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Pictorial Report by gozarks.com
photos by Shawna Weiss
article by Christine Beems

Carrie Raglon (standing at left), the newly hired Coordinator for the City of Little Rock Reentry Program, addressed over 3-dozen organizational leaders during a meet & greet on December 20, 2012

The 'ultimate objective', according to Dorothy Nayles, Director of Community Programs with the City of Little Rock (pictured at left), is to collaboratively build a system of components which empower those being released from prison to return to free society with the means to take care of themselves and to lead productive, sustainable lives.

The December 20, 2012 meet-and-greet, hosted by the City of Little Rock at the Willie L. Hinton Neighbor-hood Resource Center on 12th St., introduced the City's newly hired Reentry Coordinator, Carrie Cochran-Raglon. to the longstanding community of reentry advocates.

Over three-dozen organizational leaders representing civic, public-sector, non-profit and business organizations such as Arkansas Community Dispute Resolution Centers, Inc., Arkansas Homeless Coalition, Lewis-Burnett Employment Finders Inc., Oxford House Inc., the Canvass Community, the Center for Women in Transition, Prison Fellowship Ministry, KABF 88.3 Community Radio, Arkansas Time After Time, U.S. Probation & Parole, Little Rock Workforce Investment Board, Catholic Charities of Arkansas, Arkansas Workforce Centers, Little Rock Alert Centers and others who are involved with the Central Arkansas ReEntry Coalition, attended the gathering.

Raglon explained that the purpose of the meet & greet was to initiate a collaborative process "among all the individuals in this room" that supports effective reentry practices to move people away from criminal thinking and criminal behavior, build life-skills, foster self-responsibility, promote community safety and abate recidivism.

"Everybody has a role in the reentry process," Raglon said. "We must demonstrate commitment and leadership, develop partnerships, invest in employment training and develop a common language."

To be successful, Nayles concluded, this collaboration needs to prioritize spending with a commitment to community safety and mobilize passion for restorative practices, ie: not more police and jails.

The Central Arkansas ReEntry Coalition is an independent volunteer-driven networking organization, distinct from and unaffiliated with the City of Little Rock.

To learn more about reentry issues and strategy in central Arkansas, contact Carrie Raglon with the City of Little Rock at 501-918-5210.

To learn more about the volunteer-driven Reentry Coalition, visit www.arkansasreentry.com

Peace abounds when fighting ends...
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
~Buckminster Fuller

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That you may be filled with strength and power, rooted and grounded in love that surpasses all knowledge: Be kind to one another; live with compassion, producing every kind of goodness; stand firm and hold your ground in truth, righteousness and peace; be courageous; embrace faith which is perfect trust in justice. ~Ephesians 3-6 (condensed)