FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT CONTINUES EFFORTS TO INCREASE PUBLIC SAFETY IN SUFFOLK COUNTY
In keeping with its efforts to improve public safety in the neighborhoods of Suffolk County by providing community outreach and organizational transparency to county stakeholders, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department has continued its work with presentations to a number of local organizations.
Sandy Zamor–Calixte, Coordinator of Community Outreach and Youth Programs for the Department’s Communications and External Affairs Division, recently spoke to an array of local community groups that included the Family Nurturing Center, the Department of Children and Families, and the Boston Centers for Youth and Families, about some of the internal and external programming that the Department makes available to help reduce recidivism, steer at–risk teens away from incarceration and provide young people with the resources to make the kinds of decisions that can lead to fruitful and productive lives.
Beginning the presentations with a viewing of the Department’s DVD showcasing the Jail Brake Program for teens, Zamor–Calixte gave an additional overview of the Department and highlighted its Choice and Ident–A–Youth Programs.
The Jail Brake program, which was created in 1987 for males and expanded by Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral in 2007 to include females, is designed to help reduce the rise in violent acts committed by adolescents in Suffolk County and to curtail the increase in the number of young people being incarcerated. The program emphasizes the realities of imprisonment including: lack of control, lack of privacy and responsibility for one’s own actions. By giving adolescents a few hours of life within the confines of the South Bay House of Correction and the Nashua Street Jail, they receive a firsthand look at the consequences of negative actions.
Officers participating in the Choice Program, which was created by Sheriff Cabral in 2005, are charged with the mission of helping young people to make positive choices for future success while reinforcing the theme of respect for oneself and for others around them. Officers visit local schools to speak with students about a variety of topics specific to today’s youths including the dangers of drug use and gang involvement, as well as the consequences of criminal activity.
The Ident–A–Youth program is administered free–of–charge to provide Suffolk County parents with a record of their children’s fingerprints to file away for safekeeping. When a child goes missing, it can be one of the most harrowing and traumatic times that a parent can experience. Having a fingerprint record, along with recent photographs and other pertinent information, to give authorities can greatly assist their efforts to locate and identify a missing child.
Speaking about the Department’s sustained efforts to reach out to community organizations within Suffolk County and beyond, Zamor–Calixte emphasized the potential impact that each young person can have on their own lives and the world they live in.
“Positive choices have positive consequences,” said Zamor–Calixte. “We want to reinforce that message while reminding our young people that negative choices have negative consequences not only for them, but for their families and communities. No person ever says that their plan is to come to jail. But, if you don’t choose to avoid negative influences and you don’t choose to continue to improve yourself and take positive steps, your options will be limited.”
“We want to reach out to as many organizations as possible to let them know about our programs and how they can be utilized,” Zamor–Calixe continued. “Our work in the community is just a part of our overall efforts to help increase public safety in our neighborhoods with preventative programming and by reducing recidivism.”
To learn more about the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department and its programs, visit: www.scsdma.org.