A part of restorative justice that Future Hope offers is life coaching for the men to learn skills that will help them thrive after being in prison.
Bradley Jacobson is a life coach that helps men reintegrate through the Winnipeg charity Future Hope.
"A big part of restorative justice and second chances is, in fact, finding one's place," says Jacobson. "Future Hope often says it's about standing tall again, finding one's true self past what has happened and focusing on the present and onward. And that's what I do every day and what I teach every day."
Future Hope has housing for men looking to become contributing members of society once more. Coaching is a part of it.
"I often say that what is most important is changing perspective and therefore your mindset for someone involved in the justice system and then reentering the community. What is especially important is finding positive support; family, friends, and support groups, finding safe and sober housing and finding employment or going back to school."
Jacobson runs Ultravac Furnace and Duct Cleaning in Winnipeg and offers jobs to some of the men after their release.
Three Door Analogy
Living at one of the two Future Hope houses and engaging in the community after being incarcerated is similar to entering three doorways, according to Jacobson.
Door one signifies the door to freedom.
"The door to freedom for me is having a soft place to land, a safe place without judgment. Accepting yourself for what you are, not what you've done, and that's going to lead to a softening of the heart and listening to the right voices leading you into connection with something higher than yourself: God."
Door two signifies the door of justice.
"You know labels can lead to separation, prejudice, systemic barriers. But then there's the element of retribution and then restoration. It's less about punishment and more about accompaniment with programs of Future Hope dealing with healing the heart, the soul, and a relationship with others and the community. It's about forgiving and restoring oneself, moving past the past."
The third door is about the door of mercy.
"It is benevolence, forgiveness and kindness. Now the first element is compassion. How to be compassionate for oneself and for others, and sometimes it's easier to show compassion to others than oneself. We come back to change that perspective and your mindset."