PRISONER RE-ENTRY PROJECT (PREP)
The Randall County Sheriff’s Office started the Prisoner Re-entry Project (PREP) in October of 2008 as a transition program to aid re-entry of selected inmates back into the community. The program is a specialized, faith-based initiative that interlocks Christian morals and life skills with being a contributing member of society and living a law-abiding lifestyle.
PREP is a twelve to eighteen month prisoner re-entry program designed to transform committed participants and to aid in reducing recidivism. The project gives low risk, repeat offenders the education and tools needed to make lasting changes that will keep them out of jail and prison. The men and women selected to participate in the program are brought to the Randall County Jail eighteen to twenty-four months prior to the completion of their sentences.
The program consists of four separate, but equally important phases:
- Phase One - needs assessment, case management, counseling, and mentoring
- Phase Two - life skills training and educational needs are addressed
- Phase Three - employment within the community
- Phase Four- release and re-integration into the community
The main goals of PREP are to reduce recidivism in the Randall County Jail system and increase public safety within the county. Reducing recidivism will create a safer environment for the community by providing former offenders with the proper morals, ethics, and life skills to be contributing members of society. PREP also strives to improve health, increase employment, and increase family cohesiveness.
To achieve these goals, program directors are adamant that participants go through a transformation prior to release. This will ensure the proper tools are in place for a participant to be a contributing member of society on an emotional, psychological, and mental level. This transformation involves Christian morals and ethics; but Christianity is not mandated.
An additional goal is to assist the participant in avoiding antisocial behaviors, engage in pro-social community activities, and meet family responsibilities within a restorative justice climate. Through the program, participants are introduced to a community network through employment and church that will be an asset to them once released. A network within a community aids the search for employment, housing, food, clothing, and other necessities essential to re-entry.
The Sheriff’s Office needs volunteers interested in mentoring participants in the PREP program. It’s a great way to serve your community and you will find it a gratifying experience. Contact the PREP coordinator at the Sheriff’s Office for more information.
Through the efforts of the Randall Country Sheriff’s Office; PREP has proven to be a successful re-entry program in reducing recidivism under its current structure. Efforts in reducing recidivism are critical to taxpayers slowing the revolving door of corrections, reducing the cost of corrections for taxpayers in the community, and creating a greater level of public safety.
The foundation of the program provides those who complete the PREP program with multiple life skills to assist in overcoming the re-integration barriers faced by most released offenders. It is through the program that participants are given a second chance. A committed participant that remains focused through the entirety of the program will have made the transition from offender to contributing law-abiding citizen.