family support unit

Supporting families impacted by mass incarceration has always been a central tenet of AFJ’s work. We are so excited to build our capacity in this regard with the official launch of the AFJ Family Support Unit. This initiative will be headed up by our consultant Rommell Washington, LCSW, ACSW,  an incredible healer with decades of experience, steeped in the issues our families encounter, and consists of the following:

weekly family empowerment circles


Tuesdays, 6-8 PM

8 W. 126th St. Fl. 3 New York, NY 10027

This group is a psychoeducational and support group for family units looking to engage in discussions around daily living skills; maintaining positive relationships; helpful resources; building and enhancing techniques that nurture each person’s divine nature. Even when dealing with the tough conditions that life often brings us. We all are confronted with pain & suffering and we can help each other in community. This Healing Circle is dedicated to family, friends, and community members of loved ones currently or formerly incarcerated. Each Healing Circle gathering will begin with a check-in; introduction of topic; presentation of topic; discussion of topic; ending with a check-out. AFJ invites you to become part of this healing space and commit to healthy change and coping.

Individual and Family Counseling

The trauma of incarceration affects the whole family unit, and each member of the family individually. Rommell is also available to conduct individual and family counseling sessions for directly-impacted people. These can happen in person at a mutually agreed-upon location, or via telephone if you are unable to meet in person. If you are a formerly incarcerated person in need of one-on-one support, or a family member or loved one of someone who is incarcerated and recently came home, or if your whole family could benefit from a group session, Rommell is available.

Coming Soon: Songa Mbele Circle

This group is about “moving forward”, which is what songa mbele means in Swahili, and is dedicated specifically to formerly incarcerated people. Having a space to process and heal is important, especially following periods of incarceration and separation from loved ones. This Healing Circle will focus on the SELF (Safety Emotions Loss Future) model. Together we will explore how these issues come to play in our daily lives. The Healing Circle will emphasize mindfulness approaches that can assist you on your path to a healthy transition into the community. And provide lifelong skills that bring forth your “best of self”. The Healing Circle is open with a request that all interested participants complete an intake session with the facilitator prior to attending this Healing Circle. Please stay tuned for the launch of this circle.

Please call 917-830-8585, or email, with any questions.