The Fresh Start Mentoring Program (FSMP) is an employment preparation and mentorship program for individuals reintegrating into their communities, post-incarceration. The FSMP is conducted every week within the DC Department of Corrections (DOC) and continues after release. It begins four to six months before release with a bio-psychosocial assessment and life-skills programming. The FSMP provides concepts, basic principles, and the exploration of self-directed pathways that will aid in the successful recovery and reintegration process. In addition to the FSMP offered within DOC, the Hope Foundation provides additional programs that complement it with needed support, mentoring, and readiness for successful reintegration back into the community. This is an ongoing program that services up to 375 individuals per year. The program provides the following services both pre and post-release: 

  • Effective Parenting 
  • Anger Management/Regaining Your Emotional Balance 
  • Recovery Support Service (Relapse prevention)
  • Trauma support (female unit)
  • Life Coach/ Mentoring (Personal Growth Development)
  • Substance Abuse Education


The post-release program is broken up into 4 phases to track the success and goal completion of participants

30 Days

Post-release assessment; getting identification; linkages to mental health

90 Days

Check-in on program enrollment, participation, and knowledge attainment

6 Months

Outside employment, re-assessing for additional classes and programming

1 Year

Looking at any re-arrests, providing program aftercare services


HFRN will expand its capacity to provide comprehensive workforce development training and job placement that will help in alleviating the barriers of inconsistent work history, lack of job seeking experience, occupational skills, along with the employers refusing to hire individuals who have been previously incarcerated. Due to these circumstances, returning citizens will be consistently unemployed which result in higher recidivism rates. The program’s most noteworthy transitional service consists of day-labor work crews for which participants are assigned in their fourth week after the participant has successfully completed a series of classroom workshops designed for them to be successful in seeking employment. Our program is designed to prepare participants for placement in permanent job(s), which will offer several advantages: 

    1. Provide participants with structure and activity
    2. Instill good work habits
    3. Provide realistic experience to enhance participant’s marketable skills
    4. Serve as an indicator of the participant’s motivation to stay out of criminal activity
    5. Enable participants to earn a daily income
    6. Prepare participants’ readiness for placement in a permanent job 


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