Inside the Monroe County Correctional Center, the staff and volunteers of New Leaf – New Life works with jail officials to run a variety of programs to better the lives of people who are incarcerated. We provide just a sampling of those programs here.


Our re-entry groups focus on obtaining skills to smoothly transition back into society, covering topics such as housing, rehabilitation options, and healthy life choices.  Participants build Day 1, Week 1, and Month 1 action plans, as well as provide resource suggestions for others. Life skills classes include reading sections of "Stay Solid: a Radical Handbook for Youth" and discuss topics such as Family, Relationships, Education, Employment, Class & Class Struggle, etc.


Our self-care groups range from sessions to create pillow cases for family/friends to practicing mindfulness, especially as it relates to substance abuse, anger management, and other challenges.  The groups offer opportunities to reflect on living satisfying and meaningful lives.


Our writing groups discuss poems, often addressing topics like substance abuse or emotional turmoil, and write their own work in response.  The work encourages critical thinking, vulnerability, empathy, and a better understanding of their current situation.


One of NLNL's most popular programs, in partnership with St. Mark's United Methodist Church, Jail Bingo provides not only an hour of entertainment in the cell blocks, but also highly desirable prizes like soap and peanut butter.  Watch a video about Bingo!

Think Tanks

The Think Tanks are community advocacy groups that meet together regularly to learn about and build alternative models for justice.  Topics of interest include housing, employment, education, and ways to work toward positive changes in the community.  Think Tank members often continue on to the Re-Entry Collective (see the Outside page)

Read to Me

The Read to Me program records men and women in the jail reading children's books. Once recorded by volunteers, the children of those incarcerated are sent a copy of the book and a recording of their parent reading aloud the book.


Our groups focus on learning both generally applicable skills, such as analytical thinking, and on specific skill sets, such as computer-based logic.  An overarching perspective of the education is to focus on overcoming negative behaviors and negative beliefs by examining different ways of thinking.
All together, we interact with approximately three-fourths of the incarcerated population in the jail!  For more information, Contact Us or fill out a Volunteer Form.  We periodically offer orientations for in-jail volunteering: see the News & Events page for announcements of these offerings.