What is the CHANGES Program?
The CHANGES Program is a program offered to offenders through the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and Windham School District which provide life skills to prepare offenders for release. CHANGES stands for Changing Habits and Achieving New Goals to Empower Success.
Offenders who are expected to be released within two years or have F13R parole requirements are allowed and sometimes required to take the courses.
The CHANGES program include topics that are important to being successful on the outside. These include:
- Personal Development – preparing for change, goal setting, self-discovery, values, attitudes, beliefs, patience with self and others
- Healthy Relationships- reuniting with family, relationship styles, communication and conflict resolution, family patterns, effective parenting
- Living Responsibly- respecting boundaries; civil responsibilities; budget planning; time management; problems and solutions
- Drug Education- basic facts, common drugs and their effects, drug use and the power of associations, what it takes to protect your sobriety, steps in changing habits
- Living Well – inside-out, mind-body connections, male/female health issues, reproductive health, stress management and nutrition)
- Putting Together a New Start – anger management, loss and grief, empathy, making amends, stressful interactions
- Going Home- getting and keeping a job, technology 101, success is a choice, goals and resources for success)
The reintegration programs offer life skills essential for living on the outside. With each completed program the offender will receive a certificate of completion which can be used by the offender as evidence of program participation for parole purposes.
When completing a parole package it is important to include each certificate of completion. The voting members of the parole board will use this information to determine how well an offender has done while incarcerated, how they have worked to improve themselves, all of which can affect parole eligibility.
Our book How to Prepare a Texas Parole Package provides step-by-step instructions on how to complete a parole package and exactly where to place these certificates for maximum effect.
How to Prepare a Texas Parole Package is available in printed form which can be mailed to a prisoner at his or her unit or directly to you.