The Madera County Day Reporting Center, in Madera, California, is staying active in the community this season — from hosting a graduation celebration to taking part in National Night Out and an annual walk against drug use and gang violence.
In early September, the DRC celebrated 22 participants who completed the reentry program in a special awards ceremony at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Madera. The Madera Tribune also attended the ceremony, covering the event for the paper.
“I’d like to thank probation for encouraging me, not giving up on me,” a participant told the paper. “I thank you for treating me like a human being, not just like a drug addict. You’ve always been encouraging me. It was not easy getting here but this is an amazing program and I just appreciate you guys.”
The DRC, which opened in 2010, works in partnership with the Madera County Probation Department to provide reentry services to individuals referred by probation to the center. The DRC operates with the goal of changing criminal behavior through cognitive behavioral treatment, substance abuse treatment and classes that teach participants real-world skills so they are successfully prepared to reenter society. The probation department’s Adult Services Division oversees the program, while GEO Reentry Services, operates it.
Giving back to the community is also an important component of the DRC, which is why the center took part in Madera’s National Night Out event, an annual crime and drug prevention celebration that takes place in cities across the country. The night consists of neighborhood block parties, volunteer city clean-up opportunities and other contests and gives local police the opportunity to meet with different community members.
More than 1,000 people attended Madera’s National Night Out, and the Madera County DRC had a great time manning a booth with the probation department.
The DRC also teamed up with the department in August for an annual walk to combat gang violence and meth use. The walk ended in a resource fair featuring live music and food as well as testimonials from individuals who have overcome gang violence and drug addictions.
The events were a great opportunity for current Madera County DRC participants to gain access to community connections while being exposed to a greater network of individuals who are trying to turn their lives around. Starting over isn’t easy, but it’s always better with the support of others.