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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 25, 2005

CONTACT: Steve Tompkins
Ed Geary Jr.
(617) 961-6672


SHERIFF CABRAL ADDRESSES BOSTON CONNECTS, INC. PUBLIC MEETING


Roxbury — Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral joined a group of community leaders at a public meeting held at the Dudley Branch Library for Boston Connects Incorporation on October 24th. The event was organized by BCI to give information about job training, childcare services, and ex-offender support services. Sheriff Cabral gave an overview of the duties and services, that as Sheriff of Suffolk County, she is responsible for. She also introduced the numerous programs the Sheriff’s Department has implemented for inmates while incarcerated to help them once they leave the House of Correction as ex-offenders.

Boston Connects is a non-profit organization charged with implementing the long-term vision of the Strategic Plan: Providing for Economic Self-Sufficiency for Individuals, Families, and Communities within the Empowerment Zone. The Empowerment Zone (EZ) includes 5.8 square miles of some of the City's most vibrant and diverse neighborhoods. Its 57,640 residents, roughly 10% of the City's population, live in Chinatown, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Mission Hill, Roxbury, the Seaport District, South Boston, and the South End.

Sheriff Cabral has taken a pro-active approach for dealing with recidivism and how it affects the residents of Suffolk County. She focused on detailing a new program created for inmates called the Common Ground Institute (CGI). The program has a ten week curriculum that includes five weeks of STRIVE, a stringent job training and preparedness program, in conjunction with classroom instruction in carpentry, landscaping, painting and custodial maintenance. The next five weeks are spent doing fieldwork, where inmates utilize classroom instruction as part of a supervised work crew performing community restitution in public buildings and on public land. The Sheriff’s Department held its first CGI graduation on August 12, 2005.

Sheriff Cabral explains the program, "CGI targets several deficits common among recidivists: lack of job preparedness, employable skills and employment history. The formula is relatively simple. Prepare people to get a job, teach them skills that make them employable, provide practical experience in using those skills and offer employers a motivated work force."


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