The Office of Restorative Justice & Detention Ministry for the Diocese of Orange has a partnership with the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. They work together on the "Lights On" project.
Lights on offers inmates released from jail during the night hours a re-entry “hand up”. In the image, you can see the Lights On RV in the photo parked just outside the county’s Intake and Release Center offering immediate re-entry services to those with little to no provisions. Most importantly, Lights On offers a caring person, a safe place, a little dignity and hope to those in desperate need. There is no other program like this in the country that we are aware of.
Here is an excerpt from Fred LaPuzza, Director of the office of Restorative Justice:
"Lights On has been an inspiration for systemic change in our local corrections system. The idea is cutting edge and has inspired organizations like Project Kinship and the Orange County Health Care Agency to allocate their Prop 47 grant funds to develop and implement programs currently building capacity around the Lights On model. The Sheriff’s Dept., and Probation Dept. endorse the Lights On Program and some of their representatives have even made attempts, though unsuccessful, to fund Lights On out of their county budgets. The Public Defender’s office has also been an avid supporter of Lights On as well as a host of community non-profits and parishes within our diocese. "
This project was recently featured in O.C. Catholic, the Diocesan newspaper, front page and included Fred's involvment with this ministry.
To read the article, click here.