Gulf Coast Community Foundation CEO Mark Pritchett and Sheriff Tom Knight

The Gulf Coast Community Foundation has partnered with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) to launch the law-enforcement agency’s inaugural Re-entry Navigator Program. With funding from Gulf Coast, the Sheriff’s Office has hired two full-time “re-entry navigators,” who will connect inmates to reintegration programs before and after they leave the county jail. The SCSO’s reentry navigators will begin working with inmates while they are still incarcerated, providing counseling and re-entry planning. The navigators will continue that relationship once the inmates are released from the jail, maintaining case management and ensuring the individuals can participate in the follow-up services they need. The Reentry Navigator Program was among a dozen jail-diversion and treatment strategies recommended last summer by Sarasota County’s Criminal Justice Commission to the Sarasota County Commission. It is the first of those recommendations to be funded and implemented.