Every year, about 11 million people move through America’s 3,100 local jails, many on low-level, non-violent misdemeanors. Many of the people in county and other local jails have behavioral health conditions that impact their quality of life, including mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Left untreated, these conditions can contribute to homelessness and difficulty with maintaining a steady, sufficient income upon release, which also makes accessing services and getting treatment challenging. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many county jails across the country are looking to de-incarceration practices to help ensure the safety of both incarcerated individuals and those who work and interact with the jail daily. However, without proper reentry services in place – including housing, access to employment and healthcare coverage – individuals are more likely to re-offend and end up back in the local jail.
This webinar will focus on what how counties have identified individuals within local jails for early-release and what procedures and practices, if any, are in place to assist individuals reentering the community with accessing the vital services they require. Additionally, the webinar will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing urban and rural communities in the reentry space, while highlighting pending federal legislation and resources that can assist counties in ensuring the safe return of individuals into the community.