Resource fair gives inmates hope for life after jail

Local News

SALEM, Va. (WFXR)– The Western Virginia Regional Jail held a re-entry resource fair today for offenders that have a definite or possible release date within the next six months. 

This is the third resource fair to be held by the jail. Over two-hundred inmates participated and thirty-six resource booths were present.

The major focus of the fair is offering support for basic needs such as shelter, job-placement, and rehabilitation.

What we really want to do is offer some hope and that’s what they need in the end, someone to show a little interest in them, somebody that cares about them, and gives them some hope for the future.

David Hollandsworth, Re-entry Coordinator Specialist

Devon Sherman and Michael Davis are both preparing for their release.

As far as going back out there in the world, I mean you’re scared. You’re worried about your friends, your family, how they’ll accept you and you’re just really scared to fall back into what you were already doing. So, I mean it’s always a challenge out there, but the world is full of obstacles and all we can do is overcome them.

Devon Sherman, resource fair attendee

Although the men recognize the challenges of re-entering society, they both have gratitude that the jail has given them beneficial tools for their departure.

This jail, it provides so much more than punishment. It provides rehabilitation. You can come and pretty much set the tone for where you want to be when you get out and how you want to be.

Michael Davis, resource fair attendee

The jail currently offers forty programs for inmates, the resource fair not included. It is their hope that the implementation of these programs will help offenders to break generational cycles, combat addiction, increase education, and assist in a better future.

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