U.S. Attorney, Caddo Parish Sheriff partner to observe Reentry Week with discussions, tour
SHREVEPORT – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley and Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator partnered to hold roundtable discussions, a tour and other events for National Reentry Week.
The program, called Project A.C.E. (Addressing, Connecting and Educating), featured U.S. Attorney’s Office staff, Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office staff and others discussing ways to reduce recidivism in our communities. The event started Wednesday with a roundtable discussion at the U.S. Courthouse on Fannin Street where U.S. Attorney Office staff, Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office staff, public officials, law enforcement, attorneys, prison staff and others joined to talk about how to better assist those who reenter society after completing their prison terms. There were more than 15 agencies with 40-plus representatives present. They shared their successes as well as hardships with reentry. The hope is that offering more and improved tailor-made training, counseling, medical and mental treatment, and other assistance to those incarcerated will reduce the chances that prosecuted individuals will end up back in prison. The event also featured a tour of the Caddo Parish Work Release-Reentry Facility Thursday on Forum Drive so that visitors could see work already being conducted.
As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to strengthening the criminal justice system, the Department of Justice designated April 24 to 30, 2016, as National Reentry Week. Each year more than 600,000 citizens return to neighborhoods after serving time in federal and state prisons. Another 11.4 million individuals cycle through local jails. Nearly one in three Americans of working age have had some sort of encounter with the criminal justice system — mostly for relatively minor, non-violent offenses and sometimes from decades in the past. The long-term impact of a criminal record prevents many people from obtaining employment, housing, higher education and credit — and these barriers affect returning individuals even if they have turned their lives around and are unlikely to reoffend.
The Department of Justice outlined principles in the “Roadmap to Reentry” through work with the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, which has been working since its creation five years ago to reduce recidivism and improve employment, education, housing, health and child welfare outcomes.
National Reentry Week events were planned in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. United States Attorney’s Offices alone are hosting more than 200 events, and U.S. Bureau of Prisons facilities are holding more than 370 events.
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