The Athens County Reentry Task Force is made up of community partners who are working together to help ex-road300_000offenders transition back into society and become independent. The Athens County Task Force recognizes the need for a coordinated approach geared toward building and supporting a range of collaborative community programs to address the barriers to self-sufficiency in an effort to reduce crime, recidivism and improve public safety.
If offenders do not receive assistance with their needs, they face consequences such as relying on public assistance and suffering with mental health and addiction issues, and they may become homeless. Many may fall back into the problems that led them to prison in the first place. Reentry coordination positively impacts the futures of offenders and their families, reduces the fiscal and social costs to Athens County and society and helps these individuals get their lives back on track.
The Athens County Reentry Program, housed at the OhioMeansJobs - Athens County in The Plains, provides guidance and assistance forfuture300_001 ex-offenders who are preparing to leave the prison system, as well as those who have been out of prison for any length of time.
Individuals who are interested in learning more about the program should contact Shawn Stover, the Reentry Program Coordinator.
The goal is to help individuals build independent lives so they can avoid the problems that led them to prison in the first place. The initiative is designed to increase public safety, lower local law enforcement costs and reduce Athens County’s high recidivism rate. Athens County has already seen success in reducing the recidivism rate of the ex-offenders who have been working with the reentry program.
Programs and services offered include:
Assistance with navigating the health care and public assistance programs
One-on-one meetings with ex-offenders before and after they leave prison to help answer their questions and provide information on community resources, mental health programs, substance abuse treatment programs,
educational opportunities and other services
Assistance with employment searches
Host workshops and seminars on a variety of subjects at the OhioMeansJobs - Athens County / The Work Station.
The program also facilitates meetings of the Athens County Reentry Task Force, held at 9:30 a.m. on the fourth Monday of every other month at the Athens County Job and Family Services, County Home office. On average, about 25 local agencies and service providers attend each monthly meeting, resulting in productive and meaningful discussion on the topic of offender reentry.