The Reentry Council is a group of government, non-profit, faith-based, and private citizens created for the purpose of initiating a dialogue on issues related to the Reentry of offenders back into the local community. These individuals represent the criminal justice, legal, judicial, mental health, faith-based, substance abuse, health care, employment assistance, education, social services, and advocacy professions.
The reentry council is composed of several SUBCOMMITTEES:
- Employment and Education
- Housing and Social Services
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health
- Restorative Justice
- Legislative Issues
- Prostitution Prevention and Intervention Program
The County, with guidance from the Reentry Council, received a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance – Second Chance Act to develop a five-year strategic plan on implementing “best practices” to develop programs and strategies that help these individuals return to the community and be productive citizens.
Bexar County will have one of the first fully functioning Reentry Centers created to address the various needs of individuals being released from the Bexar County Adult Detention Center. The Center will be a “one-stop” opportunity for individuals to receive services such as individual case management, substance abuse counseling, mental health services, employment, education, anger management, faith-based initiatives, and various programs all located in one facility.
Another project is to establish a Misdemeanor DWI specialty or accountability court to reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities. The Court will target second DWI offenders and above to monitor compliance through weekly drug testing and court interventions. A specialized probation officer and case manager are assigned to have weekly contact with the offender.
Other projects include developing a public service video showing the benefits of hiring the formerly incarcerated; working closely with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office to develop a continuity of Reentry Services while in jail, and continuing the programming once released by developing discharge plans to connect inmates with vital services in the community; and targeting early intervention of individuals arrested for prostitution with trauma-related services through the Misdemeanor Reentry Court.