WELCOME TO T.E.A.M. MENTORING
T.E.A.M. Mentoring, Inc evolved out of Prison Fellowship in MT during the 1990s as a state-wide faith-based program and was established as a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 2000. The overarching goal of TEAM Mentoring is to reduce recidivism by providing positive mentoring relationships and transitional services to prisoners and ex-prisoners.
VISION MISSION VALUES
Our VISION is transformed communities by transforming lives. A transformed life is one that has Christ at its center. We will continue to Teach, Encourage, Assist and Model lives transformed by relationship with Christ that is real and walked out on a daily basis.
Our MISSION is to build a program that will prepare men and women that have been incarcerated to successfully re-enter the workforce, family, and our communities.
We will come alongside of ex-prisoners through teams of volunteers to assist and encourage in the re-entry process in our communities. We will implement a program that re-enforces positive behavior and relationships on the outside, mentoring ex-prisoners to become self sufficient productive citizens. We will provide a community program that builds the life skills and interpersonal relational skills to thrive outside the prison environment.
Our VALUES are based upon our understanding of and relationship with God.
We believe prisoners behind bars, victims of crime, and families torn apart by incarceration are all loved by God and are worthy of our attention.
We believe neighborhoods can be made safer and healthier through a restorative approach to prisoners and those affected by crime.
We believe men and women behind bars are also sons and daughters, fathers and mothers. What is being done to repair these relationships?
We believe that our program of understanding the guiding principle of relationships is trans-formative and restorative in lives that have been shattered by crime and criminal activity.
We believe that we can equip those called within the Body of the Church to be a "friend with a purpose" to ex-prisoners re-entering of communities.
The foundation of TEAM Mentoring’s approach to prisoner community reentry was conceptualized on “The Level of Service Inventory” (LSI). The LSI assessment tool has been adapted by many Federal and State Departments of Corrections as an means to determine the risk factors an individual prisoner will face upon leaving prison. Of nine key factors measuring risk for recidivism, the following two scored the highest on the inventory: (1) Companions/Relationships; and (2) Leisure/Recreation. These two risk factors constitute the focus of TEAM Mentoring’s scope, mission and design. Mentors are recruited, screened and trained in the importance of establishing healthy, meaningful, committed relationships with ex-prisoners and well-versed in a broad spectrum of appropriate leisure and recreational activities.
A BIT MORE ABOUT US
Founded in 2000 by Larry Gaalswyk who has served as the Executive Director of TEAM Mentoring until January 1, 2019. Since the beginning, Larry has trained and supervised over 350 volunteers from across MT to assist with in-prison and in-jail mentoring workshops. During that same time period, T.E.A.M. Mentoring has collaborated with state and local governments and organizations in reducing recidivism providing 59 in-prison seminars called Montana Re-Entry with over 1300 graduates to date.
TEAM Mentoring has received national recognition for its accomplishments. In January of 2004, the Annie E. Casey Foundation listed TEAM Mentoring among ten ‘Faith-based Connections’ in their publication “Back into the Fold: Helping Prisoners Reconnect Through Faith.” In addition, Executive Director, Larry Gaalswyk, was invited to serve on the Advisory Group in 2007 that helped produce the document by J. Yoon and J. Nickel: Re-entry Partnerships: A Guide for States & Faith-Based and Community Organizations. New York: Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2008.
Larry decided that he needed to step down as Executive Director and seek a new leader for TEAM Mentoring in October this past year. After nearly 25 years of serving 100's of men, Larry handed the reins of TEAM Mentoring to Rev. Glenn Fournier of Billings who will succeed him. Rev. Fournier, has served for the past 18 years in various capacities at Montana Rescue Mission of Billings. Glenn is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Church and has served as a solo pastor and as a teaching/preaching pastor. Over 18 years ago, Glenn started serving the least of these on the streets by volunteering at the mission and with a street ministry at Harvest Church of Billings. He joined the staff at MRM after 8 years of volunteering.
