Watch How this County’s “Reentry” Program Produces Major Drop in Recidivism [Exclusive Video]

Every night between midnight and 3 AM the State of California releases approximately 10,000 men and women who have been incarcerated back to the county where they were sentenced. Many of these people have no family or friends to meet them; and they have no place to go once they are released. So in essence the majority of those coming back home each night are instantly homeless.

Statistics show that the first three days after one’s release is when they are most at risk of re-offending and landing quickly back in prison–primarily because they lack the basic resources of money, shelter and support. The State’s sky-high recidivism rate is a testament to how “broken” the system of “reentry” is.

But there is a ray of light. Contra Costa County (in the Bay Area) has taken on the issues of reentry by initiating a county-wide effort to feed, house, train and mentor their “returning citizens.” And in this video–which is the first to document this extraordinary program–you’ll hear how Contra Costa County Supervisors, Police Chiefs, the Sheriff’s Department, Probation as well as faith-based groups and business leaders are volunteering to help solve the reentry problem. And making a difference.

While none of those we interviewed claim it’s a perfect program, the numbers show that the love, care and concern demonstrated toward those coming out of our prisons has made a real difference in people’s lives. In fact the county’s recidivism rate, which was hovering around 65% when the program started a couple of years ago, is around 30% today.

We hope this program inspires you to help make a difference in someone’s life today.

And as always please feel free to post your comments.

Like our work and want to support Light in Prison? Please consider making a one-time or recurring donation to help fund future stories and videos like this.

5 thoughts on “Watch How this County’s “Reentry” Program Produces Major Drop in Recidivism [Exclusive Video]

  1. Avatar
    George Birdsong Reply

    What a wonderful example of how loving your fellow man and putting a plan into action can benefit society. The commitment of citizens of all faiths and backgrounds, law enforcement, mentors is producing significant results. Thanks David for shining a light on this issue and showing the possibilities. We should forward to all county and state prison chaplains as well as law enforcement. Good Work!!

  2. Avatar
    Karen Reply

    Help us to help each other, Lord.
    Our communities deserve to have everyone contributing in a positive way.

  3. Avatar
    Ines Marshall Reply

    Very inspiring, impressive and moving. Very well done. Keep up the good work David.

  4. Avatar
    Marilyn Reply

    This is a very moving and inspiring video. The heartfelt stories of ex-offenders and the excellent work of county and community stakeholders make for compelling viewing. The words of Hymn 443 come to mind:

    Home is the consciousness of good
    That holds us in its wide embrace;
    The steady light that comforts us
    In every path our footsteps trace.

    Our Father’s house has many rooms,
    And each with peace and love imbued;
    No child can ever stray beyond
    The compass of infinitude.

    Home is the Father’s sweet “Well done,”
    God’s daily, hourly gift of grace.
    We go to meet our brother’s need,
    And find our home in every place.

  5. Avatar
    Kristen Reply

    Boots on the ground, bibles in the hands, and love in the hearts of God’s faithful and faith-filled servants being obedient to Father-Mother God’s direction to ‘love one another, even as I have loved you!
    So awesome to watch, so beautiful to feel, so unselfish to share- thank you, David, and all of those who are a part of this prayer in action.
    I’m a little involved in this ministry, but you’ve shown me so much more that I can do!

Leave a Reply