LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
One of the best ways to save tax dollars is to keep people out of jail.
But someone being released from jail or prison often faces numerous challenges getting back into society without the repercussions of their legal history.
Working together with local agencies to assist those individuals is the goal of the Southeastern Kentucky Re-Entry Task Force. Re-entry utilizes programs geared to help offenders get back into society, not by a “free ride” but through support programs to help them be successful.
Having a job to earn money for housing, food, transportation and other necessary living expenses is imperative to helping deter the urge to commit a crime. Those who are battling alcohol and drug addictions are offered support systems to resist that temptation and may well be a primary factor in the commission of violent crimes.
The processes involved in keeping an offender from going back to jail (recidivism) involves a comprehensive case management approach and builds life skills to become a law-abiding citizen who contributes positively to society and to the economic work force.
Bridging the gap between the legal charges and employers is just one avenue that the Re-Entry Task Force focuses on. Substance abuse programs, vocational rehabilitation and training, and other support programs are recruited to be involved in the overall management of the offender.
“All agencies that deal with offenders are involved, as well as community resources like churches and ministries is welcome to become involved,” said Pam Bentley with the Kentucky Department of Corrections’ Division of Probation and Parole.
Some of the agencies involved with the Kentucky Re-Entry program include the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Kentucky Division of Probation and Parole, U.S. Probation Office, Office of Vocational Rehab, Kynect, Department of Public Advocacy, Work Force Investment Act, Laurel County Detention Center, UNITE and area churches and ministries.