Early on GOSO recognized the importance of providing services, support and early reentry planning to young men while they are still on Rikers Island. GOSO Volunteers meet with young men who have enrolled in classes at East River Academy on Rikers Island to give them an opportunity to begin to explore their future options. Additional recruiters and social workers reach out to men who have been sentenced to complete their terms on Rikers Island.
Men interested in enrolling in the program submit a resume, write an essay describing what they hope to achieve in the program, and sign a contract agreeing to attend school (if applicable), complete assignments, and take responsibility for their actions. They also agree to visit the office immediately after release, check in once a week for the first three months, and develop and carry through on their reentry plans. In return, GOSO provides life-affirming mentoring, supportive counseling, reentry planning and legal support services through letters of support, phone calls to lawyers and courtroom visits.
Our top priority is to those men without a high school diploma to pursue their high school diploma or GED while on Rikers Island. Equally important is that they take their time on Rikers Island to consider new possibilities for their future and begin to plan for their release.