A Fresh Start
As an individual nears the end of his sentence, he or she is faced with the often daunting transition of re-entering the community. Community corrections center Correctional Alternatives Inc. (CAI) serves as a link between prison and the community, which is such a difficult transition for so many to make.
“Each inmate, each resident, is deserving of an opportunity to succeed,” says Grant Weiss, the facility director at CAI Ocean View.
“Each inmate, each resident, is deserving of an opportunity to succeed.”
CAI Ocean View Facility Director
Former inmates are residents at CAI re-entry centers for an average of 70 days, while some have lived on site for six months. CAI offers a multitude of programs to help their residents land on their feet, including parenting classes, life skills and job prep courses.
Weiss maintains that community corrections is essential and critical for public safety. He describes it as a transition stage for inmates, as well as a time when they can pull from what they’ve learned to reinvent themselves and start anew.
About 55,000 inmates are released from federal prison every year, but only one-in-seven are placed in a residential re-entry center.
At any given time, CAI helps 450 motivated, drug-free residents find jobs and living situations in a setting that mirrors life after release.
“The goal of the program is to provide the resident necessary skills and resources that they did not have prior to their arrival,” Weiss explains. “I would hope the most important thing that residents learn during their stay at the facility is that there is justice in the system, that there are staff members who are genuinely concerned and sincerely interested in their welfare.”
The sincerity is quite evident. He adds, “Every human being has the potential to rebound. We need to treat them with kindness, with patience, with professionalism. We need to be devoted to their cause.”