York County Reentry Service Center prepares parolees for life after prison

The York County Reentry Service Center, run by GEO Reentry Services, held an open house in April to welcome the public into the center and show how the program assists parolees in successfully reentering their communities.

The open house was covered by The York Dispatch, who interviewed program manager Kalen Macon. “We change [participants’] criminal thinking,” Macon told the paper.

The center provides intensive reentry programming through a multi-phase program that includes regular reporting to the center, treatment and training and ongoing testing for drug and alcohol use.  “We take away their idle time,” Macon told the Dispatch. By requiring the intensive schedule of participants, they are away from the streets and bad influences, Macon said.

Joseph Spencer, the center’s job developer, shared one participant’s success story, telling The Dispatch the participant started as a dishwasher at a chain restaurant in York County and now works as the assistant manager. The job development program at the center provides job training, including mock interviews and lessons on writing resumes and dressing for interviews.

The center is run through a partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and participants are referred to the program by their state parole officers. One-hundred and fifty parolees have gone through the program since the center opened in January 2014.

The center opened with eight others in Pennsylvania as a state initiative to reduce recidivism while maintaining public safety and saving taxpayer money.

GEO Reentry runs similar centers for parolees and probationers throughout the United States. You can read more about our day reporting program here.