Quality, Integrity, and Accountability in Community Corrections

Kintock Connection

Kintock is excited to announce plans to expand its corporate headquarters in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Construction is expected to begin imminently and be completed early this summer. The expansion will include the addition of a large training room that will accommodate approximately 20 participants, as well as and two additional offices for staff.  The new space will be used to conduct company-wide training for all Kintock employees. 

“We are very pleased to be able to add this much needed space to our corporate office to allow us to hold more training programs, staff development and program meetings onsite,” explained Gretchen Wiseman, Chief Administrative Officer. “With our program locations spread across the Northern and Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia areas, Kintock felt that it would be beneficial to have the ability to host staff trainings at our corporate headquarters, which is a more central location for facility staff,” added Ms. Wiseman.

Residents of Kintock’s Bridgeton residential treatment and work release program are putting into practice important steps to successful reintegration through their dedicated efforts to keep East Vineland’s Little League Baseball Fields in good condition for the local teams.

Under the supervision of a resident supervisor, five-residents report to the East Vineland Ball Field on Tuesdays from the end of March until October to assist city workers in ground maintenance that includes weeding, dragging the infield, painting, maintaining dugouts and press box,  as well as cleaning up trash on the fields and the parking lot. The Detail is supervised by a Resident Supervisor.

“Participating in this and other community service projects gives residents the opportunity to play a positive role and contribute to the community, something many residents have never done before,” explained Marcos DeJesus, Site Administrator at Kintock Bridgeton.

“The opportunity to give back to their community not only supports treatment goals, but teaches residents that they have a stake in their communities. This is a valuable realization as residents prepare to transition back into the community as productive members of society,” he added.

“This partnership has been a wonderful opportunity for East Vineland Little League. We have services provided to us that would be otherwise neglected due to our volunteers' busy work and home schedules. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to The Kintock Group for this program and the residents who service our facility for their exceptional services they provide to us,” said Jeffrey M. Bordie, President, East Vineland Little League.

The ongoing arrangement with the East Vineland Little League came about in 2014 after two staff members, Michael Kenney, Director of Operations and Frank Buczynski, Senior Operations Manager reached out to the East Vineland Little League to suggest collaborating with Kintock to allow residents to volunteer at the ball field. Under the arrangement, a group of five residents work on the ball field detail for 30-day increments.  Kintock provides transportation to and from the field, along with a Residential Supervisor to oversee their work.

“I am very pleased at the wonderful work that our residents are doing in supporting the community and look forward to continuing to partner with the East Vineland Little League in this mutually beneficial arrangement,” said Mr. DeJesus.

Kintock continues to enjoy a mutually productive partnership with Rutgers Medical School that benefits Newark Stage to Enhance Parolee Success (STEPS) Program residents and medical students alike. For more than 10 years, Kintock has collaborated with Rutgers Medical Students and their supervisors to bring a host of health education lectures to our resident population.

Each semester Rutgers Medical School provides medical students that lead lectures for STEPS residents on a variety of health topics. The Rutgers Medical students come to the facility once a week for an hour for eight weeks to conduct Health Education presentations to both the male and female parole population.  Approximately 10 to 12 medical students lead the mini health lectures on topics that include Exercise, Nutrition, Mental Health, Immunizations and Vaccines, Stress, and a variety of medical conditions such as Cardio Vascular Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, and Sexually Transmitted Illnesses. 

“The residents enjoy the opportunity to learn about the various health topics that are discussed and are actively engaged when the medical students are present,” according to Jennifer Nielsen, Director of the STEPS program.  “Residents have voiced interest in medical topics and the medical students have followed up the next week to provide the resident with requested information. In some cases, the medical students have even tailored that subsequent week’s session to provide information about a requested health topic or concern. The medical students may also concentrate on specific topics that address areas of concern with the current population,” she added.

At the completion of the 8-week series, residents receive a copy of each Powerpoint presentation along with a list of area health clinics.

“The experience has been positive for both our resident parolee population and the medical students,” noted Ms. Nielsen.

