Non-profit looking to unity reentry programs for people coming out of incarceration

Posted at 12:41 AM, Oct 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-08 00:41:26-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Of the nearly 15,000 people arrested over the last three years in Leon County, over 3,000 of those have been arrested at least twice. That's 21%. One community program is looking to reduce that number.

The Clean Start Initiative is hosting a reentry educational forum to help those coming out of incarceration get the help they need.

"It's been a God send you know what I'm saying because if it wasn't for that I'd be out on the street laying on a cardboard box or something like that." Michael Evans recently gotten out of prison. He said he's tired of going through the system and is trying to be a better person.

The Clean Start Initiative is helping him do just that. It's a non-profit that helps people coming out of incarceration through life skill classes and helps them find employment when they get out.

Chris Frey has also recently gotten out of prison. He is grateful that the Clean Start Initiative has kept him busy through job opportunities. "It gives us the opportunity to be able to do something that's beneficial and not feel like we're just jumping back into the same situation or coming out to nothing really," said Frey.

Executive Director of the Clean Start Initiative Warren Cave has partnered with the Leon County Sheriff's Office RISE Center for the last six months. However, he wants to expand his partnerships. He is hosting the first reentry educational forum in hopes to connect with other community programs to help reduce crime in the city.

"When we have people that have been repeat offenders and they get their life in order and then they start counseling and showing ways to the younger generation, that will stop gun violence. That will stop gang violence. That will stop poverty," said Cave.

Cave believes that unifying reentry programs can help people coming out of incarceration get the right resources they need and keep them from recommitting crimes and going back to prison.

Rondell McPherson has been out of prison for six months now. He said if it wasn't for the Clean Start Initiative, he might've gone back to prison. "It's easy to go back there if you don't see any alternative and for me that's what it's done is offer me a chance to see life from a different perspective."

Because of the help he's receiving, Evans is hopeful for the future. "I think through God's grace, I'm going to make it. I'm not stepping back it's only going forward from now on."

Cave is planning on hosting the next reentry education forum in January.