FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2017
Contact: Kathleen Ralston or Senator Greg Evers
PHONE: 850-240-2200, 850-240-0646
Re-Entry Alliance Pensacola, Inc. (REAP) has entered into a joint venture agreement with South Palafox Group, LLC (SPG) on May 12, 2017. SPG will build 24 transitional apartment units that will accommodate 48 men and women and a private work release center for 80 participants in Pensacola. The pilot project will serve the entire First Judicial Circuit in Northwest Florida.
REAP’s community re-entry information and referral service helps ex-offenders in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties begin successful transition from incarceration to employment. The program will equip men and women with basic resources such as a government issued identification card, housing, food, medical/mental health care, transportation, healthy relationships, greater education, employment and job training, and continuing cognitive behavior therapy.
Senator Evers former Chairman of the Criminal Justice Committee has made it his passion to reduce recidivism in the criminal justice system and hold Government accountable for their programs and the way tax dollars are spent in Florida. “A good first step is to provide a private solution in a pilot program for criminal justice that allows local integration and identifies local needs of ex-offenders to be successful in their transition,” said Senator Evers. “It is a simple and economically viable solution and we will be partnering with REAP in Northwest Florida.”
Senator Greg Evers while in the Senate sponsored REAP’s budget request and the organization has benefited from grants from local groups including Impact 100, Switzer Brothers Charitable Foundation, and the Bob Barker Foundation- the nation’s largest detention supplier.
The funding for the project will come from various local and state agencies involved with REAP. REAP will be responsible for all operations including housing and staffing of the project.
“REAP has benefitted so much from the generosity of its board members and other donors, the Impact 100 grant and from the appropriation sponsored by Senator Evers and our local delegation,” said Vinnie Whibbs, Director of Operations of REAP. “The project to be built by SPG will allow us to provide greater assistance to ex-offenders we presently serve and to serve more --- the need is greater and the successes of the program are most rewarding.”