“Is jail reentry a hug a thug program? Absolutely not.” Said Clark County Jail support operations commander Mike Anderson. “I’ve been around 35 years. I’m now seeing the grandchildren of the grandparents, seeing the names cycle through. It is time to break the cycle. For every dollar we spend on reentry, they say it saves us $8-10 on the other end.”
For the past seven months, the Clark County Sheriff’s office has experimented with a Reentry Program that educates inmates for life outside of jail. The program creates connections with community partners outside of jail that assist inmates with, homelessness, mental health, addiction and unemployment.
2013 records show Clark County’s jail averaged 1,393 bookings per month, and averaged a daily population of 720 inmates. Many of the inmates in the Clark County Jail are repeat offenders.
Reentry Sergeant Randy Tangen says 65-70% of people who come through the jail are eligible to utilize the new reentry program.
“The goal is to provide a little more hope to everybody who comes through our door”, he said. “It’s a very fundamental shift in philosophy.”
The program gives inmates an upper hand, but ultimately the choice is in the participant’s hands to follow through once released.
For Nathan Gilchrist, the reentry program has been a lifesaver. After roughly 20 times in Clark County’s Jail, the reentry program has given him the opportunity to truly change his life.
Craig Centers and Jerimee Williams were released after our interview, but records show that Mr. Centers was incarcerated shortly after being released. We were unable to contact Mr. Williams as a follow-up to this story.
To get the full story on the reentry program, watch the included videos.