Purpose of STEPS Program: A significant percentage of parole-eligible candidates in Virginia are not approved for parole. In many cases, this is due to the lack of evidence to the Parole Board that the individual will have a support system upon release that would improve the likelihood of his successful re-entry to the community and reduce the risk of re-incarceration. Furthermore, due largely to structural racial inequities in our society, a disproportionate number of inmates are people of color. Our goal is to support a carefully-selected Returning Citizen through the parole and re-entry process, and engage in mutually meaningful relationships that benefit all participants and the community.
Grace STEPS Committee consists of David Gates, Susan Cross, Anna Crockett, Tuck Bowerfind, Steve Riethmiller, Lynn Dent, Pat McGuire, and David Connolly.
First S.T.E.P.S. (Supporting Transitions by Engaging in Parolee Sponsorship)
Returning Citizen for Grace Church Prison Ministry
Below is Information about the first accepted Candidate for our STEPS Prison Ministry
- Name: Richard William Jones
- Birth Date: 11/10/60 – Currently 60 Years old
Arrives in Lexington: August 2, 2021
- Work: Lee Hi Travel Plaza
- Lodging: 15 ½ S. Jefferson Street, Apartment 3
Incarceration at Lawrenceville Correctional Center – Incarceration Time: About 34 years
Jobs During Incarceration: Plumbing, Dry Wall, Custodian, Construction, Roofing, Yard Worker
- Richard Approved unanimously by STEPS Committee after extensive research and conference call. Both recommendations and prison records were considered.
Mentors will be Steve Riethmiller and David Connolly
- Will receive Medical Treatment from Rockbridge Area Health Center
Richard has family living in Charlottesville and Waynesboro
- Probation appointments will be held in Lexington with Probation officer coming from Fincastle Office
The STEPS program is largely financed by a grant from the Gadsden Trust.