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Dunn County receives state grant for Jail Reentry Pilot Project

MENOMONIE — The Dunn County Criminal Justice Collaborating Council (CJCC) is pleased to announce it has been awarded an $80,000 grant from the State of Wisconsin Department of Justice for Dunn County’s Jail Reentry Pilot Project. Dunn County was one of four counties in the state selected to receive funding to develop a model of jail to community reentry designed to prevent recidivism.

The goal is to develop a reentry program that can be tested and evaluated to determine effectiveness, and to potentially serve as a model for other counties.

Dunn County will use the grant funds to develop and implement a reentry peer specialist model designed to prevent and reduce recidivism by ensuring individuals leaving the jail have a plan for housing, healthcare, employment and training, benefits, and other services needed to successfully reintegrate back into the community. Dunn County is leading the way with the peer support model for reentry, which is an evidence-based approach proven to be effective in reducing the numbers of repeat offenders. Dunn County CJCC is partnering with the Menomonie-based Center for Independent Living and Grassroots Empowerment Project to provide certified peer reentry specialist training. The funds will also be used to develop an up-to-date, online Jail to Community Reentry Toolkit detailing area resources to assist with transition planning back to our community.

Dunn County Board of Supervisors Chair Steve Rasmussen says, “I am extremely proud of our team’s success in being one of only four counties in the state to be awarded this multi-year grant. Returning successfully to our community after incarceration is fraught with challenges. Our community is safer and stronger if we can reduce recidivism. Research shows that programming which supports reentry can be a major factor. It is the smart thing to do.”

The State of Wisconsin Department of Justice awards grants through a competitive application and review process. These funds, once granted, are renewable for up to four years.