Sheriff Donelan Headed to DC to Talk Offender Re-entrance in Community

11/20/2015

"I am very honored to be leading this discussion'...

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"I am very honored to be leading this discussion," Donelan said in announcing the news.  "I've been invited to speak to a room full of government leaders and criminal justice professionals from around the country because Franklin County is doing it right.  That says a lot about our community and all the employees at the Franklin County Sheriff's Office."

The conference is sponsoired by the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance, which supports states, local communities, and tribal jurisdictions in their efforts to develop and implement effective programs for offenders that protect public safety, hold offenders accountable and provide services that address the needs of offenders and their families.

Also sponsoring the event is the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, which sponsors research, program, and training initiatives; develops priorities and goals and sets policies to guide federal juvenile justice issues; disseminates information about juvenile justice issues; and awards funds to states to support local programming.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office has been the recipient of two federal grants in the last three years:  The Second Chance Act Grant through the U.S. Department of Justice and a Transition from Jail to Community Grant through The Urban Institute.  The Sheriff's Office developed a new offender treatment program with the support of these grants, which included a comprehensive reentry support component.

"I am invited to Washington to share what we built with these grants," Donelan said.  We are being viewed as a model for other rural counties, and the federal government wants future grant recipients to avoid reinventing the wheel.  When we can share successful strategies, we should.  In corrections, we are really good at that."

This is the second time this year that Washington has recognized the work being done in Franklin County.  Earlier this year, Michael Botticelli, President Obama's director of drug control policy, recognized the positive impact treatment programs at the Franklin County House of Correction were having.

In the five years that Donelan has been Sheriff, he says, the change in his House of Correction as a transformation from a jail that did some treatment into what is now a locked treatment facility which offers evidence based, trauma informed, long-term treatment.  With this, comes a reentry component that relies on community partners who offer housing, jobs and social services to support the men after release.

 

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