Prison Reentry Transition Center
Felton Howard, Navigator at the RTC
The Re-entry Transition Center (RTC) is a reentry program for formerly incarcerated people in the Portland area.
The RTC coordinates reentry services for formerly incarcerated people and fosters the successful transition of participants from incarceration back into the community.
Origin of the RTC
The RTC began as a partnership of seven non-profit organizations funded by a three year grant from the United Way. We started in September 2009 and subsequently received additional funding through a Justice Assistance Grant administered by the State of Oregon through Multnomah County Department of Community Justice.
Why prisoner reentry in Portland?
Multnomah County receives the highest percentage of newly released prisoners from penal institutions of all Oregon counties. Over 150 individuals are released from state and federal prisons to the county each month. Former prisoners are often released with few if any assets, limited ties to the community, and low awareness of available services and programs to help.
Objectives of Prison Reentry Programs
The RTC has several goals.
- Assist formerly incarcerated individuals in connecting with communities by providing for their immediate needs and navigation to essential services
- Increase the rate of successful reintegration, fostering safer and stabler communities for everyone
- Promote systemic changes in how we approach reentry by incorporating coordinated community-based resources
- Provide evidence-based best practices that prove the cost effectiveness of our approach
How it Works
The RTC provides for immediate needs of former prisoners through:
- Hygiene products
- Access to phone, email and internet
- Alcohol and drug assessments
- Emergency temporary housing
The RTC provides for long term goals through navigating and supporting access to:
- Faith-based or peer-to-peer mentoring
- Education and vocational training
- Employment needs, like job soft-skills training and interview clothing
- Parenting and family reconciliation programs
- Alcohol and drug treatment
- Health and dental treatment
- Assistance with navigating self-employment and disability services