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DOC Selects Columbia County for Re-entry Program
TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Corrections has selected Columbia County as the target site for a program to assist ex-offenders who will be returning there after their release from prison.
The program includes pre-release training, employability skills training, life skills, work release, job placement, family reunification, victim awareness issues, and transition assistance. One of its goals is to promote public safety by reducing recidivism among the released offender population.
Earlier this month, the National Institute of Justice and the Corrections Program Office, Office of Justice Programs, sponsored a Reentry Partnership Initiative (RPI) meeting in Bethesda, Md. The forum provided an opportunity to discuss solutions to the problems ex-offenders and victims face as the ex-offenders leave prison and reenter communities.
Reentry partnerships consist of representatives from law enforcement, faith-based organizations, social services, victim support groups and neighborhood organizations. RPI sites are currently located in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, South Carolina, Vermont, and Washington.
Representing the Florida Department of Corrections were Bill Brown, workforce development administrator, James Freeman, assistant warden of Hamilton Correctional Institution in Jasper, Cliff Rowan, probation senior supervisor, Lake City Probation and Parole Office and Dottie Stone, Columbia County coordinator of Catholic Charities Bureau, Inc.