Almost 50,000 people a year enter homeless shelters immediately after exiting incarceration. Returning from jail, prison or juvenile detention places an immediate barrier to stable housing and employment. 


state ranking for imprisonment rate


of individuals released from prison will return within one year 


of formerly incarcerated individuals are still jobless up to a year after release 

United Way of Acadiana’s PRI goal is to bolster public safety by executing a seamless strategy of support and monitoring tailored to each offender through cooperation between state and local entities, spanning from the point of their incarceration to their transition, reintegration, and aftercare within the community. 

    • Promoting conversations, partnerships, and events centered around reentry initiatives. 
    • Organizing efforts to meet the needs of human services. 
    • Collaborating with community partners to collectively address challenges. 
    • Increasing awareness and advocating for services to ensure a successful re-entry journey. 

By focusing on successful prisoner reentry and promoting employment and health, LA-PRI aims to create safer, healthier, and more vibrant communities in the Acadiana. When individuals have the necessary support and resources to reintegrate successfully, the overall community benefits. Reduced recidivism rates mean increased public safety, while individuals who can secure employment and lead healthier lives are more likely to positively contribute to their communities. 

Implementation Steering Team

The Implementation Steering Team brings together representatives of legal services district attorneys, law enforcement, community-based organizations, businesses, community leaders, faith-based organizations, victim advocates, Lived Experienced,  and other stakeholders to address the multifaceted challenges faced by individuals reentering society after incarceration.

The IST is led by a co-chair from each phase: 

  • Phase I: Institutional Representative 
  • Phase II: Probation and Parole Representative 
  • Phase III: Community Representative 

Through collaboration and the exchange of specialized knowledge, the Implementation Steering Team (IST) strives to establish a reentry process that is smoother and more efficient. Within the steering team, each specific focus area is guided by a Subject Matter Expert in that domain. These experts lead subcommittees dedicated to consolidating information, locating resources, and developing plans for service delivery within their respective areas. 


  • Housing
  • Employment and Vocational Training 
  • Education/Higher Education 
  • Healthcare
  • Mental Health/Addiction Support
  • Transportation
  • Family and Child Welfare Services/Family Reunification
Steering Team Committee
  • Judge Jules Edwards III: IST Co-Chair 
  • Laura Smith: IST Probation and Parole Co-Chair, Re-Entry Program Manager – Lafayette District Office Probation and Parole 
  • Jeri Mestayer: IST Probation and Parole Co-Chair Reentry Program Manager – New Iberia District Office Probation and Parole
  • Jessica Hall: IST Reentry Facility Supervisor 
  • Monique McCray: IST Community Co-Chair New Iberia District – United Way of Acadiana 
  • Micah Nicholas: IST Community Co-Chair New Iberia District Capital West Red Cross 
  • Marissa Winters: Intermediary Organization – Representative, Director of Community Impact – United Way of Acadiana
Community Partners

Beacon Community Connections 

Lafayette Parish Probation and Parole 

United Way of Acadiana 

Acadiana Workforce Commission 



Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) 

Acadiana Legal Services 


Second Harvest 

Lafayette Reentry Center 

The Extra Mile 

Pelican Credit Union 

Lafayette City Government 

The Family Tree 


The House of Freedom Church 


And more… 

UWA’s ReEntry Coalitions

The Lafayette District Reentry Coalition in 15th JDC, serves Lafayette, Acadia, and Vermilion parishes, uniting community partners, social services, and members to support successful reintegration of individuals into society after incarceration. Its purpose is to provide resources, guidance, and support to facilitate a smooth transition, reduce recidivism, and promote community safety and wellness.


16th JDC

The New Iberia District Reentry Coalitions in 16th JDC serves Iberia, St. Martin, and St. Mary parishes. It unites partners, social services, and members to aid successful reintegration post-incarceration, providing resources, guidance, and support to reduce recidivism and enhance community safety and wellness.