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Program will help people rebuild lives, find work after jail

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Hamilton County

Hamilton County is ready to launch a program aimed at helping ex-convicts re-enter society.

The idea is to reduce the number of people who end up back in jail.

Commissioner Greg Hartmann calls the Hamilton County Community Re-entry Action Plan revolutionary.

Commissioner Todd Portune adds, "When you build (jail) facilities, the population in them always seems to rise to meet whatever the (capacity) level is in the facility. You never seem to have enough space. The real answer beyond facilities is that we've got to turn around the lives of the individuals who are in our corrections system that have made bad choices."

Three people will be hired to help the county's re-entry coordinator run the new program. Two of those positions are funded by grants, the third will be paid for out of levy funds.

From Re-entry Program Director DeAnna Hoskins:

"The positions are 2 Re-entry Outreach Coordinators: 1 funded by Cincinnati Initiative to reduce violence, the other by US Attorney General Project Safe Neighborhood grant. 1 Re-entry Program Specialist funded by Treatment services levy."

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.