Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg announced a new program for newly released Lake County Jail inmates, which provides 30 days of continued services after their release.
The “Community Bridge Program” is designed to help inmates that have been released back into the community by providing continued follow-up from jail reentry specialists, according to Lake County Sheriff Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.
The services are available from the Lake County Sheriff’s Jail programming Division and Reentry Division.
Newly released inmates have the ability to continue receiving services for 30 days immediately following their release from custody, Covelli said.
Participating inmates will work closely with a reentry specialist prior to being released, allowing the inmate and the specialist to have in-depth and goal-driven conversations regarding employment, resumes, connection with Alternative Housing Services, tips for successful reentry, enrollment in health insurance programs and more, Covelli said.
Specialists will continue to have routine conversations with inmates who reenter their community to ensure they are meeting their goals and to steer them back on path if they veer off.
Former inmates who completed a trial run of the program reacted positively.
“I found the program really helpful and it was good to have someone to check in with on what I was working on,” one said.
“Having the same person to follow up with who already gave you confidence on the inside, to guide you on the way out was awesome,” another said.
“The best part was knowing the person before leaving, it meant there was trust and confidence there,” another said.
One former inmate wanted the program to be longer because they thought that 30 days is not enough.
“I wish the program could have been longer. 30 days sometimes isn’t enough,” they said.
Sheriff Idleburg said, “We have learned the first 30 days after being released from custody is a very crucial time period for inmates. We want inmates to have the tools available to be successful members of society and have purpose when they are released from custody, rather than the jail having a revolving door.”
“We will continue listening to the community, hearing from subject matter experts, and giving inmates the tools necessary for reentry into the community. We are very excited about this program and the potential it has to reduce recidivism in our community,” he added.