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At TPCA, we know that navigating the TDCJ system can sometimes be confusing and difficult for all. We currently provide a two-pronged approach to assisting, empowering, and educating those who are system-impacted.
Our Volunteer Family Support team of mediators educates system-impacted people through a variety of virtual trainings, written materials and resources, educational media campaigns, and provides advocacy assistance by acting as liaisons between impacted friends and family, unit wardens, and various TDCJ administrative personnel. This work provides for their contribution to policy development and allows them the unique opportunity to amplify the voices of impacted friends and family. This team also provides virtual support through approximately 7 Regional Unit social media support groups.
Introducing TPCA's Adopt A Community Program
TPCA has existed primarily virtually until now. As part of fulfilling our mission of bringing empowerment, education, and resources to marginalized communities, we are adopting communities throughout the state of Texas. As part of our grassroots movement strategies, it is important that we connect face-to-face and walk with you in your communities. The first community we are adopting is Edgewood in San Antonio, Texas. Incarceration often causes a lack of resources and dramatically affects the entire family unit. "Half of people in prison are parents to minors, leaving 1.25 million kids struggling to cope. Altogether, parents in state prison reported roughly 1.25 million minor children, meaning the number of people in state prison almost exactly mirrors the number of impacted minor children. (Prison Policy Initiative) "Texas has more than 200,000 individuals incarcerated in jails and prisons, and approximately 477,000 children in Texas has experienced the incarceration of a parent at some point in their lives." (Center for Justice Initiative) Edgewood is the poorest district in San Antonio and has a proportionally higher potential for being system impacted. As part of our support for this community we will be holding community meetings and resources will be community driven. Some of these resources will be connecting this community to trainings, and other organizations and agencies.Children are the greatest gift and the core of every family. They are on our hearts regularly, and when Martha Torres of Ladies of Valor Empowerment came to us and asked us to consider partnering with her organization to help children we said YES! Ladies of Valor Empowerment has been supporting this community and its children for the past 10 years. If you would like to know more about the effects of incarceration on families, check out the #I'mAffected Campaign.
For Incarcerated Persons
Under the direction of TPCA Director of Mediators for Incarcerated Persons, Brittany Robertson, our Mediators for Incarcerated Individuals team assists with the advocacy needs of incarcerated individuals via our mail correspondence. This team of volunteer Mediators often assists by acting as liaisons between incarcerated individuals, unit wardens, and various TDCJ administrative personnel, providing our available resource documents, and offering referrals to incarcerated individuals who reach out to us. Our Mediators for Incarcerated Persons work behind the scenes and are focused on the units within a given TDCJ region. As a means of empowering those who are incarcerated, Brittany, oversees teams of incarcerated persons who desire to be more active in advocacy. As TPCA believes in a trauma informed approach and amplifying the voices of those who are impacted, our support department is the driving force for TPCA's policy decisions and recommendations.
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