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February 8, 2010

CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
(617) 961-6682


Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral (middle) with Boston Police Deputy Superintendent Nora Baston (left) and UMass–Boston Community Services Coordinator Alkia Powell at the Project R.I.G.H.T. monthly meeting.

Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral recently visited the Grove Hall Community Center in Roxbury to participate in the monthly meeting of Project R.I.G.H.T., Inc.

Attending the meeting to speak about some of the issues and concerns facing area residents, Sheriff Cabral began her presentation by screening a DVD featuring some of the youth–oriented programming that the Sheriff’s Department makes available to Suffolk County residents, schools, and organizations. Showcasing Sheriff Cabral’s JailBrake and Choice programs, the DVD provided viewers with an inside look at the hard realities of prison life and the work that the Department has undertaken to steer young men and woman away from it.

Through the Choice Program, which was introduced by Sheriff Cabral in December of 2005, specially trained officers visit Suffolk County schools to educate students about the Department’s public safety role, alternative ways to resolve conflict, civic responsibility and making good choices. In the male and female JailBrake programs, participants are given a realistic glimpse of life behind bars that is designed to help “put the brakes” on the flow of young people into juvenile detention centers and ultimately into adult jails.

At the conclusion of the DVD, Sheriff Cabral fielded questions posed by meeting attendees and spoke about the greatly negative impact that Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) will continue to have on the communities of Suffolk County if it is not promptly reformed.

“It costs approximately $42,000 to incarcerate one inmate for a year,” Sheriff Cabral stated. “If we don’t act now to reform CORI, the incarceration rates will continue to skyrocket and the cost of care for inmates – the social, emotional, and physical cost – will overwhelm us until they’re the only thing we’ll be able to afford to pay.”

Sheriff Cabral went on to talk about some of the success that the Department has realized in the reduction of the rate of recidivism with some of the educational, vocational and employment skills–building programs offered to inmates and detainees in the Department’s custody.

Speaking about the positive impact that the Department’s youth programs have had in the Grove Hall area and surrounding communities was Deputy Superintendent of the Boston Police Department’s Bureau of Field Services Nora Baston.

“We’ve seen the effect that the JailBrake and Choice programs have on kids who go through them, ” said Deputy Superintendent Baston. “A lot of the kids realize that there are some serious consequences to their behavior and that there is nothing ‘fun’ or ‘cool’ about going to jail. These programs can help to turn kids around and avoid going down the wrong path.”

Project R.I.G.H.T. (Rebuild & Improve Grove Hall Together), Inc. seeks to promote involvement in neighborhood stabilization and economic development within the community of Greater Grove Hall (Roxbury and North Dorchester). For more information about the organization, visit:

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