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October 30, 2012

Funding secured for Second Chance Act inmate program

NORMAN — Sheriff Joe Lester announced Monday that he secured funding to keep the Second Chance Act Program (S-CAP) for at least the next six months.

The program gives non-violent offenders a chance to reacclimate into society. Women incarcerated at the Cleveland County Detention Center are eligible to participate.

The organization works with female inmates and helps them with housing and food needs. It also provides employment and counseling services.

Lester introduced S-CAP in 2009. It is sponsored by the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office and funded through the Second Chance Act grant from the Bureau of Justice.

Lester said the program gives women the help and services needed to turn their lives around and become productive citizens.

“The program was in jeopardy due to the federal S-CAP grant not being renewed and new county budgets not being adequate to continue the program,” he said. “United Way stepped in and helped keep the program moving until funding could be found. I want to thank United Way for helping S-CAP survive.”

S-CAPDirector Rock Richardson and senior program coordinator Beth Jones visit inmates at the county jail several times a week, enrolling them in the program and working with those scheduled to be released.

“S-CAP provides case management services for women so we can provide them transportation, work experience and job placement,” Richardson said. “It has shown to reduce the number of women going back to jail by 70 percent in the county.”

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