EMBARK, Kindway’s flagship reentry program prepares and supports select participants to navigate their journey from incarceration to independence. EMBARK’S unique approach provides evidence-based programming prior to their release and critical support as they transition to the Central Ohio community.

Since 2011, candidates from the Ohio Reformatory for Women, Marion Correctional Institution, Pickaway Correctional Insitution, and Madison Correctional Institution have been carefully assessed. The selection criteria include:

  • Participant agrees to return to Central Ohio upon release
  • Demonstrates compliance with prison rules
  • Demonstrates personal investment in their future, i.e. GED, work record, self-improvement programs, etc.
  • Demonstrates a high degree of ambition, self-awareness, accountability and humility
  • Formal in-depth face to face interview

This is to evaluate a candidate’s readiness to engage in a series of courses and activities, facilitated by Kindway staff, EMBARK volunteers and inside offenders, designed to provide foundation and framework to sustain independence.


Pre-Release Preparation

Getting It Right

An intense Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program designed to transition participants from criminal thinking to pro-social thinking and behavior

Celebrate Recovery

A faith-based 12 step program addressing forms of addiction as well as life’s hurts, habits, and hang-ups that fuel irresponsible behavior.


Trained volunteer mentors who go monthly to M.C.I., O.R.W., P.C.I., and Ma.C.I. to develop relationships with EMBARK participants. Mentors are matched with each participant prior to release then stay connected for one year after release.

Release Planning

EMBARK Transition Managers meet with incarcerated participants to develop their detailed Transition Plan.


EMBARK Transition Managers and volunteers support participants with the following:

  • Placement in transitional housing
  • Locating independent housing
  • Transportation
  • Food and clothing
  • Viable employment
  • Financial Planning Support
  • Connection with a faith community, recovery community, and or additional social services

Community Building Support includes:

  • Welcome Home Events
  • Bi-Monthly EMBARK Reunions

Due to the unique and comprehensive design of EMBARK, our graduates are experiencing tremendous success. Our partnerships with employers, landlords, and churches have provided the critical support and opportunities needed for successful reentry. For those who completed the EMBARK program inside prison and remained connected one year post-release, <1.5% returned to prison.



Training programs offered for incarcerated men and women in general population, equipping them with skills to live healthy and crime-free lives.

Through Kindway staff and volunteers, EQUIP provides programming to specifically serve participants with lengthy sentences and those preparing for release, through both secular and Christian programming.

Offerings include:

  • Financial literacy
  • Recovery programming
  • Trauma recovery
  • Evidence-based reentry curriculum
  • Electronics vocational training
  • Variety of Bible study classes


Fresh Start

On the day an incarcerated woman of Ohio Reformatory for Women is released from prison, she often only has the one prison-issued garment she is wearing.

In partnership with Leave A Mark Church, Fresh Start provides a going home outfit to all women released from the Ohio Reformatory for Women. Fresh Start gives women the opportunity to leave prison with dignity and know that they are loved.

  • “It was a great feeling to have real clothes to wear out of O.R.W. I had forgotten what it was like to wear a pair of jeans and a nice sweater. It felt amazing to know that people cared enough for me to provide me this personalized outfit. I felt the love from people who didn’t even know me, God’s love.” Stacy
  • “The Fresh Start program made sure I had a nice outfit to wear home from prison. That outfit was the only clothing I had. Once home, I realized I needed more clothes. I was able to meet again with the ladies from Fresh Start. They blessed me with even more clothing. I am so thankful for the love I have been shown through this amazing ministry. Thank you!” Margie



    A collection of hand-crafted one-of-a-kind pieces made by the incarcerated men and women at The Ohio Reformatory for Women at Marysville, Ohio and the Marion Correctional Institution at Marion, Ohio. Proceeds from donations of these items provide resources to support our men and women of Kindway’s EMBARK Program on their journey from incarceration to independence.

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