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Rehabilitation programs, and re-entry services give inmates second chance

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Posted at 8:45 AM, Oct 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-13 16:28:04-04

The Kern County Sheriff's Office had their 4th annual Re-Entry Fair for some inmates.

The fair featured rehabilitation programs and re-entry services that inmates could take advantage of in order to help them once they are released from the Lerdo Detentions Facility.

"It's awesome, I mean there's not a lot of chances you know? So these guys looking out for us is pretty awesome," said Tim Countryman, an inmate waiting for his release date next week.

Countryman was one of the 300 inmates that got a chance to gather information today from organizations ready to help them in any way that they could.

"Everybody needs a different mix of resources to be successful once they leave custody. We try to assess that and then point individuals to the services that we know are most likely able to help them be successful based on their individual needs," detentions lutenant Ian Silva said.

One of those resources focuses on mentoring inmates so that their transition once they get out of jail is easier.

A representative from Garden Pathways, Dyann Barrientos, said that focusing on what they did wrong isn't the way to go, but rather focusing on how they can improve can change their life.

"When you think about where they're coming and all the barriers that they have, for some it's their first chance. It's priceless when you're able to come along side and see that transformational change in individuals," Barrientos said. 

She said that the reality is that these men and women are going to be our neighbors at some point again. The rejection they encounter oftentimes lead them back on the wrong path.

Countryman agreed that receiving support is key.

"Believing in us is really important because were going to come back into the community and by not looking out for us we'll just go back to the same thing we've done," he said.