Executive Director Susan Jacobs-Meadows with Canine CellMates joins the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio podcast to discuss the Beyond the Bars program and how it changes the lives of incarcerated men. Jacobs-Meadows joins host Carol Morgan on the Around Atlanta segment.
Jacobs-Meadows has a varied professional background, with experience in many different fields. From serving in the military to owning her own business, Jacobs-Meadows is a woman of many talents! Her exciting path eventually led to her founding Canine CellMates, a rehabilitative program that partners with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, Fulton County Jail and shelter dogs to offer inmates a second chance.
The jail dogs program pulls canines out of animal shelters and moves them into Fulton County jail 24 hours a day with inmate handlers. It also offers classes five days a week to teach inmates the necessary skills to handle the dogs successfully. The organization also works to get all of the dogs adopted.
Jacobs-Meadows said, “The program centers around the dogs but the focus is on the men.”
The participating inmates take classes that cover personal development, critical thinking, public speaking, building creative muscle as well as interviewing and writing skills. They also bring in speakers to talk to the men about various topics.
Jacobs-Meadows shared the goal is to present inmates with as many ideas and concepts as possible so that when they rejoin society, they will make better choices to avoid returning to incarceration.
As of now, the organization solely works in Fulton but hopes to expand to other counties for their in-custody program. The program is still waiting to be reinstated after a necessary pandemic hiatus but hopes to return soon!
Last year, the organization took over an abandoned building in an enormous leap of faith. To create more awareness in the market, Canine CellMates needed a space of its own to thrive and expand. After moving into the building, the natural next step was to offer additional services. Born in the brand-new facility, Beyond the Bars is an alternative disposition program. The selected participants join the organization at the facility four half days a week to take part in an intensive program for 90 days.
They work with rescue dogs in a group training environment, perform upkeep around the facility and partake in a very focused curriculum that centers around conflict resolution, effective communication, parenting skills and emotional competence. After 90 days, a graduation ceremony is held to applaud their hard work and commitment.
Jacobs-Meadows said, “It’s important momprofitnonprofitto recognize that this was a pretty significant thing they just finished.”
After the 90 days, the participating dogs are officially adoptable, and the inmates phase up with their involvement gradually lessens over the remaining nine months. After one year, the program is completed, and their charges go away.
Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #22564. NMLS ID #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Not all applicants will qualify. New American Funding and Canine CellMates are not associated. Click here to view the terms and conditions of products mentioned during the show. Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. (March/2022)
New American Funding is a family-owned mortgage lender with a servicing portfolio of over 216,000+ loans for $56.8 billion, 171 branches and about 4,500+ employees. The company offers several niche loan products and has made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies in America seven times. For more information, call 678-898-3540 or visit https://branch.newamericanfunding.com/Atlanta.
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