Humboldt County Tackles Recidivism by Giving Inmates a Plan – and Hope
Vanessa Vrtiak’s passion and commitment light up a room – even if that room is a cell block in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. As a Programs Coordinator for the Sheriff’s Office, Vanessa is focused on helping inmates break the cycle of recidivism. It’s no easy task, but one to which she is committed no matter how many times they find themselves back behind bars.
Vanessa has played an integral role in the development of Humboldt County’s re-entry program that connects inmates with community resources and potential employers to assist with the transition once they are released. Representatives from local services providers and companies come into the jail over a two-day period, spending time with inmates in each cell block. Think of it as a form of career fair for inmates. The enthusiasm among the inmates is evident as they learn about available assistance and the potential of lining up work.