Span, Inc. Changing lives for safer communities since 1978

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Rounded Rectangle: “When I got out, everything came at me so fast I didn't have any idea what I should do first. Span guided me and helped me to organize my time and my life. I stopped feeling overwhelmed faster than I thought I would.'       Ronnie (12 years in, 8 years out)

 
Mission and History

Mission

Our mission is to assist people who are or have been in prison to achieve healthy, productive and meaningful lives.

Incorporated in 1978, Span has provided intensive support services for over 7,000 men and women in Massachusetts who are or have been in prison. Using a personalized combination of case management, health services, career development, and counseling support, we help clients reintegrate into their communities as assets rather than liabilities.

By assisting our clients to avoid returning to criminal behavior, we make our communities safer and provide a fiscally responsible alternative to repeated incarceration. Span's average annual cost to help one client stay on a path of self-sufficiency and out of prison is $4,000, compared to the $46,000 annual cost to incarcerate one Massachusetts state inmate.1

We believe that breaking the cycles of addiction, unemployment, crime, and imprisonment benefits everyone - victims, offenders, families, and communities. By treating our clients with dignity and respect and by encouraging them to take advantage of life-changing tools, we are fulfilling our mission to help men and women coming out of prison to rebuild their lives.

History

 


Massachusetts Correctional Institution (MCI) Cedar Junction -Walpole

In 1977, 30-year-old Lyn Levy spent most of her time volunteering with an ex-offender organization at MCI Walpole a maximum security state prison in Massachusetts. Her role was to help prepare prisoners for release and assist them throughout the process of returning to society. She believed that with the right resources and opportunities, formerly incarcerated people could achieve healthy, productive, and meaningful lives by breaking the cycle of addiction and crime. In 1978, when the organization she volunteered for went out of business, Ms. Levy founded Span, Inc. and continued to focus on reintegration.



Within five years, Span expanded to include five staff working from a  two-room office on Boylston Street and going into several state prisons.  Most of the workweek was behind the walls, providing discharge planning, individual counseling, reintegration groups and advocacy. When the issues of mandatory sentencing, and reintegration began to receive national attention, Span gained recognition for its groundbreaking work. Since then, Span has received funding from public and private agencies, foundations, and individuals such as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MADPH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Social Security Administration (SSA). The agency focus is still reintegration and resettlement.


Thanksgiving at Span


Lyn Levy

Today, Lyn and some of Span's original staff continue to commit themselves to re-entry and reintegration. Now there are over 30 employees who see more than 1200 clients a year. Span has developed from a fledgling agency that once provided discharge planning to one prison community to an organization that serves people in all state and county prisons in Massachusetts. Today, Span is the longest-running Boston-based agency whose sole mission is to provide services dedicated to prisoners and ex-prisoners who want to change their lives.


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http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eopsmodulechunk&L=3&L0=Home&L1=Public+Safety+Agencies&L2=Massachusetts+
Department+of+Correction&sid=Eeops&b=terminalcontent&f=doc_faq&csid=Eeops