THE PEOPLE WE AIM TO SERVE
There is a myth which says “only bad people commit crimes” or “only bad people are in prison,” but our day-to-day lives and the realities of prison present a different picture. We know from the news, our daily experiences or when we look into the mirror that not all who commit crimes go to prison—so long as one doesn’t get caught or has enough money to buy one’s way out of going. We also know that society tends to assign the label of ‘convict’ to every prisoner, but according to The Reverend Harold Trulear (Washington, DC), there is a difference. “Convicts,” he explains, “are people for whom crime is a lifestyle. They leave prison with the intention of coming back. Convicts are thugs, and prison is home. An inmate [on the other hand] is a regular guy [or girl] who fucked up.”
THOR‘s mission concentrates on the residential needs of inmates.
The majority of people leaving prison routinely encounter social biases of one form or another and are primarily poor, of color, poorly educated, familiar with abuse and have survived circumstances most of us know nothing about. Imprisonment removes these different groups of people from our daily line of sight (be they innocent or guilty of a crime) and systematically drains them of spirit, value and relevance, before finally releasing them back into a society which expects them to succeed according to the rules and policies put in place by people who oftentimes embrace the myth that only “bad” people are in prison. THOR is determined to help reframe this narrative because we understand the difference between an inmate and a convict, and because we know from experience there’s nothing like having a home to return to after a long and challenging day—or prison stay.