New reentry house for women in Craven County is nearly complete

NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) – Grant funding is bringing several reentry resources to one Eastern Carolina county.

Tried By Fire Incorporated – a local nonprofit organization in New Bern – is in the final stages of building its “My Sister’s House.”

The organization says the house will be the only all-women’s reentry transitional home within a 9-county radius in eastern North Carolina.

The nonprofit received a $40,000 grant from the State Employees’ Credit Union to help further the expansion of resources the nonprofit can provide.

The house has room to hold 8 women and is already expecting its first resident by the end of February.

The Craven County Sheriff’s Office will also receive $300,000 each year over the next three years from a Department of Justice grant to hire clinicians for mental health and substance abuse assessments, a “jail navigator,” designed to accurately direct current inmates to proper resources upon reentry, and on-site courses for inmates for completion of their high school diplomas.

Tried By Fire coordinators and the sheriff’s office, both say this stems from an opportunity for growth for reentry resources throughout Craven County.

“The whole justice system really needs to have a number of reforms. Reentry is getting more attention. Hopefully, places like My Sister’s House will become a model that other communities can emulate, and have success,” said Tried By Fire volunteer & resource coordinator, Deedra Durocher.

“What we’ll be doing with that will be providing the resources at a local level – at the detention facility level – that we’ve never done before. We want to offer the treatment model. We want to offer the education model. We want to offer the workforce model to give inmates an opportunity to hopefully cut down on recidivism and deal with the underlying issues,” said Maj. David McFadyen with the Sheriff’s office.

ACLU says eight times more women are incarcerated now compared to the last 40 years.

Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority says – in more concentrated studies – reentry program participants have shown to be 4% to 10% less likely than non-participants to re-offend.

Resource coordinators with Tried by Fire say they have a person they expect to accept into the home. They say the home is expected to be finished by the end of January and the house will we be open for use by the end of February.