In response to Mayor Bowser’s crime bill several DC governmental officials, along with other community leaders and members, have sought out ways to target young at risk DC youth. Some of those efforts were rejected and deemed “ineffective” in addressing the needs to reduce crime, drug use and recidivism.
There is another component that would prove beneficial and productive. A component that, with the right collaboration, would be effective in accomplishing the goal of reducing rime and violence among these at risk teens and young adults: Partnerships with the incarceration population and DC youth, young adults and returning citizens. I would like to present to The Reconstruct Program (TRP).
The Reconstruct Program is designed to introduce productive principles that provide realistic solutions to help reconstruct the lives of those who may be at risk of incarceration, juvenile delinquency and substance abuse, by way of life coaching techniques. The Reconstruct Program focuses on reinforcing the idea that people can change and become productive regardless of race, gender, social conditions and educational background. We choose to focus on the strengths of the individuals and not the weaknesses.
Our mission is to reconstruct lives one at a time. Our goal is to provide positive relationships and awareness in order to reframe ones way of thinking. Our comprehensive program involves the use of evidence based information along with a treatment plan, and facilitator’s guide. Participants can put to use what they learn in their daily lives. The information learned addresses the need for victim impact awareness, restorative justice, community building/repairing, leadership, parenting, substance and alcohol abuse, along with other anti-social behaviors that contribute to current social ills.
What makes TRP different is that we use real life experiences, techniques and evidenced based coaching techniques to foster positive and productive relationships. I founded this program after over 20 years of incarceration. I have been incarcerated since the age of seventeen, as of now 23 years. I have walked the path that many of these at risk youth are walking. I am still living the repercussions of making poor choices, well into my adult years. This is an important and critical fact. One that translates into real life experiences, insight and solutions for those that may find themselves at odds with pro-social lifestyle and behavior.
My personal experience along with the collaboration of my mentor, Dr Patrick Williams MCC BCC, The Reconstruct Program brings a wealth of viable options and creative solutions, that will not only influence change, but will motivate and inspire others towards healthy living and positive behavior.
In conclusion I would like to say that change is a choice and one that cannot be forced. The founding principle of TRP is based, on what we call, the 3 R’s and 3 F’s.
The 3 F’s fear, fact and force don’t provoke change. Most programs: mentor and counseling, use fear (which wears off), facts (which are soon forgotten) and force (which often tires out the one applying it) as a means of addressing these needs. We use the 3 R’s: relationships (which is at the heart of all human interaction) reframe (to think differently about the events taking place around you) and Repetition (to do it over and over again) as tools to help individuals choose what direction they choose to direct their lives.
It is hoped that members of DC council and other community leaders will support TRP and collaborate with us to add to the other methods currently being used to address the needs of at risk DC youth.
If you have any further questions about TRP you can contact us at the address provided below. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Talib M Shakir