Thrive For Life Prison Project creates opportunities for spiritual development and provides educational resources for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals while partnering with local universities and local employers.
Thrive For Life Prison Project envisions a world where spiritual and educational services empower incarcerated individuals to thrive for life.
In February 2017, we set out with the following goals:
By 2020, Thrive for Life Prison Project will offer 1,000 incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals Spiritual Exercises, support 10 libraries in correctional facilities with educational and spiritual materials, found and support 2 houses of studies for 10-15 formerly incarcerated individuals who will receive supportive housing, scholarships to local universities for studies, and work force experience and training with local employers.
“Visit the imprisoned, comfort the afflicted, counsel the doubtful”
— Matthew 25:35-40, Isaiah 58, Deuteronomy 15:11
What We Do
Since 2016, Thrive For Life has brought retreats, spiritual exercises, and accompaniment to more than 700 women and men in six federal (BOP), state (NYSDOCCS), and municipal (NYCDOC) correction facilities in the New York City region.
In 2019, we continue our ongoing commitments to individuals serving time at Rikers Island, Manhattan Detention Complex, Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Otistville Correctional Facility, Wallkill Correctional Facility, Shawangunk Correctional Facility, FCI Otisville, Taconic Correctional Facility for Women, and the New Jersey State Prison.
Our retreats combine guided meditations and reflections with group sharing and discussions to help inmates develop the ability to turn inward and listen, and then to understand and articulate their thoughts and emotions.
Thrive For Life builds relationships with individuals while they’re incarcerated and then continues nurturing those connections on the outside. This continuity of care is essential to our mission. We understand where people have been and what they’ve been through. Mutual respect and trust form the bridge between the inside and the outside.
On the outside, our efforts focus on three areas:
Through community partners, we've facilitated permanent housing for Thrive For Life participants and retreat alumni. These housing opportunities have kept men and women out of city shelters and in their own homes where they can begin to rebuild their lives.
Soon, Thrive For Life will open Ignacio House of Studies in the Bronx. Ignacio House will provide safe, stable, and individual housing for formerly incarcerated individuals, as well as housing services, life skills workshops, support groups, and mentoring.
We’ve formed partnerships with Manhattan College, NYU, Fordham University, the CUNY system and other local universities, arranged for Thrive For Life Scholarships, and provided research training and academic mentoring to formerly incarcerated individuals who are pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees.
In partnership with NYU, CUNY, Fordham University, America Media, and the New York Public Library, Thrive For Life has also supported libraries within the Manhattan Detention Complex, Otisville State Correctional Facility, and Rikers Island, with more than 2,000 books donated.
In partnership with local employers, Thrive For Life has provided job opportunities in a variety of industries, as well as employment support and mentorship.