Christine Smith lost a lot when she served time at Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail.
The DMV Connect Program at the jail helped get some of it back.
"Getting a job is my plan, and without an ID, it would be impossible," said Smith in a news release about the identification program now available at the jail.
The Connect Program reached a milestone in November, completing its first year at the regional jail. Through the program, 84 inmates have received identification cards.
For inmates, having a state identification card means they can find a place to live or rent a hotel, get a job, see a doctor and receive medication, said Maj. Frank Huotte, jail director of support services.
Inmates released without proper identification face one of the greatest barriers for them to be successful upon release, Huotte said.
Established by the state's Department of Corrections in 2012, the DMV Connect Program is part of a statewide effort to support inmates being released from correctional facilities and to cut down on inmates relapsing to criminal behavior, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles public information officer Sunni Brown said.
The program is available at more than 10 of Virginia's 38 correctional facilities, including the regional jail in James City County and two institutions in Chesapeake. More than 500 inmates have participated in the program statewide, Brown said.
Prisoners in state prisons and jails are asked whether they need an identification card prior to being released. If the answer is no, the prisoners can complete the DMV process before being set free.
Identification cards are mailed to the prison or jail and included as part of the inmate's release packets.
Huotte said the application process is smooth because the DMV works with Colonial Community Corrections Re-entry coordinator Victoria McWhorter, who also heads a jail program that helps inmates complete their GED.Image Sketch Photo-realistic Generate Using From Cgan
Workers with DMV Connect visit the jail, set up a space to process applications and take inmates' photos, jail officials said.
"We are all very proud of being part of VPRJ inmates' taking their first step to a positive, successful re-entry into their communities," Huotte said.
Canty can be reached at 757-345-2341.