Sarah Scarbrough: Putting Offender Recovery and Reentry Research Into Practice


Sarah Scarbrough exudes passion and pragmatism. She’s internal program director for the Richmond City Justice Center in Virginia (formerly the Richmond City Jail), and she’s serious about giving offenders another chance. To help these most disadvantaged, dismissed members of our society, Scarbrough takes a holistic approach in partnership with other agencies and the community at large.

I saw Scarbrough in action in February, when I participated in an event designed to help volunteers and philanthropists understand the connection between incarceration and homelessness.

At the Justice Center, our group heard inmates describe the effectiveness of Scarbrough’s rehabilitation program and lament their prospects for continuing progress after being released. The average number of incarcerations is 7.7 among the men and women in the RCJC Program that Scarbrough oversees.

“Somebody could have the utmost motivation while in jail, in the program, but if they’re released and they are homeless, or they don’t have the proper preparation to be released, they’re going to revert back to the old ways,” Scarbrough says.

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