Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $57,889)
Name: Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office
Goals: Reduce re-offending, crime and victimization of participants; resource communities by connecting residents to services and acting as system navigators; and enhance Problem-Oriented Policing strategies by being bridge builders between the community and the criminal justice system.
The Street Outreach Team employs recently released inmates and provides them with an opportunity to work while simultaneously utilizing their unique experiences and community expertise to establish a connection between law enforcement and the community we serve. The role of the Street Outreach Team is to reduce re-offending and to bridge the gap with those individuals most at risk of offending. Operating since 2009, the program hires individuals who have been involved with the criminal justice system or who have significant life experiences with addiction or homelessness.
In short, using the civic engagement model as the foundation for the program and by working within our county jail and with key community partners, we identify appropriate candidates for the team. We then train and hire them as they reenter our neighborhoods so that they may assist in relationship building with residents, facilitate prevention programs for youth, assist residents in the development and implementation of a community revitalization strategy, provide ongoing training for our deputies, and ultimately remain productive citizens of our county. Like it or not the fact remains that many of our residents who have committed crimes are leaders of certain segments of the community. It is these segments that we propose to engage and work within through our street outreach workers.