If you are having an emergency or crisis, please call 800-562-8909

First Day Forward is a jail reentry program funded by a grant in collaboration with Northeast Kentucky Substance Use Response Coalition, in which a Peer Support Specialist (PSS) is paired with an incarcerated individual with a substance use disorder. Individuals complete a needs assessment and develop individualized pre and post release case plans while they are still incarcerated. Participants are provided educational opportunities through a self-paced curriculum. The curriculum addresses addiction as a disease, life skills, criminal thinking, and most importantly, strives to instill hope in the individual. The relationship developed by the PSS becomes an integral part of breaking down barriers for that person to become successful. PSSs help individuals obtain identification cards, social security cards, birth certificates, medical benefits, and SNAP benefits, helping to minimize mistrust of the system. Upon release, the PSS picks the individual up from the detention
center, and the real “First Day Forward” begins. They revisit their case plan, make necessary changes, and set goals to make the individual’s first 90 days post-release successful. The PSS connects the individual to resources in the community – support
groups, medical care, medication for opioid use disorder services, employment opportunities, housing options,
and more. Funds are allocated to meet a participant’s basic needs and assist with housing deposits, if warranted. The PSS will accompany the individuals to appointments in the community to ensure they are successfully reintegrated back into the community. The PSS will also connect a participant to the recovery community, any necessary community-based services, and treatment services to address physical or behavioral health needs. The participant and the PSS have at least weekly face-to
-face contact for the first 60 days and bi-weekly contact 61-90 days after release. On day 91, the participant has completed First Day Forward and their care will be continued by a local service agency of their choosing. However, the PSS maintains contact with participants who have completed the program to update them on new resources and for data tracking purposes. The data suggests that those who complete First Day Forward have a recidivism rate of 7.7%, while those who did not complete, return to incarceration at a rate of 56.9%. Over 75% of participants have been provided with basic needs and pivotal reentry support immediately upon release and over 72% have been connected to treatment post-release. Great things are happening as a result of this work.

  • Self-identified with substance use disorder
  • Willingness to participate in the program
  • Cannot have charges related to violent or sex offenses
  • Inmates must be discharged to a participating county of Boyd, Carter, Greenup, or
    Montgomery

Brittany Herrington

(606) 324-1141

bherrington@pathways-ky.org

Mariann Mota

(606) 329-8588, ext. 4055

mariann.mota@pathways-ky.org