ATHENS, WV (WVNS)–Faculty and students at Concord University participated in a re-entry simulation to show how the incarcerated enter back into society.

Local organizations and volunteers shared their time to help students understand the barriers and obstacles including probation roles, employment, and counseling and treatment services parolees face. Students received a packet with simulated crimes they committed and some assets to help get started.

Beverly Sharp is a spokesperson with R.E.A.C.H. – which stands for Restore, Empower, and Attain Connections through Hope. Sharp said the best way to overcome these stereotypes and stigmas is to educate the younger generation.

“It’s important for students to not only learn in the classroom but learn in real-life scenarios so that they can make a decision early on what careers they want to go into. But also when they choose those careers to understand the challenges that people face that they’ll be working with,” said Sharp.

Daniel Croft also volunteers with Recovery Point, he said this should be at more schools and colleges.

“Some people might seem harder just to reach out for a helping hand when it’s really not. And things like this, if this could get spread more out there, this would help out a lot,” said Croft.

Student and participant Jordan Bentley is a criminology major, he said he feels this event will help him sympathize with those who are incarcerated.

“I kind of feel like I’m experiencing what people that came from jail what they’re going through and probably help them better by how they think and how they act more with my job,” said Bentley.