Public News Service – West Virginia’s prison population has ballooned, and formerly incarcerated people face numerous obstacles when they are released. A Charleston-based program pairs them with mentors for one year, to help them successfully adjust and reorient their lives.
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Amber Blankenship, peer-entry program coordinator with the REACH Initiative, said most people typically have “zero support” after their often traumatizing experiences in the criminal justice system. She added that many are also struggling with substance-use disorders.
“When they’re released, we just expect them to make all these decisions and be responsible, and it’s just, their brain has to heal,” she said. “They have to train their brain back to do that.”
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