A program at the Kent County Jail offers mentorship and life skills training to high-risk female inmates in the hopes of reducing recidivism rates.
Jamie Riehle is the New Beginnings mentor coordinator at the Women’s Resource Center. She says they’ve worked with more than 200 inmates to-date. A recent $52,000 grant from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation allows them to continue that level of service.
“We’re fortunate in that Grand Rapids has a lot of people that are interested and committed to successful re-entry for people exiting jail or prison," Riehle says. "Unfortunately, a lot of those programs and resources are directed for men.”
Riehle talks to WGVU about how the program began in the community, and why the work they do is so important.