PCSD, service providers helping ex-convicts move forward - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

PCSD, service providers helping ex-convicts move forward

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TUCSON- The Pima County Sheriff’s Department hosted its first ever Re-Entry Resource Fair earlier today at the Adult Detention Facility. The event was part of the Department of Justice’s National Re-Entry Week.

Over 30 organizations came out to provide resources to recently released inmates to help them on the right path.

“It’s not enough for us to just hold them. When we release them, we need to give them the right services so they don't come back,” said Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos.

Services represented at the fair included job resources, mental health treatment, drug and alcohol counseling, housing services and more.

Sheriff Nanos says the service providers work day in and day out to help those who have been behind bars. And their work is critical to keeping them out of jail.

“If you go in here with substance abuse and you get no treatment, your return rate... is 94 percent,” said Sheriff Nanos.

Ralph Romero was manning the Hope Incorporated booth at the fair. The organization is dedicated to providing behavioral health and substance abuse treatment to local men and women. 

Romero says he spent four years in prison. When he got out, non-profit organizations helped him get back on his feet.

“Because nobody would hire, me they let me volunteer for three years. Then I moved up the ranks and started helping other companies. Now I get to work again,” he said.

Ashley Rivera was attending the fair to gather resources for her fiancé, who is behind bars in the county jail.

”By walking around and talking to people and having this experience really is enlightening and it really gives me hope,” she said.

Rivera says she’s happy to know that there are people out there who believe in second chances.

”Sometimes you really need help, and no one is there to give it to you… So it's really helpful to go around and have them help us and do this for us. It means a lot,” she said.

For more information on the services available at HOPE Incorporated, visit their website here.

And for more information on other re-entry resource, visit 211 Arizona's website here

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