CSC 2009 Seattle, WA
July 8-11, 2009
Hospitals & Institutions
The H&I Committee has managed the processing of mail from inmates, and professionals connected to those incarcerated and or imprisoned. This involves opening the envelope, reading the contents, and deciding how to respond to the requests. There are many factors involved to fully meet the needs presented. Sometimes they just want to know more about the program, they may ask for literature, books, a sponsor and meeting lists. Sometimes they ask for connection to a person to help them feel welcomed to the first meeting "on the outside" after their release. It has currently been determined that once the letter is opened and read, it takes approximately 30-45 minutes to process 1 letter. There is responding, ordering the literature, recordkeeping, filing the expense reports for invoices from CoRe, and the list goes on. Fear is a huge stumbling block for them as well as we ourselves know how debilitating that has been in our life. A friend who has experience, strength and hope is a valuable gift we all have to give if we are willing. Our fears of availing ourselves to those labeled "offenders" rush immediately to the murderers, rapists, and thiefís to name a few. Many of these men and women seeking help from CoDA are serving time for DUIís, or possession of illegal drugs, or domestic violence. One woman in particular was 17 and pregnant when she was arrested. Her sentence is 15 yrs to life. She is seeking to know more not only to help herself but so she may share it with the many women who have similar experiences. There are several inmates that are leaders or potential leaders and desire to make a difference. Since they will never see the "outside" their hearts have changed and hope to take the message to the codependent who still suffers, so they will Not return again due to recidivism. All of this has been said in hopes of dispelling the fear that keeps YOU from serving in this area of need.
The H&I Committee had at one time been quite functional and strong. Somewhere it lost those committed and went dormant for some time. It has been under construction for the past 5 years with minimal support at the national level. There is much that doesnít get done or followed up on. This is sad but true. While I am not leaving, I have pleaded with Higher Power for help with the extra hands, those with some time to offer in a committed way and also skills more experienced than my own. I believe the answers are here with us at this CSC 2009. Their names are: Della-TX, Martha-TX, Richard-NY, Jeri-Nor-Cal, Kathy-IL and Yumi- Nor-Cal. Serving as Chair this past 5 yrs has been a gift of tremendous growth and experience but I do not feel it is healthy for anyone to be in this position without rotation. Thankfully, Yumi from Nor-Cal has agreed to Co-Chair with me this next year and hopefully relieve me and be on her own the following year. I am grateful because there are things Iíd like to do within this committee that time hasnít allowed up to now.
Because the database Iíve been working is still in process and I think incomplete in many ways the following are the best figures I can give you at this time. Statistically speaking the numbers are incomplete of being accurate, but are reflected approximately:
CoDA Books- 233 when the next order is sent.
Letters received and responded to- 54
Literature requested and sent to inmates- 48
CoDA Book Sent to facilities-123
CoDA Book Ordered 200-to be held by CoRe for distribution as directed
Invoice totals from CoRe that were submitted for payment:
January 2009/ $ 130.20
February 2009/ $ 247.66
March 2009/ $2361.50
Even though the budget was only fractionally utilized this past year I would like to maintain the budget amount at $8000.00 because the potential is available and weíve lost about 3 mos. with our meeting in July instead of Sept or Oct as in previous years.
This ends my report and I open it up for any questions you may have.