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Governor Lee Visits Local Business, Commends Henderson County

Governor Bill Lee made a visit to Lexington On May 11, 2022, to learn about the R3 Re-entry Program at Dewayne’s Quality Metal Coating.
Photo Submitted / The Lexington Progress

Article by Melissa Gilbert-

On Wednesday, May 11, Governor Lee visited DeWayne’s Quality Metal Coating (DQMC) to learn more about the R3 (Reflect, Reclaim, Redeem) Re-entry Program. Gov. Lee spent time with Jim Terry, owner of DQMC, Joe T. Wood, Representative Kirk Haston, Mayor Griggs, Mayor Bray, and the Henderson County Leadership class to discuss the success’ and challenges of the R3 program. Gov. Lee also spent time speaking with participants of the program who work at DQMC, as well as participants who have completed the program and now work for the City of Lexington. This program is a comprehensive reentry program with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department and numerous community partners to address recidivism.

In March 2019, Governor Lee issued Executive Order 6, establishing the Criminal Justice Investment Task Force (CJITF) to develop policies aimed at reducing recidivism and improving public safety. The CJITF was tasked with conducting a review of the state’s criminal justice system, using data and research, to move towards a criminal justice system that focuses resources on recidivism reduction and crime prevention strategies.

Lee spoke about his passion for criminal justice reform. He said the issue was “planted in my heart” some 20 years ago, when he began working with a prison ministry that paired inmates with mentors.

In May 2021, Governor Lee formally signed into law measures to divert more people away from state prisons and to expand support services for people who are leaving prisons after serving their sentences.

“People given the chance can turn their lives around if we only have a system and a process that allows them to have that chance,” Lee said.

“This is how we make sure that we save taxpayer dollars. This is how we make sure that we ensure safe neighborhoods. This is how we transform lives.”

The Henderson County Chamber of Commerce facilitated this visit to highlight the use of ThreeStar grant funds to establish classrooms at the jail. Since July 2020, over…

For complete coverage, see the May 18th edition of The Lexington Progress.

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