The Santa Clara County Faith Reentry Collaborative is a network of multi-faith religious institutions, community organizations, and volunteers established to provide transitional services to newly released inmates. We offer hope, compassion, forgiveness, trust, and accountability together with immediate and long-term support to individuals and their families as they return to the community from incarceration.
The Function of Faith in Reentry
Recent studies on the impact of faith in reentry have shown that faith-based approaches to reentry bring added value in the treatment of substance abuse, safe and affordable housing, strong social and family support, education, and employment.
Faith-based organizations offer strong supportive and welcoming environments, and provide assistance that draws upon community values, culture and faith traditions. They promote a change of heart, transforming individuals from the inside out, restoring them to a better life.
In late 2011 the Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Department began implementing its Mental Health Services Act (MHSA)-funded Innovation 06 project to create an interfaith reentry collaborative and faith-based resource centers to support the reentry and recovery of individuals involved in the criminal justice system in Santa Clara County.
Innovation 06 included two main activities. The first activity was the formation of the Faith Reentry Collaborative. The Faith Reentry Collaborative was a steering committee charged with engaging the faith community of Santa Clara County, developing the mission and vision of the project, developing work plans in service-specific subcommittees, and overseeing those work plans. The second activity was the piloting of three multi-agency, faith-based resource centers to facilitate service coordination to individuals reentering the community from jail.
Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Department’s MHSA funds also supported an evaluation of Innovation 06, conducted by Resource Development Associates (RDA). The Innovation 06 evaluation specifically sought to assess whether the Faith Reentry Collaborative increased the capacity of the faith community to serve criminal justice system-involved individuals who are returning to the community, and whether the Collaborative’s efforts contributed to successful reentry.