Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $750,000)
The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe (PGST) Court Services Department will use the awarded BJA FY22 Second Chance Act Community-Based Reentry Program funds to provide evidence-based modalities fused with best-practice Indigenous traditional ways to those reentering community within Kitsap County, Washington, as part of a substantial county-wide community investment to support reentry after justice system involvement. The proposed program seeks to enrich relationships between community-based organizations and our corrections partner, acknowledging that a human dignity approach is how reentry should work within our communities.
Our program will develop a collective methodology to provide linkages and connectivity between community agencies, local government, and community stakeholders to foster a collaborative approach to resolving the challenges of reentry. Programming includes building relationships within our Tribal and non-Tribal communities through an Indigenous lens and nurturing community trust with our local law enforcement agencies. By directly interfacing with Kitsap County agencies on continued development of pre- and post-release reentry programming, we can structure evidence-based and best practices to reduce recidivism, balance cultural understandings, and enrich lives.
Our cooperative continuum of services includes risk and need assessments; education; substance abuse treatment; conflict resolution; cultural identity; comprehensive case management; improved employment outcomes; healthy family functioning and relationships; and cognitive behavioral interventions. By enhancing reentry, we invest in community with programs and services that help to interrupt the cycle of unemployment, incarceration, and social inequities. Our “bottom up” approach identifies individual healing as the first critical step to restoring and rebuilding community, by building on opportunities to access healing and recovery through traditional listening circles, support in reestablishing community connections, and building community resources. By centering our vision, leadership and community on these processes, we build upon local culture and viewpoints to repair the harm of incarceration, reduce recidivism, and rebuild community, all while incorporating pathways to education, employment, social services, and opportunity: We can continue to build safer communities for all. During the last few years, as we’ve faced the pandemic, our reentry work within Kitsap County has shown us that we will benefit from a distinctive strategy to enhance the current reentry support.
Our commitment to reentry marks a significant milestone in the reentry movement. By infusing humanity into reentry practices and promoting dignity through the interactions of those coming out of incarceration, we can help keep the formerly incarcerated within the fold of our larger community.