Offender Re-Entry Program
The Public Defender’s Re-entry Program was developed in 2003 in a collaborated effort with law enforcement and community partners throughout the 19th Judicial Circuit. The development, growth, and success of the Offender Re-Entry Program is attributable to this collaboration, along with significant support from the Office of Southeast Behavioral Health Network.
Re-Entry is a voluntary program designed to assist eligible inmates in the county jails to develop basic skills essential to effectively reintegrate as a productive member of the community. A Re-Entry Specialist works with the clients to develop an individualized reentry plan focused on assimilation back into their communities upon release. Curriculum-based classes are conducted in three of four jails to bring basic information and provide direction with such issues including but not limited to education, financial planning, job placement, parenting, health, family relationships, and substance abuse.
In Okeechobee and St. Lucie Counties, eligible inmates may apply for admittance into the Re-Entry’s Journey Forward Program. This licensed substance abuse prevention program provides substance abuse treatment in specialized dorms within the jails. This one of a kind program is made possible through collaboration between the Public Defender’s Office, the Sheriffs of Okeechobee and St. Lucie Counties and Southeast Behavioral Health Network. Eligible inmates may apply through the classifications officer at their jail.
In addition, Re-Entry services are available to any offender who has been released from incarceration in the 19th Circuit or from the Department of Corrections and is returning to the 19th Circuit. An offender may make an appointment with a Re-Entry Specialist in any of the four counties. A Re-Entry Specialist can assist a client, locate available community resources and make referrals to other agencies as needed.
Below are some of our successful graduates