The Greater Cleveland Reentry Leadership Coalition Announces New Chair and Vice Chair

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Miranda Pomiecko, (216) 698-2546; 

Cuyahoga County, OH – The Greater Cleveland Reentry Leadership Coalition welcomes Cleveland City Councilman Blaine Griffin of Ward 6 as the new chair for the Coalition and David Merriman, Assistant Director of Health and Human Services for Cuyahoga County, as Vice Chair. Councilman Griffin and Mr. Merriman will begin their terms in June 2018.

The Reentry Coalition is the oldest and most developed organization of its kind in Ohio. It was first established, prior to the inception of the Office of Reentry, to deliver structured oversight and leadership to organizations providing services to returning citizens. Since the passing of Valeria Harper, former Leadership Coalition chairwoman and chief executive officer of the county’s Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, early this year the Reentry Coalition has been without a chairperson. Councilman Griffin and Mr. Merriman will assume Ms. Harper’s formative role and focus on strengthening the Coalition’s efforts to reduce recidivism in Cuyahoga County and increasing services for reentrants.

“The Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry and members of the Leadership Coalition welcomes Councilman Blaine Griffin and Assistant Director David Merriman,” said Crystal Bryant, Director of the Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry. “Their leadership will assist the reentry community in achieving the dual goals of reducing recidivism and achieving public safety.

“They will also lead the Coalition by convening reentry partners and stakeholders and working with them to tackle reentry barriers and develop comprehensive solutions to those hurdles. The goal will be to increase access to supportive programs and services for formerly incarcerated persons and work with reentry stakeholders to adjust policies and practices that act as barriers for reentrant self-sufficiency.”

Cleveland City Councilman Blaine Griffin was elected in November 2017, after being appointed in May of 2017 to fill a seat vacated by Mamie Mitchell, to represent Ward 6. Griffin serves as chairman of Council’s Health and Human Services committee as well as is a member of the Finance, Safety, Workforce and Community Benefits and Operations committees. Prior to serving on council, Councilman Griffin was the executive director of the Cleveland’s Community Relations Board and program officer in the Cuyahoga Department of Justice Affairs. He received his bachelor’s degree in Communications from Malone College in Canton, Ohio.

David Merriman has recently assumed the role of HHS Assistant Director. Prior to this appointment David served as Administrator of Cuyahoga Job and Family Services in 2014. Prior to becoming Administrator, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Health and Human Services in the Cuyahoga County Executive’s Office from 2012 to 2014, and was Special Assistant to the County Executive from 2011 to 2012. David received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work from Cleveland State University.

For more information about the Greater Cleveland Reentry Leadership Coalition, please visit: