New Lexington program aims to set up inmates for success when they get out of jail
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The City of Lexington and various partners are working to make sure that when inmates are released from jail and reenter society, they’re set up for success.
“They need to support themselves, their families, pursue their dreams and have a sense of fulfillment,” said Amy Glasscock, director of business engagement for the City of Lexington.
Glasscock says the unemployment rate of people coming out of incarceration is about 27%. She says the new ‘Second Chance Academy’ has the ability to lower that by teaching inmates things like employability skills and resume writing before they leave jail.
“We unlock a pool of untapped labor, talent with higher retention rates, lower turnover and increase in workforce participation,” said Glasscock.
A big component of the program is job placement. This is where the non-profit organization Jubilee Jobs comes in. CEO Mason King says they’ll also keep up with them even after they finish the program and land a job.
“The thing that has the most significant effect is if we can get someone a job and help them keep it,” King said.
King says they’ll start working with them about 90 days prior to their release. They’ll first screen them to make sure they’re not only ready to participate in the program but that they’re ready to succeed.
The program takes six weeks to complete.
“We anticipate that we are going to be able to work with 100 plus individuals during our first year inside the Fayette County Detention Center,” said King.
King says they expect that 75% of them will complete it giving them a new trajectory for their life.
“We’re not going to have a 100% success rate, but, honestly, the profound impact on even helping one individual is worth it,” King said.
The program starts July 1. Mayor Linda Gorton says the city gave $150,000 in ARPA funds to help pay for Second Chance Academy.
“This is a very exciting effort. One that we think will affect positively so many people,” Mayor Gorton said.
Second Chance Academy will also work hand-in-hand with the Barrier Free Re-Entry program. The program also helps formerly incarcerated people find work, specifically those who are in recovery for substance abuse.
Copyright 2023 WKYT. All rights reserved.