ORANGE COUNTY, NC – The North Carolina Department of Public Safety has awarded a contract to the Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Department to establish a local reentry council to help people released from prison successfully transition back into the community.
A contract for $150,000, renewable at the same amount for up to two additional years, will enable Orange County to hire two full-time positions in the Criminal Justice Resource Department (CJRD) to coordinate the local reentry council and provide supportive case management services to reentering individuals and those who experience barriers due to former incarceration.
Reentry councils are networks of community-based stakeholders and organizations that work together to assist people reentering with necessary local services such as housing, employment, treatment resources, medical attention, transportation and mentoring. Their mission is to develop and coordinate resources and innovative responses to help formerly incarcerated individuals transition back into the community and to reduce recidivism.
“Many Orange County stakeholders, particularly those who serve on the County’s Justice Advisory Council and the Reentry subcommittee, have worked very hard to support and plan for this grant opportunity,” said Caitlin Fenhagen, Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Director. “Our newly established Local Reentry Council and the CJRD will work tirelessly to support individuals who face barriers, to provide critical resource needs and to identify and address gaps in necessary services. We are very appreciative for the generous support from the Department of Public Safety.”
“Orange County is committed to successfully reintegrating formerly incarcerated individuals in our community,” said Orange County Manager Bonnie Hammersley.
The inaugural Orange County Local Reentry Council meeting was held April 27, 2018, and was attended by a large number of interested reentry stakeholder and State and County dignitaries. The second meeting is scheduled for Friday, July 27, at the Orange County Health Department.