The criminal justice system in America no longer works.
Repeated incarceration does nothing to prevent crime. We’ve developed a comprehensive program that does. It changes lives, saves tax dollars and increases public safety.
Wonderful things happen at Ascend. We see 75% of our students transform their lives from ‘criminal offender’ to law-abiding, tax paying citizens who lead productive lives.
Our goal is to serve those who want to change their lives – and by doing so, improve the lives of everyone around them. By helping someone learn to live a law-abiding and productive life, we’re able to positively impact those with whom they interact. The ‘ripple effect’ is felt far outside the immediate lives of our students.
The Ascend Program is effective.
Why? Ascend uses a unique and comprehensive approach to improve the way people think and feel about their lives.
In California, 7 out of 10 offenders will be convicted again within three years. With Ascend, 7 out of 10 of our graduates will have no new convictions in that same three year period. And although the other 3 may still encounter some trouble, they do much less wrong and are on the right track.
HOW DO WE DO IT?
We truly care. Our current Criminal Justice system in America can often treat people as if they don’t deserve a second chance. We believe they do, and given the right tools, will succeed. We treat them like family. Here’s what a few have said:
“There’s always someone I can call, 24/7, if I need help making a life decision or just need someone to talk to” Sam R.
“This is the first time in my life that people really cared about my future, and really helped me get there” Daniel N.
“I love that we are welcome to be part of Ascend forever” Jennifer S.
Ascend helps people develop self-respect, responsibility, and the thinking and behavior that directs their lives toward good every moment of every day.
But no one can improve thinking and behavior without skills and support. Here’s where our program provides:
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
We immerse our students in evidence-based, cognitive behavior therapy, which uncovers negative/criminal thinking styles and changes them to positive/pro-social ways of thinking. This leads to:
- Staying clean and sober
- Avoiding criminal situations and people
- Participating in society
- Becoming self-sufficient
- Supporting their families
- Being positive role models for their children
We provide detailed class instruction and personalized mentoring in the real world. We teach and tutor how to meet all obligations of probation and parole. Our students learn how to obey all laws – even those which are difficult to understand, which can lead to accidental re-offending and arrest. Our students learn what thought processes, habits, and behaviors lead to criminal behavior, and how to replace those with healthy pro-social thoughts and actions.
We add the benefit of physical activity and accomplishment to empower our students – they learn rock climbing skills to build self-reliance and discover a prosocial activity. Yoga and meditation are part of the curriculum to teach introspection and self-control.
People need life skills to survive. We assist our students by:
- Finding appropriate job training
- Supporting them in their job search
- Helping them enroll in education programs
- Teaching them to develop time and finance management skills
- Assisting them with ‘obstacles’, such as getting their drivers’ license back, or taking care of family issues
Learning respect for one’s physical and mental health is also an integral part of our program. We teach our students to make healthful and nutritious food choices, so they stay strong and focused. Stress-relieving exercise and meditation are developed as a daily habit.
Mentoring leads to success
Our professional mentors go beyond the classroom, helping students move away from negative influences and into fulfilling lives. We help them learn how to navigate their lives – avoiding pitfalls, making good choices, setting goals. Our purpose is to give them a hand up, and teach them a new way of thinking. Many of our students return to become mentors – they want to ‘give back’ to our program and help others achieve success in life – and all are welcome to stay part of our positive networking forever.
The criminal justice system in America is broken. Ascend offers real change with a program that has proven success.