Friends Outside

Organization Description: 

IN-CUSTODY SERVICES... Jail Visiting Services: All three local jail facilities are visited by volunteers, who provide one-on-one case management and pre-release planning. Volunteers provide a range of assistance, including:

- Property retrieval - Liaise between attorneys, family and other agencies - Providing information about numerous community resources including drug/alcohol programs - Helping with emergencies caused by incarceration

Re-Entry Classes: Friends Outside offers monthly classes at the Rountree facility and the Blain Street facility. Classes focus on reentry topics, such as success on probation, housing, accessing treatment, and community resources.

Post-Release Planning: Case managers are available to meet with an inmate two-to-eight weeks prior to release to help clients outline specific plans and goals that can be transferred for follow up Aftercare services.

POST-RELEASE SERVICES... Aftercare Services: After release from jail or prison, case managers can help facilitate post-release plans and provide applicable services, along with support and advocacy. Friends Outside can help in the following areas:

- Basic hygiene products and reading glasses - Referrals for food and shelter - Clothing and clothing vouchers - Transportation assistance - Assistance complying with probation terms - Legal and criminal justice agency referrals - Assistance with a job searching

Re-Entry Advocacy: Comprehensive Reentry Support and Post-Release Planning is available to AB 109 clients referred by the Santa Cruz Probation Department. Services are available both in-custody and post-release, and services include intensive reentry planning, mentoring and support for compliance with mandated supervision terms.

W.R.A.P.: The Warrant Reduction Advocacy Project is a community-based alternative to incarceration. It offers probationers an opportunity to receive support and assistance to comply with the terms of their probation in order to avoid incarceration.

Benefits Assistance: Benefits advocacy assists clients with assistance in accessing benefits, including:

- Food Stamps and government benefits - Educational aid and school enrollment - Medical insurance and other benefits to care for mental and physical health - Other benefits supporting personal and professional growth

Life Skills Workshops: Monthly Life Skills Workshops are offered to help clients and community members better reach their full potential. Professionals facilitate workshops on a variety of topics geared towards guiding participants on their journey to self-sufficiency.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Friends Outside offers various cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) curricula through referrals from the Santa Cruz Probation Department. CBT offerings focuses on cognitive restructuring, social skill development, problem solving skills, and other criminogenic needs.

FAMILY SERVICES... Family Services: Friends Outside supports he family through the initial trauma of incarceration and helps to begin the process of rebuilding the family unit. If a loved on is incarcerated in Santa Cruz County or in the California prison system, we can help with:

- Jail or prison visiting schedules and procedures - Referrals to criminal justice agencies - Locating family or friends in the California prison system - Help understanding the legal system - General questions about prison or jail - Information about drug and alcohol treatment

Kids Days: Kids Days are special family events that include fun activities, crafts and treats for children visiting their incarcerated parents. During the winter holiday season, Friends Outside provides gifts for the children!

1740 17th Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Mission Statement: 

Our goal is to help reduce the trauma of incarceration for inmates and their families, to provide information that can lead to positive changes, and to assist post-release clients with their re-entry into the community. Friends Outside acts as a liaison with concerned individuals, agencies, and the criminal justice system.

Do You Require Formal Orientation Training for Volunteers?: 
Do you have a listing of your volunteer opportunities on your organization’s website?: 
Are more than one-third of the participants in your organization/programs low income (below 150% of the poverty level)?: 
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Primary Types of Volunteer Opportunities: 
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