What We Do
In January 2012, the McLennan County Reintegration Roundtable Steering Committee held its first meeting. The steering committee (composed of local law enforcement, social services agencies, and community members) met regularly to determine priorities for best helping individuals returning from incarceration reintegrate into society. Numerous sub-committees focused on topics such as increasing employment, linking ex-offenders to resources, pre-release counseling, and reducing recidivism.
In 2016, recognizing the value of the reintegration effort to our community, McLennan County and City of Waco agreed to provide matching funding to Heart of Texas Region MHMR to create a program manager position to coordinate services and work directly with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals.
Who We Serve
The Reintegration Program provides transitional services to those currently in the county jail and those just released. The assistance may start while the client is in jail, and often continues post release. Services focus on helping individuals successfully reintegrate into the community and avoid re-incarceration. Services include employment readiness, job search, locating housing, mental health counseling, addiction counseling, and various other support services.
How We Impact
By providing supportive services, the Reintegration program truly helps ex-offenders reintegrate back into society. This improves outcomes for these individuals, reduces the financial burden on local law enforcement and jail by reducing recidivism, and contributes to the economic development of our community by increasing the employment rate of formerly incarcerated individuals.
Client Story 1
This client engaged in the Reintegration Program while incarcerated at McLennan County Jail and was released into the community in January 2017. The client initially struggled with the ability to maintain stability with his recovery. He slipped on one occasion and engaged in smoking crack cocaine over the weekend. He and his wife immediately reached out to the McLennan County Reintegration Program for support, and the client accepted placement into a local treatment program for medically supervised withdrawal and treatment.
The Reintegration Program then assisted the client with obtaining his Texas Identification so that he would be able to find employment. The client was provided an employment referral to Total Placement Solutions, which then assisted the client in obtaining full time employment with local employer Waco Composites on March 21, 2017.
The Reintegration Program provided the client with new work boots for his job to help him achieve success in the new work environment. Currently, the client has successfully maintained his employment with Waco Composite and is being provided weekly case management services through the Reintegration Program to help him continue to be successful. The client has not been re-arrested since his release into the McLennan County community.
Client Story 2
This client was a self-referral after the client attended the McLennan County Reintegration Summit in January. He had been released from TDCJ after serving over 20 years. This client attended weekly support groups provided by the McLennan County Reintegration Program until he was able to secure employment. He also attends weekly counseling sessions. This client has not been re-arrested, maintains stable employment and is in good standing with the Texas Parole Department.