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Local partnership helps prepare IDOC inmates to rejoin society after release

St. Vincent de Paul partners with IDOC to provide reentry classes for inmates
Posted at 7:52 AM, Jan 29, 2024

SOUTH BOISE, Idaho — With the help of Boise nonprofit St. Vincent de Paul, inmates at the Idaho State Correctional Institution are being equipped with the tools and confidence to enhance their prospects for success after incarceration.

  • St. Vincent de Paul's reentry program places a strong emphasis on honing essential skills such as resume building, interview techniques, and valuable job search advice.
  • Mark Renick, a dedicated member of St. Vincent de Paul, urges released inmates to visit his office for assistance in securing essential needs like food, clothing, and transportation.
  • In collaboration with IDOC, the class aims to significantly decrease recidivism rates, underscoring its commitment to fostering successful reintegration into society.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

Inmates at the Idaho State Correctional Institution are preparing for release. Chad Lahti, with St. Vincent de Paul, is a former corporate recruiter. He is providing inmates with the tools and confidence they need to get jobs and succeed on the outside. This includes building a resume, interview tips, and the best ways to communicate their past to future employers.

"The message I want them to understand is that we're here for them. If you come out with no tools, no plan, no goals, the rate at which you're going to come back here is pretty quick," said Lahti.

Mark Renick was released from prison 13 years ago, and after serving seven years, he had to face the challenges of re-entering into society.

"There really weren't support services for people getting out of prison 13 years ago," said Renick.

This is something he set out to change with his work with St. Vincent de Paul.

"Few people understand what people are going through in their first release," said Haight.

He encourages residents at ISCI to come to his office after their release, where they can get help setting up with food, transportation, and clothing. After all, it has been years since many of these inmates have done something as simple as planning a meal or as significant as finding a job.

"I'm not gonna lie. After being in here for 6 years, just hearing the noise of a car is very shocking," said Haight.

Nick Haight has been there for six years, convicted of grand theft larceny when he was 20.

"I made a negative decision, and there are repercussions for those negative decisions, just like there are for anything in life," said Haight.

"I will say I have turned it around. St. Vincent de Paul definitely gave me a different mindset on how to approach that conversation in a professional manner," said Haight.

Nick has taken full advantage of the tools provided to him and is on track to finish a degree in business, with aspirations to work as a headhunter like Chad when he is released.

"I'm very blessed to have that opportunity. Many people don't have that opportunity. I hope in 18 months I'll have a bachelor's degree in business. That's my goal," said Haight.