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Sheriff’s Office celebrates inmate re-entry graduates

LAPLACE — The St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office presented its 11th class for its Opportunity Now Re-Entry Program for inmates during a graduation ceremony last week at the Leonard Robinet Mult-Purpose Room in LaPlace.

Sheriff Mike Tregre congratulated the 13 graduates March 23 on their accomplishments and encouraged them to work hard as they rebuild their lives.

Also on hand to commend graduates were State Sen. Gary L. Smith Jr., State Rep. Randal Gaines, Assessor Lucien Gauff, Pastor Gary Bolden and Opportunity Now director Joe Lewis.

Opportunity Now is a collaborative effort between the St. John Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Louisiana Rehabilitation Services and the Louisiana Department of Corrections, providing work readiness, job placement and other self-sufficiency services to qualified inmates, Lewis said.

Re-Entry participants are required to complete three months of intensive work readiness and life skills training.

The courses are designed to help inmates make better choices and to cope with a variety of issues they may face upon re-entering society.

Job placement and case management services are also mandated aspects of the SJSO Opportunity Now Re-entry Program.