“This opportunity not only educates our resident but provides an educational experience for the medical students as well,” said Ms. Nielsen.  “The medical students from Rutgers Medical School are given the opportunity to experience a different population then they would in a typical clinical setting.  This affords them the opportunity to understand the diversity of people they have the opportunity to work with and how it would be to work with a difficult population.  It also offers the medical students an understanding of the different type of care received while a person is incarcerated or in a hallway house.  As a health care professional the opportunity to work in a correctional setting may not be a first thought but this gives these students the opportunity to see a different setting for their career,” she added.

“I had such a rewarding experience participating with our Public Understanding of Medicine in Action (PUMA) program at Kintock. I had the chance to teach lectures both cardiovascular health and diabetes to the residents,” said Richard Woferz, a first-year student at Rutgers Medical School. [The program] allows students to adapt our classroom knowledge into lesson plans that have the potential to make a real difference in the health and well-being of an underserved population.

At Kintock, I appreciated connecting with the residents not just giving out information but sharing stories and experiences. The thing with topics of medicine and healthcare are never just the facts on the surface but carry with them personal weight: the struggles of illness and the joys of health. While our goal was to educate the residents, we wanted to open bidirectional communication by welcoming them to share their personal encounters with these health topics. This allowed questions to flow naturally and for both sides to gain from the experience. We learned about the burden of diabetes and heart disease that the residents have faced within their families and they had a chance to comfortably bring up long-held questions regarding risks of other family members being diagnosed and how certain lifestyle habits could help prevent these conditions. Learning to present this information in this more personal and anecdotal approach kept the residents engaged and interested, because all of sudden it wasn't just another textbook lesson on insulin helps the cells take up sugar from the blood but it was now understanding why my grandmother had to take that injection before a dinner every night and why she had to have that amputation surgery,” said Mr. Woferz.

 “The [experience] at Kintock, reaffirmed why I am in medical school. Medicine is not what is written in a textbook, it is about strengthening the lives of our patients,” he added.

Launched in 2016 at the Philadelphia program, Kintock’s Art Appreciation Program (KAAP) has been a huge hit among the residents who have participated in the voluntary program.

“The KAAP promotes ideology that the arts have the power to affect change in the lives of individuals in our facility and thereby can effect change in society,” explained Corey Davis, Site Director.  “

The KAAP was established in 2016 by facility staff as an exploration of visual art forms and their cultural connections, with special emphasis on fine art.  This program includes a brief study of art history, and in depth studies of the elementary aspects of color, application and theory, for the student with little experience in the visual arts. Basic coloring, drawing skills and painting workshops are facilitated by Kintock staff, incorporating various techniques and principles that would normally be taught in a (middle and high school) fine arts class.

Approximately 40 residents have participated in the program to date. Classes are held once per week.

“The residents truly enjoy the classes and seem to get a lot out of the classes,” said Mr. Davis.

“The KAAP represents an alternative to the standard programming that residents typically receive and there has been a lot of interest from both male and female Parole Violator programs and the Bucks County program as well,” noted Mr. Davis.

Art Appreciation Promotes Positive Change

“Studies have shown that Arts in confined settings have provided life changing experiences when using art as a medium, in prisons and detention centers throughout the country, participants in those programs are better equipped to be successful when they reenter our communities,” according to Mr. Davis. 

“Participating in an arts program in a group setting fosters personal characteristics, which can reduce risk in the areas of leisure/recreation and attitude, two of the eight risk/need areas for reentering offenders.  Having positive, safe activities to pass the time supports positive habits and behaviors.  Art in confined settings has been shown to increase self-awareness, improve the ability to work collaboratively, increase ability to practice empathy and increase cognitive thinking,” he added. 

Studies have also shown that offenders who participated in arts programs were more likely to participate in academic and vocation programs and less likely to engage in behaviors resulting in disciplinary reports.

Participating in the KAAP and having the opportunity to create also serves to reestablish an identity above that of the offender status, which in turn promotes

The art topics covered are presented through slide shows, lectures and corresponding readings from several books, including Mark Getlein’s Living with Art, 10th Edition, The Fantasy Art Bible, by Jane Mosley and Jackie Strachan and Anatomy for the Artist by Sarah Simblet.

Residents are encouraged to attend and participate in the arts program. Among the studio projects that residents have completed are murals and paintings.  All art supplies are provided by the Kintock Group.

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