What We Do

“Never deprive someone of hope — it may be all they have.” -Unknown

Hope for Prisoners offers a variety of training programs for its clients to build and strengthen skills necessary for job placement and success in the reintegration process.

Giving Hope

HOPE for Prisoners gives hope to those who feel that all has been lost.


“Prior to prison I was making choices because of other people, not for myself. One day I woke up and I am here and I am changing my life. It’s giving me hope, a different perspective on life, a positive outlook.” – HOPE for Prisoners Graduate

Who We Are

Hope for Prisoners reimagines reentry by providing former offenders long-term support and services as they work to reclaim their lives, families and standing in the community. We give them hope. Hope changes lives.

Founder Jon Ponder found himself returning to his community after spending time in prison and experienced firsthand the same challenges most face when they are released. He realized there was a lack of long-term support and guidance for those who learned from their mistakes and had a genuine desire to change the direction of their lives. From his personal experience and his passion to help those facing the same challenges he overcame, HOPE for Prisoners was born.

The success of our clients is the result of their long-term commitment and relationship with their mentors. What makes Hope for Prisoners different from other organizations is its partnership with local law enforcement. This helps clients to understand the role of law enforcement in the community. This understanding helps clients overcome their fear of police and build respect for law enforcement.

What We Do

Hope for Prisoners commits to helping people successfully reunite with their families and reenter the workforce and our community.

We work to empower former offenders and their families create a successful future built on developing character and leadership. Our support of those fighting for a second chance strengthens our community. This includes extensive training and access to resources for essential services like housing, medical services and spiritual guidance.


Who We Serve

Hope for Prisoners serves individuals released from Federal and state correctional facilities, local jails and rehabilitation centers as well as those currently participating in special court programs.

How We Do It

Hope for Prisoners is unique because it offers a holistic approach including an 18-month program that includes mentoring, training, job assistance and access to essential services.

Law Enforcement Partnerships

HOPE for Prisoners has built a strong relationship with local law enforcement and many members are active participants in the program. He has also established deep ties with potential employers, service providers and community leaders that play a vital role in the success of our clients.

Mentoring Programs

Mentoring is key to success. Mentors commit to stand by their client and help them find solutions to the challenges they face during the reintegration process. Clients have a positive influence that may not have existed for them in the past.

Producing Results

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas Center for Crime and Justice Policy performed a study of prisoner reentry in Nevada and the Hope for Prisoners program over an 18-month period.

Our Programs

Pre-vocational Leadership Workshop

This intensive leadership training is required for all clients and is taught by leaders highly regarded in their areas of expertise. The workshop covers these topics:

  • Banking and budgeting
  • Building bridges with the community and law enforcement
  • Building self-esteem
  • Change is an inside job
  • Conflict resolution
  • Conquering the enemies to the inner me
  • Developing vision for your future
  • Dress for success
  • Effective communication
  • Goal setting
  • Healthy boundaries
  • Human relations
  • Job searching
  • Leadership
  • Mastering the winning attitude
  • Personality assessment
  • Taking initiative at work
  • Time management
  • Understanding priorities
  • When and how to apologize

Basic Computer Training

Hope for Prisoners offers training in basic computer skills. The course covers:

General Computer Knowledge
Microsoft Word and Excel
Email and Internet Usage

Financial Fitness For Life

These workshops are offered in partnership with the Nevada State Treasurer’s Office and include the following:

  • The Economic Way of Thinking
  • Decision Making
  • Uncle Sam Takes a Bite
  • Managing Your Money
  • Banking Basics
  • Managing Risks
  • What’s the Cost of Spending and Saving?

Leadership Training

In 2015, Hope for Prisoners partnered with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to begin offering a formal leadership academy. This advanced learning opportunity expands on the pre-vocational workshop into leadership theory, behavioral dynamics and relationship management techniques. Emphasis is on the skill set needed to become an effective mentor with the overall goal of building the student’s capabilities to become impactful leaders in our community.

Professional Development Training

Our Professional Development Training includes critical skills for every day success and performance.

  • Effective Email
  • Change is Good
  • Positive Leadership
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Conflict: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
  • Problem Solving
  • Human Capital Management
  • Integrity and Accountability
  • Team Building
  • Visible Management
View the Training Calendar

Why we do it

Hope for Prisoners exists to fill a void and is grounded in the belief that with proper assistance, former offenders can overcome the barriers to successfully transform their lives.

Each year, thousands of men, women and young adults are released from the judicial system. Many of them lack the basic skills and knowledge to become productive members of society. Many want to make this transformation but lack an understanding of what this looks like and how to do it.

Key Findings:

  • Of the 522 individuals completing the job readiness training course, 64 percent found stable employment
  • Of those employed, 25 percent found employment within 17 days of the training course
  • Only 6 percent of these 522 individuals were re-incarcerated during the 18-month study period
  • Hope for Prisoners’ mentor program appears to be a key component of the reentry initiative; participants with mentors were more likely to find employment.
  • 74% job placement
  • 300+ trained mentors
  • 2400+ graduates

Our core values

Our core values are integrated in our training and mentoring. Clients are expected to understand and live these values.

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