Pitt Community College and the Local Reentry Council provided Eastern Carolina leaders with a better understanding of the struggles those with criminal backgrounds face when reentering society Tuesday.
Among those in attendance were lawyers, judges, mayors, and sheriffs. All of them were given new identities, posing as individuals released from jail, and told to figure out how to survive.
According to Pitt Community College Reentry Coordinator Ralph Soney, the purpose of the event was to send its participants home with a better understanding of the everyday struggles that recently released criminals face and to have them leave with a more empathetic state of mind.
For those in attendance, it was an educational opportunity.
“I think it will give us more of a fundamental understanding of what we can do better, what we can add, what we should take away, that’s going to benefit folk that come into our detention center, and face these very issues,” Pitt County Sheriff Paula Dance said.
Different emotions were flowing through the room Tuesday. Frustration, enjoyment, and anger were among those, but ultimately, a new sense of understanding was what the leaders left with.