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IMG 0405The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office is one of the first jails in Hampton Roads to launch a new concept: a resource fair to help prepare inmates for release. On Wednesday June 13 from 9 a.m. to noon, nearly a dozen vendors came inside the Norfolk City Jail to teach inmates about services they offer – including finding jobs, housing and addiction support. All the vendors will set up inside the jail’s gym.

Resource fairs in jails are a national trend – facilities across the nation, from Virginia to Indiana to Wisconsin, Minnesota and California – have all recently started hosting events inside jail to connect inmates with the tools to rise above.

The Norfolk Jail’s Resource Fair included these vendors:

Ø  Veteran’s Homeless Reintegration Program

Ø  Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia

Ø  Opportunity Inc.

Ø  Hampton Roads Community Health Center

Ø  Department of Child Support Enforcement

Ø  Promethean Group (Mobile Medical Team)

Ø  Probation and Parole

Ø  Virginia 211

Ø  Step-Up

Ø  The Up Center

Ø  Second Chances

The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office is working to make the community a safer place by providing programs inside the Norfolk City Jail to help inmates rise above.

  • Ninety-five percent of people in jail today will eventually return back our community. Our challenge is to ensure they return with skills and resources that make them less likely to commit future crimes. Without better options, many will return to the lifestyles that got them into trouble in the first place.
  • A 2016 RAND study found that inmates who participate in any kind of educational program are 43 percent less likely to reoffend.

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