This class is very calming. It is a great stress reliever. I have learnt an awful lot in a short length of time and would recommend this class to everyone. Ms. Jodie is a great person, donating her time and resources, and that in itself is a wonderful thing. Thanks, Ms. Jodie for all that you do for us here at RCI. I wish you all the best in any and all your endeavors."

Please spread the word.

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Help me properly celebrate SEVEN WhyTry for Corrections graduates who have completed the requirements for the WhyTry class. Inmates tell how valuable this educational program has been - see the quotes below.

I want to raise $300 to buy supplies for our community service project (a requirement for graduation). Each participant is making a quilted "Pillow Pal" for a child in need. Specifics below, but first, read these testimonies!

"When I first heard of WhyTry, I thought it was some project to keep us occupied or some juvenile course. I thought of not taking the course because I'm legally blind in my right eye and have other medical conditions. I'm also fighting my legal case. "Why try?" I said to myself. Still, I signed up. We started with a video by Kid President giving a Pep Talk, and that's exactly what that video did, gave me and the others a pep talk. Mrs. Randisi kept us engaged and took us step by step through the maze of WhyTry. This course should be written for young and old, in prison or out. I wanted to be selfish and take the course again but if I do, someone else would be deprived of a great learning experience. Through this course, I have increased my confidence and beliefs. Everyone needs a game plan in life, and WhyTry is a good tool to help endure life's difficult hardships." S.A., Inmate, Ridgeland Correctional

"The motivational speaker's videos were awesome! They taught me never to give up. The music videos were entertaining. Continue using the success stories from ex-prisoners. Inmates can relate to them and they really teach great life lessons. Thank you so much!" G.S., Inmate, Ridgeland Correctional

"I tried WhyTry just to see if I would like it, and yes, I did like it because of the many testimonies we viewed through videos and other music videos that speak about how to accomplish goals. Activities made this class interesting and not boring. I have learned how to be a better person, myself and with others. Also, this class showed stories, real stories that touched my heart. Thank you for your time." H. G., Inmate, Ridgeland Correctional

"We have the best teacher and mentor in the WORLD!!! She puts her all into making sure we get the most out of our class. She's done a lot of revising in order to make the class relevant for inmates. I've become a stronger person mentally, socially, and emotionally. I've learned how to deal with being in a mental flood zone and find a silver lining in everything. I learned how to tear off labels people try to put on me. I've learned so much. I wish SCDC could make this class mandatory for all inmates." D. S., Inmate, Ridgeland Correctional

SUPPLIES NEEDED: Cost $300, 12 pillows, cotton fabric transfer sheets, color-stay chemical (synthrapol), cotton batting, printer ink, quilting thread and needles, thimbles, too. Inmates who have taken my Coloring Therapy for the Soul class donated their artwork to be transferred onto fabric for our Pillow Pals. It's a WIN WIN WIN situation! Our graduates are looking forward to the opportunity to do something good for children in need of comfort.

SPREAD the word because this educational programming is changing lives and worth sharing. Thanks ever so much for supporting me. Inmate education doesn't get much positive press.
All kind thoughts, Jodie Randisi
Certified WhyTry trainer
+ Read More
Coloring Therapy for the Soul has been given new life and wings. I no longer facilitate the class, the inmates do! They've received their Coloring Guru certificates and word is spreading about how great COLORING THERAPY for the SOUL is for inmates. The creativity is healing. The experience is soothing. It's all so good.
+ Read More
NEW PROGRAMMING for Ridgeland Correctional Institute 
Certified WhyTry Facilitator, Jodie Randisi

Much needed resiliency training for inmates.  

First class starting summer 2018. My goal is to train a few select inmates who can facilitate this training to other inmates. Check back for results and testimonies! 
+ Read More

State prisons in South Carolina are currently in crisis mode. They need to figure out how their government agency can repair itself when resources are so limited. It’s like I tell my kids and grandkids, do what you can with what you have.

SCDC has hundreds of volunteers who support a positive culture behind bars with educational, spiritual, and self-improvement programming. Volunteers could do a lot more if we could uncover more like-minded individuals who, if they can’t volunteer at a prison, could donate funds to sustain existing programs. After that, there's the need to implement new programming that's been on hold due to a lack of finances and/or volunteers.

I’d like to bring your attention to two programs that require finances at this time.

If you haven’t heard, Toastmasters has the potential to change the course of an inmate’s life, both inside prison and upon release. It would be great if part of SCDC’s plan to recover from the deadly prison riot in the US in 25 years included funding for prison Toastmaster clubs. Of the three clubs now in existence, only one has financial support from a non-profit. The other two have to raise their own funds to cover the cost of membership dues for its members.

Apparently, the news is spreading. I’ve recently learned of two more South Carolina institutions that would like to establish a Toastmasters club at their facility, the cost to charter a club is $1425, which accommodates 20 motivated inmates. One is the women’s prison in Columbia and the other is a federal prison in Estill.

Did you know that Toastmasters offers inmates a genuine chance to reenter society empowered with self-confidence and better communication skills?

Be sure to get to the end of this post and watch the video and then read about the program that's on hold called WhyTry?

The WhyTry? program is used nationwide in thousands of prisons, detention centers, jails, halfway houses, probation departments, and residential treatment programs throughout the country. It’s designed to increase resilience and pro-social behaviors. The goal is not solely to teach but to model, demonstrate, and help participants to access their motivation, potential, resilience, and personal strength.

WhyTry? for Corrections has been approved for Ridgeland Correctional Institute. I’ve acquired the curriculum but not the WhyTry? Game Plan journals. The process of selecting participants and scheduling is on hold until further notice. For one thing, all but two prisons are on lockdown due to the April 15th incident where 7 inmates were murdered and 12 were injured at Lee Correctional. For another, 15 journals cost $180 plus tax, shipping, and incidentals. I estimate the entire total cost for this 11-week class to be around $500.
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$3,486 of $5,500 goal

Raised by 40 people in 20 months
Created March 21, 2017
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Kazumasa Umemoto
1 month ago

I donated because I am a prison Toastmasters volunteer in Japan. Let's work together.

Paul Glick
1 month ago

I donated because I like Jodie

Kathryn Hatcher
8 months ago

Please use to sponsor an inmate in Toastmasters.

8 months ago
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