DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – On Monday Montgomery County celebrated the success of their reentry program along with a new grant that will help fund the program for years to come.
The Jack W. and Sally D. Eichelberger Foundation will provide $100,000 a year for the next five years to keep the programming going, so long as re-offender rates remain low.
“We had a very high recidivism rate, not just in Ohio but in Montgomery County. We were pushing a 40 percent recidivism rate,” said Debbie Lieberman, a Montgomery County Commissioner.
That rate is now hovering around 5 percent.
Milan Vaughn is about to be a former felon. His record will be expunged soon. Monday, he had the opportunity to reflect on his work within the reentry program.
“It feels good. At one point I never thought I would even get my GED let alone where I am at now,” said Vaughn, who is now a business owner and community mentor.
The Reentry Program provides inmates with a foundation to gain skills and become employable.
Many felons have a hard time networking and getting their skills in front of employers that are willing to take a chance on them.
Mark Thornton just completed the program.
“It was hard for me to maneuver in certain rooms. Because they look at you and stereotype you when you have a certain record,” said Thornton.
“Not everybody that comes back to Montgomery County enters our program. But if they do, we can guarantee them… we can help them and give them tools to be successful,” said Lieberman.
The county has over 40 businesses they work with to help felons find work when they finish their time. The program is always looking for community partners that are willing to give people a second chance.
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