Building Philanthropy for a Better Florida

Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Launch Program to Help Local Inmates Find Success

February 29, 2020

Rehabilitating local inmates while they are incarcerated is one thing, but what happens when they are released? Aware that a positive reintroduction to society is crucial to success, Gulf Coast Community Foundation has partnered with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) to launch the law-enforcement agency’s inaugural "Re-entry Navigator Program."

With funding from Gulf Coast, the Sheriff’s Office has hired two full-time “re-entry navigators,” who will connect inmates to reintegration programs before and after they leave the county jail, helping them avoid returning and ultimately keeping the community safer. “This is much more than a grant,” said Mark S. Pritchett, President & CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “It is a start-up investment in an innovative, evidence-based program that is part of a larger strategy to transform criminal justice in our community from punitive to rehabilitative."

The SCSO’s reentry navigators will begin working with inmates while they are still incarcerated, providing counseling and re-entry planning. The navigators will continue that relationship from the moment men and women are released from the jail, maintaining case management and ensuring the individuals can participate in the follow-up services they need to succeed in the community.

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