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Press Release

Re-Entry Fair Provides Returning Citizens Resources to Support a More Seamless Transition to Civilian Life

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

MIAMI – Staff from the Law Enforcement Coordination and Community Outreach Section (LEC/COS) of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida recently joined other community stakeholders at Everglades Re-Entry Center, Florida Department of Corrections, to meet with soon-t0-be returning citizens.

The Re-Entry Fair provided job leads, housing and legal resources, and other information to about 30 individuals, who in the coming months will once again enjoy their freedom. But first came poignant opening remarks from a community stakeholder who, himself, had once been incarcerated.

“You have to change that criminal mindset,” he said. “When you wait until you get out to start re-entry, it’s too late. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Don’t leave here without a vision and goals. Do training while you’re on the inside, so that when you get out you are trained and ready to succeed. Become productive men. You’re in here for doing wrong. You’ve got a chance now to do right.”

There now is more training available at Everglades Re-Entry Center than ever before. It began with one electrical program, where incarcerated individuals could learn a trade and become certified. The facility now boasts seven programs, with plans to do even more. And once trained, community stakeholders who attend the Re-Entry Fair can provide others with guidance and employment opportunities.

During the fair, the U.S. Attorney’s Office staff distributed a South Florida Re-Entry Resource Guide, with hundreds of contacts, to prepare returning citizens for their release, first steps after release, and successful transition.  The guide highlights financial literacy, legal assistance, job interviewing tips and a host of other topics.  Also provided were handouts on the Federal Bonding Program, which provides insurance to employers who hire hard-to-place job seekers and the Work Opportunity Tax Program which gives employers tax credits for hiring those same job seekers. Also present at the fair were employees from Gang Alternative Inc., Goodwill South Florida, Fellowship House, and Convicts of Diversified Empowerment, among others.

“I’ve probably participated in a dozen of these fairs and it’s valuable because it gives us the chance to provide information they otherwise wouldn’t know about,” said Law Enforcement Coordination Specialist Michael Martinez of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “We want to provide them the best chance to succeed and to do that they need to have the right resources.”

LEC/COS staff does a tremendous amount of community outreach. They interact with young children, teens, and the incarcerated to help improve lives and encourage everyone to make smarter choices.

“Every bit counts,” said Martinez. “From preschool readings to anti-bullying presentations at middle schools to this re-entry fair, we’re always striving to put people on a path to success. That’s why we make community outreach a priority.”



Public Affairs Unit

U.S. Attorney’s Office

Southern District of Florida

Updated September 6, 2023

Community Outreach