In 2013, U.S. District Court Judge M. Casey Rodgers proposed the formation of a mentoring program to assist in reducing criminal recidivism. In response to her proposal, Re-Entry Alliance Pensacola, Inc. (REAP) was formed by a core group of local activist attorneys. REAP was formed as a non-profit organization and received approval as an IRS Section 501(c)(3) organization in 2014. Its vision was to provide justice-involved citizens with a pathway to success following their time serving a sentence of imprisonment.
REAP's first community outreach program was a garden in Pensacola's historic Brownsville neighborhood. This patch of cultivated land stood as a symbol of regeneration and growth in the heart of a community that had been disproportionately affected by policies of mass incarceration, felony disenfranchisement, and the criminalization of debt. Together with the community, REAP sought to build strong and meaningful networks that would connect justice-involved citizens to opportunities in employment, housing, and mental health care.
In 2015, REAP expanded its re-entry plan from a community garden and mentoring program for individuals from the Federal prison system to include individuals from the Florida state prison system and Escambia County jail. Since that time, the number of clients that REAP serves has increased substantially. More than 90% of REAP's clients have become self-sufficient, crime-free, productive members of their community. This translates to a recidivist rate of less than 10%, appreciably better than many other programs nationwide.
Recognizing that basic shelter was a prerequisite to any future success in employment and substance abuse recovery, REAP partnered with local banks to acquire properties suitable to house returning citizens. REAP currently has 10 transitional houses in use in Escambia County, Florida. In 2019, REAP added re-entry services for women which now include two women's houses capable of housing up to 14 women. REAP has also acquired the use of two houses in Santa Rosa County, Florida to increase potential for supplying additional regional services. These properties serve as home to REAP clients where they may find privacy and dignity during the tumultuous transitional period following incarceration. Gradually, with the help of dedicated case workers and employment partners, clients are gradually phased out of the REAP properties as they gain financial independence.
REAP's primary service area includes the four westernmost counties in Northwest Florida: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton and the Federal Northern District of Florida which extends from Pensacola to Gainesville, sans the Jacksonville area.
REAP operates on a combination of State funding, private grants, and individual donations. If you would like to learn more about REAP's programs or volunteer to help, please contact us. If you would like to donate, you may do so securely through PayPal via the button below.
Get access to community resources for you or a loved one returning from a period of incarceration and learn how to participate in REAP ReEntry programs.Services
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