Inaugural Re-Entry Summit Held at County Probation Department

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Decorative centerpieces fill a table up in front of the Imperial County Probation Department in preparation for the Inaugural Re-Entry Summit on Wednesday afternoon.

EL CENTRO — The Inaugural Imperial County Re-Entry Summit took place Wednesday afternoon at the Imperial County Probation Department. Hosted by the Imperial County Probation Department and the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, this event gave the opportunity for both departments to provide high-impact services to ex-offenders released from custody by connecting them with local agencies that could best address their basic needs. It also assisted these individuals in learning new skills and making better decisions for the future.

“The overall goal for today is to provide the offenders access to services and know what kind of resources are available in the community to help them,” explained Chief Deputy Jamie Clayton. “Whether it’s struggles with child support, if they want to expunge their records, if they need assistance with housing, if they want to learn about mental illness or behavioral health issues, all of those vendors were here today.”

From 10 p.m. to 2 p.m., the Re-entry Summit was available to enhance pubic safety by bringing together public and private resources of Imperial County to help offenders successfully re-enter their communities as self sufficient and law abiding citizens.

“It is the first re-entry fair we’ve done,” said Clayton. “and hopefully we’ll do one every year now.”

All across the IC Day Reporting Center, vendor booths, such as IV Pioneers Healthcare, were available for ex-offenders to visit. There was a main stage area in the center of the event where guest speaker Matthew Maher, an American soccer star, spoke to the offenders about his time served and how he now serves others with a message of inspiration and hope.

“I think it was a great success,” commented Clayton. “I think the outcome was really good. Even with the weather being super hot, we had a lot of representatives from the community. We were able to bring 50 of the inmates to participate and I think probation had another 150 individuals that were here as well.”