For the past two years, the U.S. Department of Justice has observed National Reentry Week in April. More than 600,000 men and women leave American prisons every year, and more than 11 million people cycle through our nation’s jails, hence the high demand for effective reentry services. This year, President Trump proclaimed April as Second Chance Month, a time for all Americans to learn about ex-offender reentry, reflect on the cost of incarceration to our society, promote the reduction of recidivism, and improve the lives of individuals returning to the community. The United States accounts for five percent of the world’s population but has 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.
Throughout the week of April 22 to 28, 2018, the Palm Beach County Reentry Task Force along with reentry partners will participate in various events to promote awareness of reentry issues and resources in the county and highlight the need for collaboration to ensure a safer community. Events open to the public include “Reentry Awareness,” April 23, 6 – 8 p.m., Marina Event Center, 200 East 13th Street, Riviera Beach; Reentry Task Force meeting, April 25, noon, McEaddy Conference Room, Robert Weisman Palm Beach County Governmental Center, 301 N. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach; “Youth Summit” (middle and high school students only), April 28, 9 a.m. – 4 p .m., Palm Beach lakes High School, 3505 Shiloh Drive, West Palm Beach; and The Lord’s Place Bar-B-Q, April 28, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Men’s Campus, 1750 N.E. 4th Street, Boynton Beach. For a complete schedule, contact Arlene Griffiths at 561-355-2135 or [email protected]
In 2016 in Palm Beach County, there were 48,610 arrests, and every year 1,200 inmates return from the Florida Department of Corrections to the county. The cost to taxpayers is $18,000 per year to house one inmate in the Florida Department of Corrections, $48,910 per year in a Palm Beach County jail, and $81,395 per year to house a juvenile in the juvenile system.
The county’s Reentry unit, under the Palm Beach County Public Safety Department Justice Services Division, collaborates with the Palm Beach County Reentry Task Force, Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Inc., The Lord’s Place, and the Riviera Beach Reentry Center in helping youth and adults return to the community. As a result of these efforts, recidivism rates in Palm Beach County have been cut in half over the past five years, and the county is now recognized as a national leader in reentry services.
For more information, please contact Criminal Justice Programs Manager Craig Spatara at 355-2326 or [email protected]