The McLennan County Jail in Waco Texas hosted a graduation ceremony for nine inmates in the McLennan County Reintegration Program (MCRP) on July 24. The program helps inmates who have been in-and-out of jail and often struggling with substance abuse by providing services like counseling, substance abuse treatment, education, and job training including a six-week workforce training certification through McLennan Community College.
The help appears to be working: only one of the 67 program participants have “recidivated” (returned to jail) since the pilot program launched in November of 2016.
MCRP is created and initially funded through a partnership with McLennan County, the City of Waco, and the Heart of Texas Region Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center. Recent grant funding has added to the program’s continuation.
The program, which was in the works back in 2012, allows services to begin during incarceration, rather than waiting until release. The inmates who participate in the six-part program receive support with employment, housing, education, social connection, and mental health and substance use disorder treatment, including Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous classes.
The pre-release part of the program has four phases, and provides individuals with the skills needed for successful reintegration, according to officials. Participants work on the final two phases once they’re released back into society and are no longer incarcerated.
Read more on KWTX.com.