More than 80% of prisoners are incarcerated as a result of crimes committed to support their addiction and a significant number of them continue their addiction while inside. They often develop new addictions to affect the balance of power, exercise control, and manipulate others to do their bidding. This is clear from the violence and gang activity inside prisons.
The From Ashes to Destiny (A2D) curriculum consists of thirty chapters in workbook format. The program can be completed in a daily, intensive one month course or it can be extended to run over six months. A2D partners with correctional officials, chaplains, social workers, and psychologists to ensure regular one-on-one sessions for each offender as a follow up to the group meetings. This unearths valuable information that can be provided to the parole board while an offender’s release from prison is under consideration. At the end of the course, A2D coordinates with correctional officials to offer Victim-Offender Mediation (VOM) or Victim-Offender Dialogue (VOD) for each participant if desired.
The curriculum has been proven equally successful with male, female and juvenile participants. From Ashes to Destiny includes separate workbooks for drug and alcohol addictions, and sexual offenders or sexual addictions. The program is often used as a highly effective pre-release program. Correctional officials repeatedly acknowledge the changed behavior of the offenders, whether they are incarcerated for a short time or serving a life sentence.
The majority of inmates in Western countries have been exposed to the twelve steps at some stage of their lives. However, A2D takes a unique approach with its four different phases and workbook interaction. This quickly reveals whether the offender is truly ready to change, or if he is simply sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Evidence-based studies in South African correctional facilities have proven the successful completion of the A2D curriculum results in a dramatic reduction in the rate of recidivism.
Dr. Menzi Mkhathini, National Director of Spiritual Care for the Department of Correctional Services wholeheartedly endorses the A2D program in prisons.