Franklin Sheriff's Office Chosen to Join National Reentry Initiative

09/07/2012

Sheriff Chris Donelan and GCC President Bob Pura award certificates to inmates at the Franklin County House of Correction during a recent graduation ceremony.

Transition from Jail to Community is not just a concept; it is the title of a national reentry initiative that has selected the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office as its newest partner. Transition from Jail to Community (known as TJC) currently works with six sites across the country and has at its foundation a model where the House of Correction partners with the community to create the greatest opportunity for inmates’ success upon release. These local county jails range in size from very small facilities to large urban jails in Jacksonville County, Florida and Fresno County, California.

The Transition from Jail to Community Initiative began in 2007 in response to a study by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) and the Urban Institute which found that over nine million people pass through America’s local jails each year, and these individuals receive little in the way of services, support or supervision as they reenter the community. This initiative was developed through the NIC and the Urban Institute through a national advisory group. It was tested initially by six sites from 2009 through 2012.

Sheriff Chris Donelan welcomes the partnership and calls TJC a formalization of the direction he has been steering the Sheriff’s Office since his arrival. “This is about what the community has at stake in the successful reintegration of inmates”, Donelan said. TJC is a concept where the Sheriff’s Office partners with the community to help released inmates find jobs, housing, counseling and support around substance abuse and getting the community more involved with the Sheriff’s Office in direct reentry work.

Sheriff Chris Donelan announced the selection to his staff last week. “We are very honored to have been chosen,” Donelan said. “We were chosen because we displayed the leadership, vision and culture to achieve positive re-integration outcomes. Now we have a partner to help us achieve concrete intervention programs.”

TJC involves the development, implementation and evaluation of a model for transitions from jail to community. The TJC model represents an integrated, system-wide approach to delivering support and services to people released from jail. It involves policy and organizational change and the engagement of jail and community leaders in a collaborative effort to improve transitional services for offenders in an effort to reduce recidivism.

As a part of the national TJC network, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office will have access to professional development and training opportunities for employees. The network also shares information and support for implementation of new programs and shares in the use of successful strategies from across the country.

“We have an opportunity to work with others in the field to grow, learn and improve,” Donelan said. The Sheriff said that employees from the Sheriff’s Office would have the opportunity to travel to other jails in other states to observe successful programs. Likewise, officials from other states will come to Greenfield to observe, learn and advise.

Donelan said it will cost no money to participate in the TJC program. “They asked us to be open to change and cutting edge in our ideas. We can handle that.”

Contact: Sheriff Chris Donelan (413) 774-4014 X2103

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