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November 30, 2007

CONTACT: Steve Tompkins
(617) 961-6650


Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral and the Sheriff’s Department recently hosted an international group of Eisenhower Fellows at the Suffolk County House of Correction (HOC).

Comprised of members from such countries as Egypt, Bangladesh, South Africa, Thailand, and China – among several others – the Fellows were part of a new pilot initiative known as the Common Interest Program.

As members of the program, Fellows travel abroad for two months with the directive to study “urban challenges” in an effort to, according to their mission statement, “exchange ideas and experiences, to build relationships with each other, and to foster mutual understanding. It is this exposure to businesses, governmental organizations, and civil society institutions that allows Fellows to examine, re–energize, or re–focus their personal and professional goals.”

Upon arrival to the HOC, members of the group met with Sheriff Cabral for a breakfast dialogue before taking a tour of the facilities, which included stops in the Education Department, the Common Ground Institute, Booking, the Medical unit, and the female unit.

“It was a great experience getting to know the International Fellows,” said Sheriff Cabral. “They are a such an accomplished group. Seeing my country through their eyes was supremely educational and I look forward to what we will continue to share as members of the Eisenhower Fellows network.”

Following the tour, members of the group thanked Sheriff Cabral and offered their take on the new experience.

“I want to thank Sheriff Cabral for arranging such a fantastic visit for the Fellows,” said Tiffany O’Neill, Program Officer for the Eisenhower Fellowships. “This trip is part of a larger effort to bring members in to learn about different aspects of urbanization that they can use in their respective professions.” According to O’Neill, the eight-week fellowships throughout the United States usually span across eight to twelve cities and feature as many as eighty scheduled appointments.

“It was eye–opening,” said Dr. Obakeng Mookeletsi, Deputy Director General of the Gauteng Department of Health in South Africa. “Clearly, there are some similarities as there are differences between how corrections are administered in South Africa as opposed to the U.S. It will be interesting to see how we can apply at home some of what we have learned when we get back to our countries.”

In January of this year, Sheriff Cabral was herself named a U.S.A. Eisenhower Fellow. Later this past August, as part of her fellowship, Sheriff Cabral visited Australia to examine the social, economic, and cultural motivations for crime, and the political impact of criminal laws and policies there while engaging in the discussion about best practices with other professionals.

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