OUT FOR LIFE
WE ARE RETHINKING REENTRY
Half of parolees return to prison, but we believe there’s a way out for life.
The Exodus Project believes a significant number of returning offenders would not recidivate if they were equipped with a specific set of life skills, had a career plan and were supported during their transition. Studies show that recidivism (and addictive behavior) decreases as education, employment and community involvement increases. Based on this conviction, The Exodus Project is committed to supporting three phases an individual must navigate in to make a successful return to society: Education; Building a Community Network and Restoration (experiencing a successful life).
A rigorous 3 month experience that gives our students a mindset and plan to stay out for life.
A support system to help Exodus Academy graduates begin the move back to “life.”
A learning community partnering to train and restore academy students to our communities.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF ‘LIFER’
We see a better Arkansas by returning paroled offenders as fully restored citizens; ready and equipped to strengthen the social, economic, moral and spiritual fabric of their communities.
Partnering with education, government, and faith communities to reduce recidivism.
The Exodus Project believes many could be fully restored as productive individuals through an integrated structure of in-prison preparation, focused transitional living and active community support – all engaging Christ-followers and their Churches Further, we believe the overall health of Arkansas communities, economically, socially and spiritually will be lifted significantly when these returning citizens are fully restored and investing in turn toward preventing the incarceration of others.
Exodus Project Partners
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Paul Stevens is the Executive Director of the Exodus Project. A native Arkansan from Little Rock, Paul has spent a life time serving the community. He is married to Margaret and has three children. He is a graduate of UALR and did post graduate work at John Brown University. Paul started his career operating four homeless shelters. In 1997 he went on staff with Fellowship Bible Church where served for twenty years. He spent his last 10 years as a member of the on Fellowship’s senior leadership team. Since 1989 Paul has directly or indirectly with broken marriages, child welfare, addiction and the incarcerated.
John is an Executive Vice President at Stephens Inc and President of Stephens Support Services in Little Rock. He has been with Stephens since 1986 and is responsible for IT operations for Stephens and some of their subsidiaries. He attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with undergraduate work in Chemistry and Computer Science. He and his wife Tamie have 5 children and 5 grandchildren.
Married to Connie for 38 years. 4 children 8 grandchildren. Retired managing partner – JPMS/Cox Little Rock. Legacy Elder – Fellowship Bible Church- Little Rock.
Current board memberships:
- Magnolia Banking Corporation
- Divine Destinies
- Exodus Project
- World Gospel Outreach -Honduras
- Edafio Technology Partners
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Jason Duncan, once an incarcerated citizen himself and early participant in programs that lead to the creation of the Exodus Project, lives as an example of the transformative power of God. Since being released from prison in early 2010, Duncan has graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a degree in International Business, helped found Hidden Creek Opportunity Center, has started several businesses, and worked professionally in both the Aerospace and Home Building industries. Duncan is frequently invited to speak to groups in recovery, currently incarcerated, or who are considered “at risk” as his story lends hope to those who need it most and demonstrates a track which can be followed for life change.
Angela Rhodes is a native Arkansan with a passion and drive for the betterment of all Arkansas communities. Angela and husband, Troy, are the parents of three beautiful children who attend local Little Rock Public Schools. The Rhodes own and operate local business, Stone Works LLC. Angela is a Realtor at locally owned Coldwell Banker RPM and boasts a 20 career in offering businesses solutions for IT companies such as MCI WorldCom, SBC at&t, and Cisco Systems. The Rhodes are involved in and support several local boards, charities and churches.
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Myra Woolfolk, a resident of Pine Bluff, earned her BA in Criminal Justice and MS in Addiction Studies, from the University Arkansas at Pine Bluff, in 2004 . Myra has at least 16 years’ experience in the fields, of behavioral health, corrections, and non-profit organizations. She has long been an advocate for the health and wellness of individuals returning to society from incarceration. She brings a wealth of experience ranging from administrative management, developing substance use treatment, educational, and vocational programs for individuals in the state of Arkansas as well as professional development for over 100 clinicians, training to offer services. She recently founded a health and wellness company that works to equip and empower, individuals desiring optimal emotional wellness. She is currently employed with a local non-profit servicing the mental health and substance use needs of adjudicated juveniles, as well as an adjunct professor at Arkansas Baptist College.
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Mallory Weaver is the recipient of the 2017 Out for Life: Graduate Award. This award is given to out-standing graduates of the Exodus Project who demonstrate highly successful reentry into the community.
Mallory is from North Little Rock Arkansas, was educated at area private schools and active in competitive cheerleading. Later she attended Pulaski Technical College. High school left its marks and Mallory began to struggle with depression and substance abuse. She worked for several years for Arkansas Sheriff’s Association. After a difficult divorce she found herself sinking deeply into addiction. She was in and out of jail and rehabs for years. In 2014 she came under the supervision of “drug court” and in 2015 she was sentenced to Arkansas Community Corrections for drug related offenses where she served one year. Near the end of her sentence she entered the Exodus Project’s Academy. Over the next several months Mallory moved from depression and hopeless to participation and engagement.
Since her release Mallory has worked hard, found healing and redemption. She has been clean and sober since 2015. She reconciled with her family and regained joint custody of her children. She is now a staff member with the Exodus Project in the role as academy coordinator. Today students nickname her “the warden” out of respect for here toughness and enthusiasm. Recently remarried Mallory now plans to devote herself to her family and her work.
