(Photo credit: Office of the Attorney General)


What Are They

Re-entry councils consist of a collection of representatives of agencies and organizations that deliver services to persons who were previously incarcerated. Representatives meet to address the needs and barriers of returning citizens. Councils are an excellent resource to access community resources and learn more about community capabilities.

Re-Entry Councils take on many different shapes and forms. While we recommend all councils operate in a similar format we recognize that the needs of the community will ultimately dictate what a council does and how they do it. Some councils may focus specifically on one jail while others incorporate regional jails, prisons or multiple facilities. The needs of your communities will likely dictate the services you choose to provide.

While Virginia is a state where regions have drastically different needs there are some universal issues councils deal with and having a council whose members is robust and diverse is necessary (see list of typical council members at right).

Areas Addressed

  • Workforce Development
  • Education
  • Financial Obligations
  • Housing
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse
  • Community Integration

Four Primary Principles

  • Pre-release planning
  • Interagency/governmental level coordination
  • Integrated service delivery
  • Positive links to community with system of family and community support

Re-Entry Councils are typically made up of:

  • State and local probation
  • Jail and prison representatives
  • Nonprofit homeless providers
  • Victim services providers
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Local businesses
  • Public housing agencies
  • Workforce Development Boards/ programs
  • Mental health agencies
  • Local Community Service Boards
  • Hospitals
  • Universities
  • Organizations serving veterans
  • Housing agencies
  • Mental Health and substance abuse agencies
Friends and family gathered at a picnic

Find out how re-entry benefits businesses, communities and individuals. »

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