skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Making holiday travel manageable for those with a chronic health issue; University presidents testify on the rise of anti-semitism on college campuses; Tommy Tuberville's blockade on military promotions is mostly over.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Sen. Tommy Tuberville ends his hold on military promotions, the Senate's leadership is divided on a House Border Bill and college presidents testify about anti-semitism on campus.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Texas welcomes more visitors near Big Bend but locals worry the water won't last, those dependent on Colorado's Dolores River fear the same but have found common ground solutions, and a new film highlights historical healthcare challenges in rural Appalachia.

WV Program Mentors People Re-Entering Society After Prison

play audio
Play

Friday, December 9, 2022   

West Virginia's prison population has ballooned, and formerly incarcerated people face numerous obstacles when they are released. A Charleston-based program pairs them with mentors for one year, to help them successfully adjust and reorient their lives.

Amber Blankenship, peer-entry program coordinator with the REACH Initiative, said most people typically have "zero support" after their often traumatizing experiences in the criminal justice system. She added that many are also struggling with substance-use disorders.

"When they're released, we just expect them to make all these decisions and be responsible, and it's just, their brain has to heal," she said. "They have to train their brain back to do that."

Housing, health care and employment all are challenging to find for people coming home. A survey this year by Race Matters and the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy found nearly half of respondents said their biggest worry after leaving prison was coping with the social stigma around their conviction and incarceration.

Blankenship emphasized that the mentorship program is a starting point for creating community and healing.

"People in West Virginia are hurting, they're broken, and they need hope," she said. "They need another individual that has, maybe, a similar story that can build that relationship, build trust."

Sara Whitaker, criminal legal policy analyst at the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, pointed out that prison sentences aren't served alone.

"There are obvious ways that this hurts the people who live with them and who rely on them for care," she said, "but it's particularly bad for children."

She added that one in 10 West Virginia kids has had a parent go to jail or prison. Research shows most incarcerated parents in the Mountain State have one or more children younger than 18 years of age.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
A recent survey by the Anti-Defamation League found nearly three in four Jewish students in the U.S. have experienced or witnessed antisemitism this school year. The Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has also opened investigations into alleged Islamophobic incidents at least a half-dozen colleges and universities. (Adobe Stock)

play sound

College presidents testified before a congressional committee Tuesday on the rise of antisemitism on college campuses since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led …


Social Issues

play sound

There are some bright spots in beefing up local news coverage, but a new report says in North Dakota and elsewhere, there are still big concerns …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Holiday stress is a concern for most people, but when you mix in travel plans and chronic health issues, those worries might be elevated. A …


The average cost in Ohio for college tuition and fees is around $10,049 per year, according to the Education Data Initiative. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finds the repayment process for federal student loans has been filled with errors…

Social Issues

play sound

More than 3,500 foster children are available for adoption in Ohio, and state agencies are connecting with local faith congregations to help recruit …

An endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle swims off San Francisco, in September 2022. (Geoff Shester/Oceana)

Environment

play sound

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife just announced a marine warden discovered an endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle dead, drowned …

Health and Wellness

play sound

The state's largest county has just opened the new CARE Court system, designed to get help for severely mentally ill people in Los Angeles. CARE …

Environment

play sound

A Knoxville-based environmental group is voicing health and safety concerns about the development of a landfill for radioactive waste from the Y12 Ura…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021