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Mr. Appler brings over 35 years of experience in therapeutic service delivery, case management, strategic planning, problem solving, resource development, staff supervision and executive leadership in for-profit and non-profit organizations. He is extremely client-focused and has a high level of clinical skills with LCSW social work licensure in Arkansas.
He is familiar with reintegration and readjustment issues recently paroled men and women have as well as military service members, spouses and children face prior to, during, and after deployment. He is familiar with criminal offender’s and veteran’s issues including homelessness, PTSD, substance abuse, addictions and marital problems. He has successfully treated the aforementioned issues in a variety of settings. He is skilled in short term, solution-focused counseling. He is an effective presenter to small and large groups as well as an effective therapist in group and individual settings. He is also a Vietnam Veteran and has been a recovered heroin addict for the past 45 years.
Just wanted to let y’all know that I am genuinely happier than I’ve ever been and thank you all from the bottom of my heart for transforming my mind and spirit… By changing my life you have changed the lives of my family and many many more…
I recently got a promotion at my job and I am now a line leader for 22 employees. In May, I will have been with the same company for a year. That is something I have never done before.
I’ve struggled with my addiction for most of my adult life, but the past 3 years have been a constant struggle to save my life…. With the help of The Exodus Project, I overcame the grip addiction held on me and embraced the beautiful life God always intended for me.
THE ACADEMY: Selected candidates will spend the last 3-4 months of their sentence as ‘students’ at the Academy. Currently, students from the Little Rock ACC Men’s unit will be enrolled in Academy classes on the Hope Campus in Southwest Little Rock. Students from the Malvern Omega Men’s Unit will be enrolled in Academy classes held in the unit. We are currently piloting classes in the ACC Women’s Unit in West Memphis. All campuses receive intense instruction in 4 streams of study that are proven to be essential for successful reentry.
THE INTERVIEW: Candidates who are interested in the Exodus Project’s Academy will be interviewed for admission. We look specifically for individuals who are highly motivated to change their lives and are willing to do anything to make that change happen.
THE FOUR STREAMS OF STUDY
ETHICS & CHARACTER
Developing a code of moral conduct and patterns based on the way of Jesus and the early church.
Only 56% on parole find full time employment. We help students develop an entrepreneurial mindset, skills for full time employment, and a plan for a future career.
Our students learn how to use their time, money, talent, and relationships to create value for themselves and their community.
RESTORATION & RECOVERY
Work the 12 Steps and begin to understand them as a series of decisions that lead to healthy living.
THE EXODUS PROJECT not only provides education but also case management services for interested graduates and others in the community. Together they work through strategies to address their recovery needs, housing and employment opportunities. The Exodus Project partners with other service providers and volunteers in the community to help solve these problems. In the process, the graduates get the opportunity to develop a true support network. Mr. Ed Appler, LCSW is the Exodus Clinical Director and provides case management services.
CASE MANAGEMENT SERVICES
- Goal planning
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Resource referral
- Support systems
- Crisis management
For the greater part of my life I have struggled with self-image issues and substance abuse. Something my upbringing simply couldn’t correct. My late twenties was a combination of chaos and jail. Relentlessly wanting something different in my life but never knowing how to get there on my own. In 2016 when I was released from prison I had made up my mind that things would be different. I had no idea that shortly after I would be introduced to an amazing group of people, who not only understood my exact situation but welcomed me in to their network with open arms. The Exodus Project has changed my life in so many ways. Now I have confidence in my self, a new perspective on life, and hope for my future.
This journey is not an easy one, as former inmates face many obstacles to full integration into the community. Broken relationships, possible destructive behaviors and the need to cover basic living expenses are all enormous challenges for parolees desiring a second chance. A healthy, committed support network is an absolute.
To facilitate the formation of new supporting communities, The Exodus Project “recovery coaches” provide case management services for interested graduates. Together with the parole process, they work through strategies to address their recovery need, housing and employment opportunity. The Exodus Project partners with other service providers and volunteers in the community to help solve these problems. In the process, the graduates get the opportunity to develop a true support network.
A Network Seeking the Welfare of Our Cities
Learning together how to best help our returning citizens . . . and hire them . . . and disciple them! The Exodus Project will be facilitating conferences, roundtables, online learning, organizational consulting, and local training for Exodus Project partners. We have friendships regionally and nationally with expert practitioners in the church, business and non-profit worlds, and we learn from them and from one another.
Partners are resourced with the best programs, practices, materials, systems and processes as they emerge from the network. When requested, we will conduct local training so you can continue to build into the foundations we’ve laid at the Academy. We will function like an “open source” platform – everything we learn and every resource and training we create or uncover will be shared freely with partners of The Exodus Project.
Make a donation to The Exodus Project using your credit or debit card, or your PayPal account. Your contribution helps us close the gap between the modest income we receive through programs and the true cost of quality re-entry programming that makes a difference in lives and communities.
Just click the Donate Now button and go to the secure PayPal screen. You don’t need a PayPal account to donate – just click the “Continue” button under the “Don’t have a PayPal Account” section to use your personal card.
Or, become a sustaining support member of the Exodus Project as we:Or, become a sustaining support member of the Exodus Project as we:
- Continue providing accredited education to inmates and parolees
- Continue developing transitional living strategies for parolees who have completed the Exodus Academy
- Begin building a state-wide network of believers who will receive our graduates back into Arkansas communities and disciple them as they continue their restoration journey
3700A W. 65th Street Little Rock, AR 72209