CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) — The Chesapeake Sheriff's Office is opening their new "Community Programs Center" at the Chesapeake Correctional Center to focus on re-entry.

The 47,282-square-foot expansion is state of the art and has more than 300 beds. The facility also has classrooms to help the office focus on re-entry, small engine repair, gardening, and other educational programs.

The new facility will work as a "home base" for the Work Force and Work Release programs and help with improving the correctional center's community services.

Offenders will have the opportunity to attend training programs and workshops to teach them skill sets that will help with gaining employment after release.

"This is the way of the future," said Sheriff Jim O'Sullivan. "Focusing on rehabilitation and re-entry to prepare offenders to go back into our community and be successful."

The goal of the expansion and the focus on re-entry is to reduce the recidivism rate.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on December 5 at 11:30 a.m. and the facility will begin housing offenders in mid-December.

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