Reentry Summit Works To Remove Barriers After Jail

Sep 10, 2019

The Hamilton County Office of Reentry is working to make sure people who have been convicted of crimes transition into the community seamlessly.

The Restored Community Summit for Reentry is a day of sessions focusing on the impact of trauma, sustaining long-term employment, and other strategies to develop healthy relationships.

Office of Reentry Director Trina Jackson says the challenge in helping their clients is retention not job availability.

"There is more than just coming to work on time and performing the task. It's being able to fit into an environment that you're not use to."

She says work culture and learning how to communicate in a different setting is an adjustment for people reentering society.

Event organizers say they want trauma to be at the forefront of the conversation.

"Trauma happens to everybody whether you are a returning citizen or not," Jackson says. "It's just whether you deal with it and if you have the tools to deal with it."

She says the event wants to show highlight people who have dealt with their trauma.

The Office of Reentry and other stakeholders hosted events Tuesday to help people learn to remove some barriers.

Eric Willoughby is a research associate for the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute. His session focused on cognitive behavioral interventions for people seeking employment.

During his presentation, he educated employers about the challenges some of their employees may face.

"Let's say I'm working on my job and a customer comes in and complains to me," he says. "It might trigger some sort of emotion in me and I might fly off the handle. I might yell at that customer and I'm going to lose that job ultimately."

He says reinforcing conflict resolutions skills are important to prevent scenarios like that from happening.

Willoughby says some people think incarceration is enough to make someone change but that isn't the case.