The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office announced an initiative to implement an enhanced re-entry program that will help reduce incarceration costs, both in dollars and in negative impact to communities.
Sheriff Mark Wood, Rapides Parish Sheriff, “That’s kind of a revolving door that we need to try to help and I feel that doing this , teaching these trades. I’ve talked to the local industries around here. This will give them the trade to help them build the life that they need. “
Local jails house approximately 75% of the number of people released each year. The Department of Corrections partnered with Sheriff Wood to expand programming at a local level.
Rhett Covington, Asst. Secretary for Dept. of Corrections says, ” We can’t get to every jail but we can get to a few of them and provide really concentrated skill building exercises to get them prepared to give back to the community again. Rather than them being in north Louisiana returning to South Louisiana or being house in east Louisiana going to west Louisiana.”
The expansion will include welding, plumbing, electrical work, carpentry and even restaurant management. Participants can choose how they’d like to navigate their skills.
Sherriff Mark Wood , ” You know, just give them options. What do you want to give into, you know its like the guys are here fixing to get out. We don’t want them to get back into that same old deal. They get out, they don’t have nothing I mean they don’t know what to do. Hopefully this will change some lives.”
Rapides Parish will be one of few departments utilizing this resource to better incarcerated adults.