A native Washingtonian and longtime community activist – Rahim Jenkins, continues to make his mark on both the local and national levels, through a long and illustrious career as a Youth Advocate and Re-Entry Facilitator. Recognized as a pioneer in the field—one that demonstrates through innovative programming and a front-line presence, his long-standing commitment to educating, rehabilitating, and uplifting disadvantaged minority youth. His personal and professional philosophy is focused on the constructive empowerment of youth who are disproportionately impacted by the violence and destruction that plagues many of our inner-city communities.
Rahim has served as the Youth Policy Advisor to the Mayor and the Director of the District of Columbia Department of Corrections (DOC). In this role, he had oversight responsibility for operational, educational, and programmatic initiatives impacting youth in the custody of DOC. Rahim was instrumental in the implementation of a successful multi-tiered behavior management program with a reward system directly linked to positive performance as well as the brokering of an effective working partnership with the D.C. Public Schools involving the provision of on-site educational services to incarcerated youth being adjudicated in the city’s adult system. While employed at the DOC, Rahim has served as Correctional Officer, Correctional Counselor, Public Affairs Specialist, Special Assistant to the Deputy Director, and Community Liaison Officer—all positions that have contributed to his mastery of many of the issues critical to correctional administration, rehabilitation, criminal and restorative justice.
Early in his tenure with DOC, while working at the Lorton Correctional Complex, Rahim developed and implemented the Abridging Program which offered incarcerated fathers the opportunity to remain present and active in their children’s lives. This widely acclaimed program had multiple benefits–participating inmates realized the impact of positive parenting on their children’s personal, social, and educational development, with the children having tangible evidence of their father’s love, dedication and investment in their overall development. In addition, the experience served to reinforce the negative consequences associated with breaking the law and being confined to jail or prison—places often unrealistically glamorized in their communities and in regularly viewed movies and videos.