U.S. CORI Roadmap
Start Up Meeting and Action
by dpearson
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A meeting took place on Friday April 23, 2010 to discuss the cost relative to state and regional structure in order allow a formal business plan to be developed. The conversation turned to a discussion of a pilot program and the need for a focus group. The assembly of logic models was also discussed. The plan is for the focus group to begin work in earnest in August.

The agenda for the meeting was as follows:
Agenda
Organizational Structure
Counsel additions
Regional and State business model enables business planning
Youth video
CORI Show as a promotion tool

While the last 2 agenda items were not discussed the following was provided on 4/24 in response to the need for a focus group.

"The following is provided in order to summarize the ideas assembled thus far with respect to what US CORI could be. It is provided with the hope that it will help in the assembly of the focus group  as well as future formal incorporation. Of course comments, suggestions and edits are anticipated and welcome.

Potential Profile

  • National non profit membership organization
  • An online community and grassroots movement
  • Service focus on the criminal justice record system as well as the challenges to re-entry
  • Includes a separate youth and adult structure
  • Includes a state and regional structure
  • Legislative advocacy component
  • Training component (Annual Conference, as well as local offerings)
With respect to the youth component I offer the following. The following is a list of some of the skill sets youth would learn in participating in the project.
  • Management - Youth would be placed in positions of responsibility in the same national, regional and state structure that governs the overall U.S. CORI project. Mentors, counselors or whatever such term is designated would oversee the work of the youth.
  • Management Disciplines - Youth could work in a mentor or internship program with the adults who manage core business disciplines like Finance and Human Resources. Our focus on Education and creation of a new paradigm in our correctional system should lead to opportunities in the disciplines associated with education as well.
  • HTML - Basic html skills would be learned. There will in all likelyhood be other technology skills learned.
  • Online Meeting Facilitation
  • The use of Social Networking Software to promote Social Change
  • Legislative Process
  • Research - Including legal research
  • Statistics"

For online and telephone help, including screen sharing, contact us by email or call +1 877-625-0282.

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Address
by dpearson
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Today we received a U.S. Postal Mail Box. Seems like a small thing but I believe it will serve as a catalyst for a bunch of things. The new address is as follows.

U.S. CORI
P.O. Box 461
Allston, MA. 02134

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Youth
by dpearson
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A plan has emerged to have youth play a more active role in the U.S. CORI project. There is to be a sub domain that covers youth. This is done since laws governing youth usually differ from those that cover adults. The following is a list of some of the skill sets youth would learn in participating in the project.

  • Management - Youth would be placed in positions of responsibility in the same national, regional and state structure that governs the overall U.S. CORI project. Mentors, counselors or whatever such term is designated would oversee the work of the youth.
  • Management Disciplines - Youth could work in a mentor or internship program with the adults who manage core business disciplines like Finance and Human Resources. Our focus on Education and creation of a new paradigm in our correctional system should lead to opportunities in the disciplines associated with education as well.
  • HTML - Basic html skills would be learned. There will in all likelyhood be other technology skills learned.
  • Online Meeting Facilitation
  • The use of Social Networking Software to promote Social Change
  • Legislative Process
  • Research - Including legal research
  • Statistics

The initial requirements for involvement in the program are potentially as follows.

  • Age - 16 years to 21 years
  • Stable internet access (dial up is not an option)
  • A Headset
  • Webcam
  • Completed Cover Letter
  • Completed application

Some of the immediate questions that are being posed to the youth program advance team are:
  • What should the ratio of counselors/mentors to youth leaders be?
  • Should the youth program have a separate application form or use our main application?
  • Should the sub domain be the same webware as the domain or should it be equiped with social networking software like ELGG?
  • Should the youth brand be identical or simply similar to the main brand?

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End 07 and Start 08
by dpearson
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The U.S. CORI project has been several years in the making. In the summer of 2007 the build of the web portal and discussions with management commenced. The initial goal was to roll out the site in November of 2007 however, a problem with a server kept that from happening.

Blake Lucas who was slated to lead the project moved to North Carolina in the summer of 2007. This was not thought to be a problem since the project is a national initiative. What did turn out to be a real problem was that the place he moved proved not to have a stable internet connection. Since the initial marketing schedule requires a stable connection with voice and video capability for all planned leaders this was a serious problem. I am happy to hear from Blake today that he believes this problem has been rectified and the hope is to test over the next several days to confirm his capability. This testing should be complete by January 10 and success would mean the first formal meeting could take place sometime between 1/13/2008 and 1/31/2008.

The delay in startup has meant that the original marketing plan which was time sensitive would need to be altered. At this time no formal marketing plan exists however there has been an initial inquiry that has generated some interest and that will be explored more deeply in January of 2008. The level of interest represents approximately 50% of the funds Melissa has indicated are required. We are looking for input from her and or Carolyn now regarding this and other overall startup costs requirements.

A related issue that has been brought to Blake's attention has to do with structure. The question to Melissa and or Carolyn of how much of an organizational dues amount a state or a region would or would not be responsible to pay is an important factor that should be considered at this time. These questions along with the amounts of fees for other members are keys to development of a formal marketing plan. Answers to the question may also impact up or down the original 85k estimate provided by Melissa. Currently the list of considered members is as follows:

It was great to learn that Blake has spoken with Sylvia and the possibility of her bringing her vast talents in human resources into the project. She would certainly be able to take the meager beginnings of recruitment information that I have assembled and take it to where it should be. Currently approximately 20 forms of this type have been assembled and should serve well to enable someone like Sylvia to develop formal job descriptions and provide hr policy input.

The church plans to rebuild and Shawmut Education is currently drafting development docs and coordinating with officials in the local Virginia community as well as those statewide in Virginia.

