COLUMBIANA – The Way Station is expanding its existing programs to help veterans and ex-offenders reintegrate into their communities. Transitioning to Triumph (Triple T) is for veterans and incarcerated veterans as well as those currently required to perform community service. This innovative program provides realistic life skills training that helps participants meet the challenges of reintegrating into the community in a positive and productive way.
“Many of our participants struggle with barriers to employment and face obstacles related to family disconnections, or need services for mental health and addictions issues. We want to foster positive relationships for people because we realize that those who lack support can be the biggest contributor to recidivism and failure,” said executive director Chaney Nezbeth. These two populations have much in common when it comes to the transfer of job skills in today’s marketplace, having had their most basic needs met for many years as well as working and living under a very strict.
The free program will provide assistance in all phases of reintegration, including pre-release, transition and long-term post-release. It is an opportunity for participants to take responsibility for future plans and actions by setting, keeping and achieving realistic goals. The Way Station offers a year or more of mentorship, walking alongside each participant to ensure they meet their goals and offering financial incentives if needed.
“When you don’t know a community, beyond whom you’ve been incarcerated for decades or served with in the military, and then return to your community or even a new one, it’s hard to fill gaps in social services and adapting to a less restrictive way of life”said Mark Blackburn, Triple T program director.
According to the Ohio Department of Corrections (ODC) 2021 Recidivism Report, the number of people returning to prison in Ohio within three years is 32.69%. Columbiana County specifically sees over 150 offenders return to our communities each year, with a three-year recidivism rate of 19.8%. There is evidence that offenders who are released into a post-release monitoring program are more likely to establish needed community connections and less likely to commit new crimes. While the mission and vision of ODC is to reduce recidivism among those they touch and reduce crime in Ohio, the mission and vision of Transitioning into Triumph works to restore the individual while by helping him to build the necessary resources to live well. .
For anyone interested in enrolling in the next Triple T course, contact Mark Blackburn at 330-853-2724 or [email protected]