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Newly-Opened Center Will Provide Reentry Services for Former Inmates

For many people who are getting out of prison, reintegrating into society is overwhelming. It can be hard for many formerly-incarcerated people to get connected with the services they need. The Recovery Support and Reentry Opportunity Center, called ‘the Roc’ for short, will respond to those needs in Boone County. The center hosted a grand opening event today.

A mix of law enforcement, social service advocates and former inmates celebrated the center’s opening with barbeque and raffle prizes. More than a dozen state and local organizations with services like rent assistance, job training, health care and addiction recovery had booths at the event and will partner with the Roc.

The center will house services for formerly-incarcerated people, and serve as a safe and welcoming environment for former inmates.

After speaking at the event, Missouri Department of Corrections director Anne Precythe signed a formal partnership between the agency and the Roc. Precythe says reentry services are an essential part of the agency’s responsibility.

“We can put all the money we want to in the housing, employment and in the transportation,” she said. “But if we haven't prepared the folks that are with us while they're incarcerated, to be able to mentally and emotionally handle the challenges and the life the they have to make, then we haven't done part of our job.”

The Roc is run by the advocacy group in2Action, which helps former inmates in mid-Missouri reintegrate into the community and stay out of the prison system.

Zia Kelly graduated with degrees in journalism and public health at the University of Missouri - Columbia in May 2020.. Outside of the newsroom, she works part-time as a personal trainer and competes as an Olympic-style weightlifter.