Eureka, Ca., (KIEM)- Six Humboldt County programs received ‘Challenge Awards’ from the California State Association of Counties. The recognition is earned by county agencies when they demonstrate innovation and create cost effective ways to address pressing local and state issues.
In Humboldt the winning programs addressed everything from cannabis tracking to disaster preparedness. One program in particular was championed by the Sheriff’s Office in collaboration with Humboldt State University Sociology students. The “Reprogramming Corrections” program focuses on reducing recidivism. This year it took the shape of a three-day re-entry fair connecting inmates to programs, jobs, and services they could use after incarceration.
“We were presented an award for our re-entry fair. We had about 8 employers come to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and meet with the currently incarcerated to talk about employment opportunities when they are released.” Vaness Vrtiak, the program coordinator who studies sociology explained.
Inside the council chambers, Sheriff William Honsal had this to say about the program: “Hope. We try to bring hope people in custody.”
Vrtiak went on to say, “To be able to make those connections and make a plan and have a house you know waiting for them when they get out, a job waiting for them when they get out, the more we can do that the more that we can ensure that people will be successful, the healthier our community will be.”
The Public Works Department, Agriculture Department, County Administrative Office, and the North Coast Regional Department Support Services, were all acknowledged for outstanding programs as well.