A countywide program aimed to reduce recidivism has received a federal grant to help provide services for people re-entering society after incarceration, officials said Monday.
The Lucas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s re-entry program was given $416,647 for one year. The money will be matched with funds from local sources, including the city of Toledo, the county, the Lucas County Mental Health & Recovery Services Board, the University of Toledo, the criminal justice coordinating council, TASC of Northwest Ohio, and local attorneys.
Lucas County is one of 15 communities in the nation to get the grant, said Carol Contrada, president of the commissioners and re-entry subcommitteechairman.
The re-entry program expects to help, at most, 100 people: Those most likely to re-offend or high-risk offenders with mental health or substance-abuse issues. The program will work with former inmates to devise re-entry plans and link them to services, affordable housing, education, and jobs.
Mayor Mike Bell said people who get out of prison and then talk to him are looking for help. They tell him, “Mayor, this is all good, but if you don’t give me a solution — normally that’s a job — then we’re going to have issues because I need to be able to survive somehow,” Mayor Bell said. “This is a reality check for the city of Toledo and surrounding area. It’s a real issue.”