Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Justice Center grad assists in prisoner reentry program

Tabatha Harris, 2007 Justice graduate, is working as a case manager in the Denver County Jail Women's Mental Health Transition Unit as part of the Prisoner Reentry Program. Most of the women in this unit have a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance abuse, and many have a history of trauma. Their offenses range from traffic charges, to prostitution, to murder. Tabatha assists these individuals in working through problems in a positive way, as well as finding resources for them upon release. Homelessness is the biggest issue. To date, this program has contributed to reducing recidivism, maintaining safety, and lowering expenses as women stay out of jail longer and use positive coping skills in place of medications. Tabatha finds her work challenging and rewarding, and enjoys her "daily adventures" at the County Jail. This program is through the Denver County Sheriff Department and funded by the Department of Justice.