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August 8, 2011

CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
(617) 704-6682


Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral (center, in red) and her staff recently welcomed a delegation of law enforcement officials from Tajikistan to tour the Suffolk County House of Correction.

A group of law enforcement professionals from the Country of Tajikistan recently visited the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department for a meeting with Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral and a tour of the House of Correction (HOC).

Arranged by The Emergence Group, an organization that "designs and implements world class Criminal Justice Reform and Democratic Policing programs around the world," the tour was comprised of members of Tajikistan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, representatives from The Gharm Development Center – a women’s programming initiative – and several Tajikistani school instructors who visited the HOC to observe the Education Division and learn about techniques geared towards fighting recidivism.

Upon arrival, the group sat with Sheriff Cabral for an informal conversation exploring some of the commonalities and differences between the American and Tajikistani legal justice and law enforcement systems. During the exchange, members of the group inquired about a multitude of topics, including the structure of the American court system, juvenile detention, average age of inmates, inmate programming, and more.

Following their meeting with Sheriff Cabral, HOC Superintendent and Special Sheriff Gerard Horgan led the group on a tour of the facility, making stops in the Ricky Dever Medical Unit, a male and female housing unit, respectively, and the Education Division where he spoke about the extensive programming that is made available to the inmates and detainees in the care and custody of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department. The group also spoke with Director of Vocational Education John D’Amore about the Common Ground Institute, a vocational program instituted by Sheriff Cabral that takes a proactive approach to reducing recidivism by giving inmates the opportunity to acquire skills in carpentry, custodial maintenance, painting and landscaping and obtain certification by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

At the tour’s completion, members of the group gathered for pictures with Sheriff Cabral and to reflect upon this historic occasion.

"We are very glad to have had the opportunity to come and meet with Sheriff Cabral and learn about the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department," said Mehrinisso Pirmatova, Program Manager for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the U.S. Embassy and translator for the group. "We are especially impressed with all of the programs that you have for rehabilitation and the [health] care that you are able to offer."

Tajikistan, a country that sits adjacent to Pakistan and borders China, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, has a current population of approximately 7 million residents. Formerly a member of the Soviet republic, Tajikistan has faced severe economic hardship since gaining its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and following an intense five–year civil war, which ended in 1997.

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