Prison "Reach-in" and Mentors

Parole Officer Eli Lopez visits prisons to meet inmates prior to release to Washington County. He answers questions and helps prepare inmates for transition by working with release counselors to match inmates to the resources they need. Officer Lopez attempts to see each inmate at least a month prior to release.

A mentor usually accompanies Officer Lopez when he visits prisons. Washington County has several mentors and each is in recovery from alcohol or other drug abuse and most have first-hand experience transitioning out of prison. Whenever possible, a mentor is assigned to work with an inmate who knows he or she will be challenged to remain clean and sober in the community. Mentors are available the day of release to assist inmates with getting settled into a residence, finding community support groups like AA and NA, and reporting to the parole and probation office.

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