SALT LAKE COUNTY — Helping people reenter the community after being incarcerated is the goal of a new initiative at the Salt Lake County Metro Jail that had its grand opening on Thursday afternoon.
County officials also hope that the new "Jail Resource Re-entry Program" will cut back on recidivism, which is about 70 percent in the county.
"Once they leave that door, they should be treated with humanity," says Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, who hopes the program will help those getting out of jail to re-acclimate to society.
Since the soft launch of the program in April, 650 people have been helped.
Salt Lake County received federal dollars and other grants to launch the program they say will cost approximately $2 million a year to run.
"Just picture in your mind about 70 people released today, when you're booked in jail, it's probably your hardest day in your life," said Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera.
The Jail Resource Reentry Program is housed in a short-term location inside the Salt Lake County Metro Jail and offers a wide range of resources, including
Medicaid referrals, substance use/mental health treatment referrals, detox referrals, court information, and even phone chargers.
Sheriff Rivera and others are hoping these resources will alleviate some of the stress people go through when they are released from jail.
Mayor Wilson says before this program, many people would come in with minimal resources and end up leaving in the heart of winter without a coat or other times with their cell phone not being charged.
"We are measuring its success and the hope is we will continue this program, I can't imagine we won't, we will see the success," said Mayor Wilson.
For more information about the Jail Resource Reentry Program you call (385)-414-2120 or send an email to email@example.com.