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Re-Entry Program For Kentucky Prisoners Highlighted In Frankfort

Stu Johnson
Gov. Bevin shakes hands with John Koufos, National Director of Reentry Initiatives at Right on Crime

More than 400 Kentucky inmates are participating in a re-entry program focusing on services both during and after incarceration.  Gov. Matt  Bevin was among those recognizing the Safe Streets and Second Chances project.  

Carrie Pettus-Davis is a researcher from Florida State University.  She said re-entry program specialists work with inmates. “They use assessment tools.  They do individual counseling sessions.  They do group counseling sessions.  They act almost like community navigators for these individuals and they do it prior to release and then after the individuals get home,” said Pettus-Davis.

Pettus-Davis says the project involves comparing the incidence of recidivism for participants with those inmates receiving traditional re-entry services.  Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley said Tuesday, for the first time in a decade, there’s been a slight drop in recidivism rates.

Tilley says while this re-entry initiative is very promising, drug treatment needs persist.  “It’s not enough to say we have six thousand treatment slots under corrections, we need 25 thousand or more.  And we’ll build toward that by force multiplying with the faith-based community, with the private community, with community,” noted Tilley. 

The Safe Streets and Second Chances participants are being tracked along with other inmates who are experiencing traditional re-entry services.  

Pettus-Davis says there are five key components.  Those include meaningful work trajectories, effective coping skills, interpersonal relationships, and fully participating within their community.

© 2019 WEKU

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.