FRANKFORT, Ky. (1/15/13) – Kentucky Protection and Advocacy (P&A), a client directed legal rights agency that protects and promotes the rights of individuals with disabilities, has released a re-entry resource directory for individuals with disabilities exiting prison.
In 2010, P&A developed a survey of questions to assess the barriers for individuals with disabilities re-entering the community from prison. The survey also included questions about services and supports needed to make a successful and lasting re-entry to the community. Upon approval from the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC), P&A staff delivered the surveys to Blackburn Correctional Complex, the Frankfort Career Development Center, and the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women.
The top three barriers to successful re-entry identified were: the lack of accessible housing, barriers to gaining or maintaining employment, and the lack of financial resources. Eighty-eight of the one hundred and twenty counties in Kentucky were represented in the completed surveys.
The results of the survey were shared with a panel of formerly incarcerated individuals with disabilities, representatives from the Department of Corrections, the Department for Behavior Health/Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Client Assistance Program, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the American Veterans Association.
Additionally, representatives from homeless shelters, ministers and other representatives from faith- based organizations, and potential employers participated on the panel.
In addition to including information on the three most identified barriers, the panel agreed that information about additional topics, including services and supports, should also be included in the resource directory. Over the next several months P&A staff and members of the Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Advisory Council researched and compiled data and information needed for the re-entry resource directory. In addition P&A staff was flooded with leads of possible services and supports to be included in the re-entry resource directory.
A Memorandum of Understanding between P&A and the Department of Corrections was signed in December 2012, to assure the directory is made available to individuals exiting the corrections system and re-entering the community. The DOC has also agreed to make the re-entry resource directory available to all Transition/Re-Entry Coordinators. The re-entry resource directory is now available at http://corrections.ky.gov/reentry/Pages/Pre-ReleaseCommunityResources.aspx
Alternately, you may obtain a hard copy of the re-entry resource directory by calling Kentucky Protection & Advocacy at 1-800-372-2988.
Information provided by Jessie Luscher
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