UTAH

SLC County Jail announces a new resource reentry program

Aug 4, 2022, 5:00 PM
Grand opening event for the Salt Lake County Jail Resource Reentry Program....
The new reentry program helps aid those released from jail back into the community. (Waverly Golden, KSL NewsRadio)
(Waverly Golden, KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — The new Salt Lake County Jail Resource Reentry Program, JRRP, is the first of its kind in the country. And on Thursday, the program opened it’s doors.

The JRRP helps individuals navigate the transition from jail back into the community. Furthermore, its existence may help break the cycle of those who are released returning to the system. 

Resources such as food, water and transportation are available. Additionally, people can access court information, conditional release supervision information, Medicaid enrollment, legal advice, and referrals for substance abuse or mental health treatment.

In a press conference accompanying the grand opening, Division Director at Salt Lake County Criminal Justice Services Kele Griffone discussed the available employment services.  

“We refer them to the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) who we have a relationship with, who works with many companies who are familiar with people involved in the criminal justice system,” Griffone said.

“We have four different locations of DWS where people are skilled in working with people who are involved in criminal justice who can go to the appropriate employers who want to give people a chance.” 

That said, Griffone also acknowledged the challenges faced by those with records as they try to find employment. She said that once that box is ticked, having a record, some employers automatically exclude you. 

“…you’re (still) punished for maybe a mistake you made years ago… which is why we want to remove that barrier because there are people who want to work and they shouldn’t be defined by a mistake they make.

“That’s why we’re so lucky in the state of Utah, we have many employers who want to give people a chance and opportunity,” Griffone said. 

More on the new reentry program

According to Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, 650 individuals have already gone to the program for resources. 

“They’ve already served five people today,” said Mayor Wilson in a press conference officially announcing the program. 

Wilson said that having such resources not only helps those transitioning out of jail, but they benefit the community as well. JRRP supports the reduction of disruptive behavior in communities after people are released from jail. Furthermore, the likelihood that a re-offense will occur decreases with the reentry program. 

“Don’t we all benefit showing some humanity?” Wilson said. 

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SLC County Jail announces a new resource reentry program