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City and County Launch Expanded Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative

State Funding to Provide Local Outreach and Education Effort

Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville announced today that state funding will aid our community to assist with the long-term success of prisoner re-entry following incarceration.  The Second Chance Act grant funds will be coming to both the Charlottesville and Albemarle County Departments of Social Services to enhance the existing community reentry project by expanding services to state-sponsored ex-offenders. The current project focuses just on the offenders housed at the local Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

Locally, some of the funds are being used to hire a case manager dedicated to ex-offenders recently released from statewide facilities.  The position is being housed at Offender Aid and Restoration and is part of an expanded effort by Governor McDonnell’s administration that was announced in September increasing funding to $1.5 million to improve public safety and the success of re-entry efforts statewide.  Regionally, nearly 40 percent of all previously jailed offenders return to jail following their incarceration.  This effort hopes to dramatically reduce those numbers by providing ex-offenders the tools needed to successfully return to the community as productive citizens.

Speaking in September, Governor McDonnell commented, “We are working diligently to develop a comprehensive prisoner re-entry program in Virginia that utilizes the efforts of non-profit and faith-based organizations, as well as local governments, while providing support and coordination from the state level.  Ninety-five percent of all prisoners incarcerated today will eventually be released and return to communities.  An effective prisoner re-entry program can effectively reduce recidivism, improve public safety and improve integration by offenders into their communities.  Today we are announcing the first steps in securing funding for our statewide efforts and we will continue to make announcements over the months ahead as our Virginia Prisoner and Juvenile Offender Re-Entry Council continues to meet and develop their plan.”

Funding will also be used to assist individuals as they transition back into the community through services such as job training, temporary housing, literacy classes, mental health and substance abuse programs, education programs and family reintegration service.

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