Quality, Integrity, & Accountability in Community Corrections

Kintock Connection

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.

Residents of Kintock’s Philadelphia programs have participated in numerous community service projects that benefitted the local area. In April, Kintock reentrants assisted with a cleanup that was coordinated through Councilwoman Maria Sanchez's Office.  Kintock received an email from, who stated,

"This clean up was the largest we have ever done and they (Kintock residents) did an amazing job,” said Quetcy Lozada, Chief of Staff for Councilwoman Sanchez's.  “They worked hard until the end and realized that we could not do it without their help," she added.

Among the other community service initiatives that Kintock residents have participated in this year are cleaning the area around Girard College and cleaning out the American Legion Post for an event that they were holding in February.

Kintock also has an agreement with McVeigh Recreation Center, the local YMCA and 12th and Cambria Recreation Center, where residents complete community service on a regular basis.  In the near future, Kintock residents will assist Senator Tartaglione's Office with setting up their community day and will also assist the 25th Police District with their cleanup.

“Beyond its value to the community, community service projects play a prominent role in Kintock’s residential treatment programs. Participating in community service allows our residents to see first-hand how their actions impact others and gives them the opportunity to give back to the communities in which they committed their crimes,” explained Corey Davis, Site Director. “It also teaches them valuable problem-solving and teamwork skills and raises awareness of how they can be a positive member of their community. Together, these experiences and developments help to stem the cycle of recidivism and make our communities safer for all,” he added.

Kintock’s Erie Avenue facility in Philadelphia is pleased to welcome newly hired Human Resources Director, Danita Jones and Human Resources Generalist, Kasheena Smith. Both have extensive Human Resources experience from recruitment, employee relations, and performance management.  Please join Kintock in welcoming the newest HR members!

Danita Jones joined Kintock in January 2017. She has always had a passion for helping people. Prior to joining Kintock, Danita has held various HR roles, including Human Resources Coordinator at VILLA, Inc., an urban retailer located in Center City Philadelphia and HR Generalist at Family Practice & Counseling Network in Philadelphia. Danita obtained her SHRM-Certified Professional in 2014 from The Society of Human Resources Management and Professional in Human Resources certification from Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI). She currently serves on the Emerging Leaders Committee for SHRM Philadelphia local Chapter and is active in her community by serving as a mentor for young women of the Abbottsford Falls Community.

Kasheena Smith joined Kintock in March 2017 and has 19 years of experience in the field of behavioral health.  She previously worked as an HR Manager at Comfort Keepers, a home health care provider agency based in Philadelphia for six years. In that role, Kasheena was responsible for developing HR processes and policies, compliance, employee relations, performance management, recruiting and training's and retaining a high performing work environment.  Prior to her role as HR Manager, she worked in other capacities to support the Human Resources department, having begun her career at Comfort Keepers as a caregiver. Kasheena is very outgoing and energetic and loves to help others.

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