A meeting with representatives from Quixtar also took place today. Since the CORI often has an impact for an individual to gain employment we are looking at ways to incorporate employment opportunities for thoe directly impacted. The Quixtar opportunity is not limited to those individuals and all are welcome. We feel this represents a great opportunity for many who will be interested in the U.S. CORI project.

Discussions also took place today with John Wilson. He is helping with the drafts of initial development documents regarding the Zion Baptist Church in Portsmouth Virginia. We should have an initial draft Letter of Understanding that we can peruse in the first week of the new year. We originally met with the church in the spring of 2007 and as many may know the church suffered a terrible fire in December of 2007. The church had offered 2 floors of space to us however due to the fire its a whole new challenge. One possible outcome is that the rebuilding might serve to offer location for the national headquarters for U.S. CORI since previous discussions have indicated the need for a D.C. or Virginia base of operations. Tied to this effort will be further attempts to have a meeting in January with representatives from Citizens Schools. The hope being to pave the way for a Citizen School in Portsmouth to be established and for such to provide further capacity building opportunities for local community residents in the rebuilding project.

The outline for the original meeting planned for November of 2007 was as follows:

  • SHAWMUT OPENING
  • MARVIN GAYE –STAR SPANGLED BANNER
  • DP INTRO OF PARTICIPANTS
  • AGENDA
  • U.S. CORI REASON WHY
  • BLAKE LUCAS STRUCTURE
  • NJ – VIRGINIA, DC
  • TIM POTTER - CORI SHOW
  • DP PERSONAS SCENARIOS QUIXTAR
  • NJOKI – COUNSEL, RISK MANAGEMENT
  • BLAKE – WRAP UP
Some additions have been made and are planned for incorporation in the first meeting. There will be a quick session regarding the Articles of Incorporation and By Laws. Tied to this will be committee formation for the formal development of the mission and vision statements. Perhaps Sylvia could help in these areas. The formal agenda should be ready approximately one week before the date of the meeting.

It might also be very good for us to take a look at the work of Edgar Cahn and his current initiative "Time Banking". As many of you may know Edgar and his life were in part responsible for the drafting of legislation for the "War On Poverty" in the Johnson administration that in a sense created modern day legal services. Stakeholders like LSC and others now directly pave the way for access to justice isssues in America. Edgar's leadership led to a regional structure in the 1970's. Although LSC has abondoned that structure it is still recognizd by groups like NLADA. The U.S. CORI management team has decided to implement its own regional structure for the purpose of propagating its mission. Blake will highlight the structure in the formal meeting.

In November we had the opportunity to meet with Laurie Leyshon who is the CORI Reform Coordinator for Cambridge, Massachusetts. She provided background on her work with Van Jones. Van is an environmental justice leader and the founder of the Ella Baker Center in Oakland California. He has a new national initiative that is called "Green For All". We see the vision of Van Jones as working well with the mission of U.S. CORi to create a new paridogm where prisons are turned into educational institutions.

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New Planned Features
by dpearson
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Several important decisions have been made that should provide additional functionality for the U.S. CORI project. The results should have an impact by creating a more seamless brand, employment management and funding tracking features.

Since the juvenile issues related to criminal records are different and since each state has its own laws a sub domain (youth.uscori.org) is being implemented. Currently a timelines webware install is at that domain however I wonder if this might not be a great opportunity to try ELGG social networking software. It appears that ELGG may have recently been sold and that might play a factor in that decision.

Even at this early stage it is clear that human resource management will play a key role in any success of U.S. CORI.. We hope to incorporate a members only jobs board by 1/31/2008. Once a date is set for the site to formally launch we will also look to incorporate a member directory.

The first formal meeting will also unveil the initial funding draft. We currently are looking to the finance team for answers regarding structure. Since the Virginia and D.C. area were being reviewed as potential headquarters for the project the meeting will most likely also include discussion of the recent fire and the sense of rebirth that appears to be accompanying this tragedy.

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Form Region
by dpearson
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Today we started deploying the online forms for a state and region. These forms make it easy for individuals in other locales to provide relevant content.

We also provided the names of the states that make up each region and placed at the bottom of the first paragraph of each regional page. There are 10 regions in all.

There are several important design issues to complete:

  • Why is the preamble-h3 image playing on the home page but not playing on pages like a regional page or a state page
  • This same issue applies to other title images like "News, Education, Legislation, Members, Contact Us and other page section title images. Here is an example of the Education image as well as the page title image for region eight
  • The Marcus Garvey imge needs to be transformed from the brown to a money grey Marcus Garvey

For online and telephone help, including screen sharing, contact us by email or call +1 877-625-0282.

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The Start
by dpearson
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The idea for starting this initiative came from the leadership of Shawmut Education and others who walk the daily struggle for equal access to justice.

The original launch of the initiative was planned for October/November of 2007 however due to a server problem those dates were not possible. The server problem was rectified and on November 28th of 2007 the site began the process of being recreated.

The large challenge of architecture was handled by:

  • Development of Region Template HTML page
  • Development of State Template HTML page
  • Development of a standard Cascading Style Sheet as well as CSS for both Regions and States. This helped considerably in the timelines of the deployment of content.
  • Development of online forms for individuals on the regional and state level to gather relative content for their respective geographic areas.

Currently we have begun testing for the organizational meeting that is to take place in December of 2007 or January 2008. The date for the meeting will be developed once the individuals participating in the meeting have been trained on the Learning Management System (LMS). The meeting will be recorded and offer others an opportunity to review the actions taken at the meeting.

For online and telephone help, including screen sharing, contact us by email or call 1 877-625-0282.

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