MEMPHIS, TENN. – Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris has made another key appointment in the new Harris Administration. Former Memphis City Councilman Harold Collins will serve as Administrator and Executive Director of the Office of Re-Entry, effective October 1, 2018.
“I’m pleased to be joining the Harris administration. Although underutilized in the past, the Office of Re-entry has the potential to change lives, change families, and change communities,” said Harold Collins.
Harold Collins currently serves as the Vice President of Community Engagement at the Memphis Shelby County Crime Commission. There, he has worked to increase positive community engagement and outreach to help reduce crime. Previously, he served as a Special Assistant to the Shelby County District Attorney General for 12 years, where he led such programs as “Mentoring in Lieu of Prosecution” and the local iteration of a national Stop the Violence campaigned named “Do the Write Thing.”
“There are two really important things Shelby County government should do to reduce crime and promote public safety. I think we all agree that one of them is to invest in education and create more opportunity for our students to succeed,” said Mayor Lee Harris. “Whether we realize it or not, the other is to make intentional investments in re-entry.
“In more than 90% of cases, the folks in prison right now will get out and return to our community. We have to be prepared to reintegrate them into society and reduce recidivism. The stakes couldn’t be higher. Many of the individuals in prison now were sent there for a non-violent drug offense. When they get out, if we don’t have robust re-entry programming set up for these ex-offenders, there’s a good chance they will commit a new crime. Worse yet, there’s a good chance the new crime will be much more serious and may possibly involve violence. Re-entry is the under-discussed but critical piece to public safety.
“Harold Collins’ professional background reflects an understanding of crime and public safety. Further, he understands the connectedness between public safety and re-entry.”
Additionally, Mayor Harris reappointed John Zeanah to lead the Office of Planning & Development and Alvin Benson to serve as Chief of the Shelby County Fire Department. Criminal Justice Coordinator Chris Floyd and Mental Health Services Coordinator Kim Daugherty were also reappointed.
More announcements are scheduled for later this week as Mayor Lee Harris prepares to complete most major portions of the transition by October 31. Candidates may continue to submit resumes via www.transitionshelby.com.
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