Dismas is Working - Hear the Stories

Dismas is working. As a model, Dismas House works — a way for former offenders to rebuild their lives. We’ve gathered here a representative sample of stories of some of the people whose lives have been changed through their involvement with Dismas House.


A Re-entry Program That Works

Jean DeWinter, Board member of the South Bend Dismas House, offers insight into what makes the Dismas program a unique and effective re-entry model. This post is part of a Huffington Post What's Working series, in partnership with #cut50, co-sponsors of the recent Bipartisan Summit on Criminal Justice Reform (Washington, D.C., March 26). The Summit was part of a movement to popularize support for criminal-justice reforms while also having comprehensive discussions about the policies, replicable models and data-driven solutions needed to achieve systemic changes.

Read Jean's post on the Huffington Post, What's Working series site.

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Sister Sue: The Nun At The County Jail

For more than 40 years, Sister Sue Kintzele – a sister of the Holy Cross in South Bend, Indiana – has visited the county jail. As the last remaining overseer of a bail bond fund, Sister Sue helps low-income individuals post bail, so they can continue working while they await trial. She does this work voluntarily, because, she says, “the people that are there are people…and they need the same things that all of us need.”

Listen to the WBUR, NPR Boston, Interview.

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Phil: Overcoming PTSD

After he returned from combat duty in Vietnam, Phil suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He wound up serving nine years in prison. Then, he was fortunate enough to wind up at Dismas House.

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Ray Barnes: Giving Back

When Ray Barnes was 14, he had his first drink and smoked his first joint. From that point, drugs and alcohol controlled most of his life.  “I have been a drug addict and alcoholic most of my adult life,” he says, “and also a criminal.”

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Lennie Minter: Remembering Where He’s Been

Like many of the people who have re-entered society by way of Dismas House, Lennie Minter reached a point in life where he surrounded himself with the wrong people, in the wrong places, at the wrong times.

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