On Wednesday, West Virginia University hosted a prisoner reentry forum to inform people of the importance of helping the inmates back into society. The program helps to highlight concerns a community may have about prisoners reentering their communities.
Statistic show that over the next 10 years, seven million people will get out of prison and enter our communities, which equals out to 2,000 a day.
This initiative focuses on different programs inside facilities that will help the community and prisoners.
The Inside Out Program, where 15 WVU students are taken into different facilities such as the female facility and penitentiary in Hazleton, as well as the Morgantown Correctional Facility, and have class all semester along side fifteen inmates.
The concept behind this is that there are people who have studied it and people who have lived it, and their role throughout the semester is to help develop programs and initiatives that will help the community.
Jeri Kirby, an instructor at the WVU Division of Sociology and Anthropology Department, shared her story and why she feels a program like this is so important.
"The fact is that they are here, they're coming out and we have to be supportive. In regards to my incarceration, my friends and family were supportive, I made my own way, and I was realistic finding a job that wasn't way out of my possibilities, and I worked my way through college, so in that regards I guess I am a success story," said Kirby.
Kirby added that there are a lot of other stories just like hers and there can be a lot more success stories to come as long as people are open to the concept.