A central Louisiana radio program designed as an extension of efforts to help criminal offenders re-enter society successfully is drawing national attention.


A central Louisiana radio program designed as an extension of efforts to help criminal offenders re-enter society successfully is drawing national attention.

"Re-Entry Radio" is broadcast every Wednesday from 1 to 2 p.m. on KAYT, which features Christian programming.

In February, the program was honored with the American Probation and Parole Association's 2011 Community Awareness Through Media Award.

The award recognizes a media broadcast, publication or film capable of reaching a national audience that broadens the public's awareness and understanding of issues in the criminal justice system.

"We're just trying to keep the word out that there's a work force out there and available," said co-host Candy Christophe. "It's one way we found to be effective."

"It's a great program," said co-host Mike Wynne. "It has a tremendous following now. Every time we have a program, I'm inundated with phone calls, and Candy gets a ton of mail."

Christophe is program coordinator of Re-Entry Solutions, a nonprofit dedicated to helping ex-offenders transition back into society. Wynne is supervisor of the Alexandria district office of the state parole and probation office.

The show celebrates its one-year anniversary on May 11.

The program spotlights a number of services and programs for ex-offenders, as well as attempting to educate the public about the re-entry process, which is what Wynne says makes it unique.

It reaches a large chunk of Louisiana, as well as parts of Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas. People in faraway states have picked up on it through rebroadcasts on local stations or online through KAYT (www.kaytfm.com) and the state corrections department website (www.doc.louisiana.gov), which keeps an archive of several months of shows.

A recent guest, national victims' rights spokesman J.D. MacLelland, heard the show in Lexington, Mass.

The program is also broadcast in prisons. It is funded through the Inmate Welfare Fund, a fund inmates can contribute part of their earnings in prison to pay for certain projects.

"Inmates decided to pay for it," Wynne said. "That's another amazing aspect of it. People in jail are spending their money to put on this program."

"When we go to prisons for our job and resource fairs, they recognize me by name, and they write me," Christophe said.