Glenn has worked at the mission as a case worker, teacher, pastor, the Mission manager, and eventually Program Director. In that capacity he oversaw all shelter operations and program for both the Men's and the Women and Children Shelters, who served nearly 2000 unique individuals on an annual basis, with a 1.8 million dollar annual budget.
Over the years Glenn has worked closely with the Department of Corrections, local and Federal law enforcement and other areas of the criminal justice system. In the course of his service at MRM, he has completed many hours of specialized training from safety and security, health and human services, ACE, CIT, Suicide Prevention, addictions and intervention. Glenn was known on the streets by his hands-on effort of street rescue and his unique capacity of compassion and tough love, a ministry that few would venture.
OUR VISION AND PROGRAMS
Teach, Encourage, Assist, Model
A Christ centered life
Four Key Elements to Successful Reentry Programs for Inmates
Tackling the Issue
Until recently, the focus of organizations and government agencies has been predominantly on release programs, while ignoring the significance of pre-release programs. But as the Federal Bureau of Prisons philosophy states, "release preparation begins the first day of incarceration, [and] focus on release preparation intensifies at least 18 months prior to release."
Successful reentry programs for inmates rely on more than just helping ex-offenders find jobs; it also requires helping offenders change their attitudes and beliefs about crime, addressing mental health issues, providing mentoring, proper relationships, offering educational opportunities and job training, and connecting them with community resources. Most, if not all, of these things can and should begin long before a person’s release date.
Twice a year TEAM holds a week long re-entry class at MSP facilitated by community volunteers. This class lays foundations toward the future re-entry process.
CLIENTS NOT OFFENDERS
Many are brothers in Christ
When government agencies and social service organizations just see "offenders", they often serve up a one-size fits all approach that ends up fitting no one. However, in a comprehensive report released by the Council for State Governments Justice Center has given us insight to utilize methods that have recognized by 3 successive presidents, that faith based programs succeed by recognizing these people as people and individuals first and by creating programs that address their diverse needs. We hope to develop a comprehensive evidence based interactive journal program that will compliment our "Eagle's Nest" Journal of Scripture reading that many men that complete our re-entry class participate in. We are developing the introspective journals in partnership with The Change Compaines'
Their interactive journals are currently utilized by the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons; Departments of Corrections in Washington, Pennsylvania and West Virginia; and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as well as a number of faith based organisations including the Salvation Army.
Doing What’s Needed
According to MDRC, an organization committed to learning what works to help improve the lives of low-income people. "There is a growing consensus that reentry strategies should build on a framework known as Risk-Needs-Responsivity (RNR)." The framework helps organizations assess individuals’ risk levels for recidivism and provide appropriate levels of response.
Our vision includes a future of having a facility that would be a model community within our community, where re-entry candidates could discharge to after completing our
phase of "Program" in prison and sentencing and parole requirements. At this yet to be built facility Program candidates would live at and engage in our Next Step Program of 12 - 16 months of intensive class and real time life re-building Program. We operated facilities in the past providing housing. The future will be a facility that is driven by program which will yield changed lives.
AN INSISTENCE ON EVIDENCE
Making a Difference and Proving it
We see every challenge as an opportunity. It may surprise you to learn that just a few short years ago, there was very little evidence available to help determine what makes prisoner reintegration programs successful. Most organizations and government agencies were flying blind. What has changed is the requirement of government agencies to insist on increased reporting and improved outcomes from their programs and community partners.
Team Mentoring hopes to "lead the way" as a partner "Faith Based" agency to implement and demonstrate faith based life change curriculum. We may employ a platform such as "Social Solutions" an evidence based model for re-entry data management. Something few "faith based" re-entry programs are willing to tackle.
Join us and make a real difference.
"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does"
WANT TO VOLUNTEER?
We need volunteer mentors. We need instructors for our re-entry classes. We need people that can be a good friend.
402 North 15th Street
Billings MT United States 59101