There’s help available for returning citizens – those re-entering society each year after serving time in prison – as they try to adapt and adjust to life on the outside. At a small program held in Northern Michigan last fall called Trauma Camp, returning citizens were able to confer and learn coping skills from counselors. The annual gathering was started in 2020 by Aaron Kinzel, a faculty member in the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Criminology and Criminal Justice program.
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The camp gets support from grants and fundraisers, and there is no cost to the participants. Supporters of the camp include the Michigan Association of Re-Entry Support/Youth Justice Fund and The Michigan Justice Fund. Last year, there were fifteen people in attendance. Kinzel brings a well-informed perspective, having served prison time himself before moving into the academic world. He said it’s important to get people who’ve been incarcerated away from the distractions and stress of everyday life.
One Detroit’s continuing coverage on the challenges returning citizens face takes contributor Mario Bueno, who has also served prison time, and senior producer Bill Kubota to the Trauma Camp to see how it works and hear from some of its attendees.
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Watch American Black Journal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.