A new series begins today on WYSO called ReEntry Stories: conversations between people who were once in prison. When they return to the community, they often they have trouble finding jobs, housing, education and mental health services.
Every year in Ohio, more than 22,000 people are released from prison, 1,500 in Montgomery County alone.
ReEntry Stories is produced by Mary Evans, who was incarcerated at Dayton Correctional, where she took part in Sinclair Community College’s Advanced Job Training program, designed to prepare people for re-entry.
Once released, she enrolled at Antioch College and also got involved with the X Factor Initiative, part of the Dayton Collaboratory, which helps re-entering citizens get jobs and life skills, and helps them find peer mentors.
All the people in our series have taken part in either the Sinclair Prison Training project or the X Factor Initiative.
Today we meet Shareka Gibson, who went through the Sinclair program and Marcia Weber, part of the X Factor Initiative. Both of them had professional careers and families before they were incarcerated and now they want to reclaim some of their old lives.
ReEntry Stories is produced by Mary Evans and is a collaboration between WYSO, Sinclair Community College and the Dayton Collaboratory. Funding support comes from Sinclair and the Eichelberger Center for Community Voices.