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Mentors Of Ex-Offenders Go Beyond Faith

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By Rebecca Sheir

Each year, more than 2,000 adults return to D.C. from prison. Members of Washington’s faith community are volunteering to mentor these individuals, and help them reintegrate in to society.

Reverend Donald Isaac delivers the invocation at the annual dinner for the Faith-Based Mentoring Initiative: a partnership between D.C.’s faith community and the federal government’s Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, or CSOSA, which supervises adults on bail and parole.

Christine Keels, who works for CSOSA, says the partnership is a natural fit.

"The general faith principle is to accept people no matter what they have done," says Keels. "Because they are in fact human beings who are frail and broken but yet can be restored."

Reverend Isaac admits not all of his men-tees have "been restored," but he says most are leading productive lives. One of them works for a construction company, recruiting other ex-offenders, and helping them return to the work force.

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