Reaching out from Within(ROFW) is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization. We were formally know as “Stop Violence.” Our group was founded in 1982 in the Kansas prison system. The group was heavily assisted by an amazing women named SuEllen Fried. SuEllen founded the Kansas Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse. She also was the president of the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse (NCPCA)
SuEllen Fried is still an active member of the orgnization that was founded so many years ago. I last sow her at out annual Christmas banquit giving hugs and incouragment to all in attendence. She is an amazing role model and even harder dedicated worker for the prevention of violence in our society.
Let me take a moment to explain what the goals and beliefs of ROFW are. We teach about child abuse and the devastating effects it has on our community. We explare the probems of domestic violence and learn no one has the right to hit anyone. We learn to resolve our conflicts in a positive way. We also take a hard look at ourselves and find things we don’t like. Through education, we know and come to learn how to make the changes needed for growth. We are a solutions focused group. We are adamantly opposed to drugs. We believe our anger can be controlled and expressed in a positive non-treatening way.
We use what is called “The Blue Book” as an outline for our group discussions. The chapters are as follows: Program history, Working the Program, Volunteering, Addiction, Anger, Child Abuse, Communication, Conflict, Domestic Violence, Respect, Self, and Spirituality. Each class consistes of approxamitly 15 to 20 inmates. We meet once per week for a little more than an hour. Our group in Lansing Max security area has two volunteers that come each week. They are a couple that have been married for more than 30 years and volunteer at a local shelter here in Lansing. They actually oversow the construction of the shelter and helped in almost all aspects of the project. They are great role models and we are blessed to have their assistance at our facility. From time to time, we have guest speakers come in and discuss related topics with us. We recently had a professional women that worked with domestic violence victoms come in and share some facts with us. We also had a very powerful speaker names Sonia come in. Sonia is a Holicost survivor. As a child she was stripped away from her mother and taken into one of the worst tragedies of our history. She came and spoke to us about her story. There is also a documentary with her story called “Big Sonia.” If you can find this, I would highly recomend spending the time to watch it. We, as a group are attempting to get PBS in the Kansascity area to show it, so possibly look for that in the future.
As of last week, I was voted in as out “Newsletter Editor.” The problem is we haven’t had a steady newsletter for some time, so I have a bit of work to take on. I think it’s important that both inmates and members of the community have a chance to voice their opinion and the topics we share. I would invite you, as members of the free community to share your ideas you’d like for us inmates to be aware of on the subjects we study. As I am just putting together ideas and am in the very beginning stages of facilitating out newsletter, I would ask for you input. If you are interested in adding an article, a personal impact story, or anything else you feel may be of value to our newsletter I would ask that you please forward that on to me, either through J-pay or a snail mail letter to me at the facility, or our orgnisation address I’ll provide at the end of this blog. If you are willing to help add to our newsletter, I will personally assure you that you get a copy when it is published, even if that means me spending postage to mail it. I’m not for sure that our orgnisation has established a mailing list, or has the funds to that, but I will take that responsibility is you are willing to assist us.
Another thought, if you or someone you know would be interested in coming in and sharing your view on one of the subjects our group studies, I would incourage you to contact the ROFW office and see about getting involved. We as inmates always value outside guest speakers and look forward to occasions such as these. I’m not sure the process of getting approval, but I do know it can be done and is done ofter. If you, or possibly someone you know would be interested, please look into it. Our facility here in Lansing, Kansas is only a few minutes outside the Kansascity Metro area. Also, several other prison facilities around the state have this orgnisation. If you were to come, in any given group you would meet a racially diverse group of men wanting to change their life. I personally have seem this group make a huge change, not only in myself, but countless others as well.
Contact information:Reaching out From within
PO Box 8527 Prairie Village, KS 66208
Office phone number 913-706-6667
Webpage is WWW.rofw.org
My information is:
Paul Stotts #93319
PO box 2
Lansing, KS 66043
“If you think your to small to make a difference, try living in a room with only a misqueto.”
I hope to hear from you.