RJ Donovan offers inmates pre‑release information fair

RJD employees standing in a group
Providers included Prison Ministry, Amity Foundation, Community Transition Program, Parole, Restoring Citizens, DOR, The ROCK Church, and Department of Apprenticeship

By Lance Eshelman, Community Resources Manager

A Pre-Release Information Fair was recently held across yards A, B, C, D, E and M for Richard J. Donovan (or RJD) Correctional Facility inmates releasing within 12 months.  The RJD Mental Health Department in collaboration with Custody and the Community Resources Manager, made great strides in rehabilitation by giving a warm hand-off to communities across the state. The fair provided inmates with information about resources available to them after their release to parole.

Bearded man smiles as he holds paper and a wrapped burrito during an information fair at a San Diego prison.
Food and informational flyers were provided to soon-to-be-released offenders at Richard J Donovan Correctional Facility.

The fairs were held July 24, July 31 and Aug. 7 over a two-hour period. The Pre-Release Information Fair provided inmates an opportunity to receive community resource information as well as gain experience and exposure to the resources as they plan their transition of re-entry within their communities. This kind of exposure will enhance the efforts of CDCR by linking the inmates to community services to help reduce recidivism.

Inmates had the opportunity to learn about the specific employment, education, housing, vocational, probation, and parole-funded programs. The programs are designed to help them successfully re-enter the community.

The inmates were able to have an individual discussion with the service providers who will be helping them when they are released. Some of the represented providers included Amity Foundation, Department of Industrial Relations (link opens new tab), Parole Outpatient Clinic-Mental Health, Community Transition Program, Health RIGHT 360, 211, Department of Rehabilitation (link opens new tab), San Diego Workforce, Restoring Citizens, Rise Up Industries, SD Probation-CTC, San Diego Parole, Transitions Program, Male Community Re-Entry Program and Project Rebound.

Food was provided to the inmates and service providers attending the Pre-Release Information Fair by a generous donation from Prison Ministry through the Rock Church. The Prison Ministry donated 227 Donovan Cafe burritos, 400 flavored water drinks, and 400 packs of chips.

Learn more about the Division of Rehabilitative Programs (link opens new tab).

Woman speaks to inmates at a San Diego prison about post-release resources.
Providers spoke to the attendees about resources available to them as they transition back into their communities.