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Central Region Community Supervision Hosts Community Resource Fair to Help

photo1(April 12, 2013) --- In the shadow of the nation's oldest prison, hundreds of ex-offenders who never want to go back behind bars came out to the Community Supervision Community Resource Fair at St. Frances Academy on April 11.

Begun by Agent Supervisor Blanche Chenault several years ago in a small room with a handful of people, the Resource Fair has become a huge event, filling the Academy gymnasium with nearly 50 service providers offering jobs, skills training, healthcare, and housing assistance.

By 10 a.m., when the doors opened, the line stretched into the parking lot off Eager Street. Most in line were ex-offenders serving parole or probation supervision in Baltimore City. Some had served time in the Metropolitan Transition Center - the old State Pen - right across the street, which is the oldest prison in the Western Hemisphere.

photo2Ms. Chenault, whose idea led to that first fair with such a humble start, busily moved around the display tables, remarking how important it is to help people get on their feet and not end up back in prison. The gymnasium was packed as people moved from table to table, gathering literature and discussing ways to improve their employability, healthcare access, and housing situations.

The crowd saw its most important message - expressing their hope and the agents' goal in organizing the fair - on the first table, where a sign with the DPSCS logo simply read "Fresh Start."

DPSCS appreciates the work of its Community Supervision agents, who supervise more than fifty-nine thousand people in Maryland.