Natividad Mendoza knows recidivism quite well, experiencing it himself seventeen times. Think about that, sixteen times he had the hopeful and encouraging thoughts that he was never going back, but sixteen times he fell to the chance of a new beginning. What can you expect when close to 70% of offenders are rearrested for a new crime or violation of condition of their supervision. At the age of 15, while housed at a California Youth Authority facility, Natividad remembers a speaker who inspired him to make a change to better his life. Unfortunately, the message was lost early on due to a lack of resources. For this very reason is why Natividad earnestly desires to be back on the ‘inside’.
Entrance to Durango Jail –Maricopa County
For Natividad, his passion is to help individuals by providing them the tools they need to change their lives for the better. He strongly believes, “If he can make a difference and help these people, [his] life would have a purpose”. Over the last ten years, the From Jobs to Gangs program has been teaching a 12-week program of change on the ‘outside’. The curriculum teaches the individual to consider changes in the area of goal setting, personal ownership, forgiveness, boundaries, new resources, and preparedness. But he also understands how critical the timing of these teachings is; It is near the end of their sentence when they are approaching reentry. Prior to an individual being released is when they are the most hopeful and optimistic for positive change. It is a lack of skills that allows them to fail over again. For this very reason, From Gangs to Jobs has developed a reentry program.
12 IN – Roadmap
Twelve weeks of curriculum are taught in prison prior to release
60 OUT – Network of Support
The first sixty days out, after release requires intense focus & trusted partnerships
6 Strong – Mentoring
Six months of journey coaching/mentoring allows the participants a strong foundation
Natividad leading the Reentry Program
Within three years of release, 67.8% of released prisoners are rearrested. *Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) study on recidivism
“If I can make a difference and help these people my life would have purpose.”