NCJR Article June 2010

Nebraska Aftercare In Action is an organization of volunteers committed to preparing inmates for successful reentry into our communities. We do this by building working relationships with the Nebraska Department of Corrections, state and government organizations, faith-based organizations, inmates, and our local communities.

Nebraska Aftercare In Action was birthed late in 2009. Several people that were already involved in helping inmates transition back into our communities began to meet and talk about how we could further help alleviate a growing problem… over-crowding of our prisons. We believe that recidivism is prompted primarily because the returning citizens do not have a support team of people that will help them reconnect to their communities. Without the support of people to help them find housing, work, and community connectedness, along with support with personal decision-making skills, the returning citizen will be at a very high risk of re-offending.

We are deeply convinced that by providing returning citizens the healthy support structure they need to be successful, productive citizens it will greatly reduce recidivism. As recidivism is reduced the benefits are innumerable - less victims, less broken families, less inmates in our prisons, etc.

The organization is structured as follows: Board of Directors, State Director, Deputy State Director, Area Coordinators, Team Captains, and Support Teams. The Board of Directors oversees the organization as a whole. The State Director and Deputy State Director receive all the inmate applications and direct these applications to the appropriate area coordinators. They oversee the Area Coordinators, they coordinate training for all volunteers, and they build working relationships with wardens, parole officers, caseworkers, and probation officers. They also become the ‘face’ of the organization by attending statewide meetings such as Reentry Alliance of Nebraska, Table Talk, etc., anything that helps partnering and pursuit of helping returning citizens.

Volunteer teams of 3-7 people are recruited by local area coordinators that are then trained and assigned to an inmate at least two months prior to their release. This team will be the support team for this inmate for at least six months following their release.

As a volunteer, non-profit organization we are in great need of people to be on the local support teams. If you are interested in volunteering to make a positive difference in the lives of inmates, families and your community, please contact our State Director or Board President; their contact information is listed below.

We are funded by donations and grants and this is always an area of needed development. If you know of funding available for this type of organization please let us know.

Contact information:

Nebraska Aftercare In Action

P.O. Box 6757
Lincoln, NE 68506-0757

Board President – Jeff Bell,, 308-995-0217

State Director – Lauri Westfall,, 308-381-8231 or 308-383-0980