A Johnson County-based nonprofit is joining with the Iowa Department of Corrections to produce an on-line resource guide for people who are being released from prison. The organization is trying to compile a complete list of support services available in the state.
The group Inside Out Reentry Community formed in 2015 to assist recently incarcerated men and women find jobs, housing, counseling services and even clothing after their release. Its director Mike Cervantes says there is plenty of support for these people, but it’s not always easy to find.
“Small organizations across the state are trying to do a lot to help people, but that information is really scattered,” he says.
Cervantes says one goal is to make sure everyone leaving prison receives the help they need.
“The reentry support people were receiving was pretty mixed," he says. "Some people were getting really good help, other people less so.”
Inside Out Reentry Community worked with Iowa’s nine correctional facilities to collect resource information and post it to its web site. Cervantes says the guide will be updated every six months as he becomes aware of more contacts. The Iowa Department of Corrections estimates 95 percent of current inmates will eventually be released.
The guide can be found at http://www.insideoutreentry.com/