The city of Santa Ramona will soon see it's very own Halfway House established in the South side sector in the upcoming weeks.
The initiative which will incorporate the skills and training of South side's mental health and counseling clinic run by Doctor Evelyna Stone who will engage in a partnership with Mrs Alexia Rousseau, a Co-Owner of Rousseau's Construction Company whose husband also owns the construction company and supplies store while he also serves the city as City Manager and SRFD Chief.
"Far too often we let our responsibility to our justice system end when a person is sentenced, this in itself is a horrible injustice. The point of jail and prison is not only to punish people convicted of crimes or give people a reason to make a better choice, the purpose of our justice system is supposed to be to help the people convicted. Yes, we're supposed to help the convicted criminals!
A person released from our penal system goes from convict to EX convict and yet so rarely are they given any rehabilitation for the things that led them to make the mistakes in the first place. Over 80% of ex-convicts are convicted again in their lifetime. The penal system as it stands is not working. There needs to be more done." Dr Stone stated to the Santa Ramona Chronicles. She went on to say, "The Santa Ramona Valley Halfway house can be that 'more' that needs to be done. Halfway houses give someone fresh out of jail and back in the world again a transitional time to find work, reconnect with healthy members of their lives, get or stay clean from drugs and even reestablish themselves in a new place, free from a past that is too easy to fall back into. Where the penal system fails, this system can work. And it can work for so many others too that need transitional housing and a safe place. Using grants from the US Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other such sources, this venture will cost Santa Ramona nothing, yet be invaluable to the residents here. The Southside Clinic has the ability to partner with the Halfway House to ensure that medical, psychological and rehabilitation services are at their doorstep and trained medical staff are involved in their transition. The Southside Clinic is honored to be a part of this and I personally am excited to join in the team and offer the assistance and guidance I can as not only a psychiatrist and physician, but someone that has worked for our justice system. And doing this with the Rousseau's, who are already constantly improving our community, is the greatest honor. From literally building our city up, to now rebuilding our most forgotten citizens, Trey and Alex Rousseau continue to work to see our community improve. I am excited to be a part of that!"
Alexia Rousseau also spoke to the Chronicles to offer up this statement, "I’m pleased that this project is finally taking wings and getting off the ground. The city needs this kind of resource that often goes overlooked. I’m more than excited to concentrate on the juvenile side and seeing that these types of offenders have a bounce back program that puts them on the right track. I grew up in a bad system that perpetuated worse. The objective here is to shake that up and give a direction with steps and goals to get there."
City Manager and SRFD Chief Dimitri Rousseau also made a statement, "I am very happy ta see my initiative get approval an' be realized fully an' am happy ta see both Dr Stone an my wife collaboratin together on this project. Rehabilitation an' resources is key ta lowerin violent crime an' relapses ta criminal activity. Opportunities an' open doors as I like ta say. I am hopin that this Halfway House will provide a solid support base fa all that need and want that."