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Partners Celebrate Re-Opening of Re-Entry Center

On Thursday Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, Sheriff John Rutherford, Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Walter McNeil and other community leaders joined for a ceremony to celebrate the re-opening of the Jacksonville Re-Entry Center (JREC).

Operated by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, in partnership with the Florida Department of Corrections and numerous community-based service providers, the JREC provides the "portal of entry" to Duval County ex-offenders through a holistic approach.

"Being in prison is tough; leaving prison and successfully re-entering society can be tougher. Helping offenders re-enter society and not return to a life of crime is important. I advocate helping ex-offenders who are serious about changing their lives," said Sheriff Rutherford.

Funded by The Jacksonville Journey at $600,000, this "one stop shop," is aimed at increasing public safety by reducing recidivism.

"Creating opportunities for ex-offenders who have paid their debt to society make a successful transition back into our community was a resounding message in the work of The Jacksonville Journey committee," said Mayor Peyton. "The resources provided to ex-offenders by the JREC will help set these individuals on a path toward a productive future by reducing recidivism rates. This is just one piece of the puzzle in building a strong foundation for a safer community. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of our state, city, community and faith-based partners for their role in helping to reopen this tremendous community asset."

Ex-offenders are eligible for JREC services if they were living in Jacksonville, committed their crime(s) and were sentenced in Jacksonville, and will be returning to Jacksonville when released from local, state, or federal jails or prisons.

On average, 1,700 ex-offenders return to Jacksonville each year from state correctional facilities.

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