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You may have heard the saying “it takes a village.” That is never more true than when those who have been incarcerated are reentering society. There will be a Reentry Summit for Southeast Texas on Sept. 22 at the MCM Elegante Hotel and Conference Center in Beaumont.

This conference will support successful reentry by promoting community collaboration for improved training and employment outcomes for former prisoners. The conference will feature national and local reentry experts sharing solutions and answering questions. In a workshop setting, experts in reentry networking will outline action items to create a community-wide reentry network in Southeast Texas.

Deacon Tommy Ewing, director of Criminal Justice Ministries at the Diocese of Beaumont, said “The gospel calls on us to support our brothers and sisters in need. We need volunteers to provide pastoral care for those who have been in jail or prison.”

This affects many Texans as one in every 25 adult Texans are in prison or jail, or under supervision (probation or parole.)

Deacon Ewing said one of the goals of this conference is to “engage the Catholic Church though our parishes to be that face of Christ to welcome men and women returning to the community.”

This conference is especially designed for business and community leaders, social service resource providers, and state and federal prison and parole officials, faith-based prison ministers and any volunteers who can help with reentry pastoral care.  Check in will be at 7:45 a.m. with the conference starting at 8:15 a.m. and the optional workshop starting at 1 p.m.

The conference is free. For more information or to register, contact John B. Ross at 409-091-7946.