Franklin County Sheriff Christopher Donelan to Speak at National Conference on Reducing Recidivism

11/10/2015

"Franklin County is doing it right. We are being viewed as a model for other rural counties."

Sheriff Chris Donelan speaks at a press conference in Boston. He and thirteen Sheriffs from across the state joined Governor Baker in his efforts to reduce opioid abuse. (Shira Schoenberg/The Republican)

-By Mary Serreze, Special to The Republican

mserreze@gmail.com

Donelan will lead a panel discussion on the challenges of reentry in rural communities.

"Franklin County is doing it right," said Donelan.  "We are being viewed as a model for other rural counties."

The Franklin County House of Correction has developed a treatment program with support of federal grants.  The program includes a comprehensive reentry support component.

"The federal government wants future grant recipients to avoid reinventing the wheel," said Donelan.  "When we can share successful strategies, we should."

Donelan said in the five years since he became Sheriff, he worked to transform the locked jail into a center which offers evidence-based, trauma-informed, long-term treatment.  The reentry program relies upon community partners who offer houseing, jobs and social services to support the men after release.

"This is a complete community effort, and it makes me really proud to be the Sheriff in Franklin County," said Donelan.

Donelan was one of fourteen Sheriffs on Monday (Nov. 9) to express support for Governor Charlie Baker's proposals to curb opioid abuse.  Baker said 40 to 80 percent of prisoners entering prison statewide need detoxification, with more than half of that number  addicted to opioids.

Earlier this year, Michael Botticelli, President Obama's Director of Drug Control Policy, recognized the value of the treatment programs offered at the Franklin County House of Correction.

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