FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
SHERIFF CABRAL VISITS PROJECT PLACE TO DISCUSS WOMEN’S PROGRAMMING, BRIGHT IDEAS AWARD
Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral made a visit to Project Place to participate in a discussion about women’s programming at the House of Correction and about the Bright Ideas Award given to the C.R.E.W. Community Reentry for Women) program by Harvard University’s Ashe Center.
A collaborative program between the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, Project Place and the South End Community Health Center, the C.R.E.W. program provides a multi–phased gender–specific life skills and job placement, and healthcare service program for female offenders re–entering their communities from the Suffolk County House of Correction. The program is designed to identify and address the unique challenges faced by female offenders, regardless of length of stay, with pre– and post–release case management to assist them with achieving their housing, health care and career goals.
Speaking to the assembled group of professionals, Sheriff Cabral talked about the driving forces behind the program’s origin and the issues presented by the population it serves.
“The C.R.E.W. Program came into existence as a direct outgrowth of the fact that I am a female Sheriff,” said Sheriff Cabral. “When I came in as Sheriff in 2002, the programming that existed was primarily male–oriented. The field of corrections was, and still is, a male–dominated profession and programming was implemented from that perspective.”
“The women in our custody come in with different issues than their male counterparts,” Sheriff Cabral continued. “What works for men does not necessarily work for women. There are differences and the programming has to be reflective of that. Over 70% of incarcerated females have experienced some form of domestic violence or sexual assault by the time they’re 18 years old. Their need is for trauma–informed services.”
Along with Christina Ruccio, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Director of Women’s Program Services, Sheriff Cabral described the multi–phased approach of the women’s programming administered by the Department, including an orientation that connects women with resources regardless of whether their length of stay is brief or lengthy; a risk needs assessment that focuses on – among other issues – recovery, domestic violence, parenting and anger management; and a concentration on the steps toward reentry – returning to family and community – with a discharge plan that incorporates post–release follow up programs.
Sheriff Cabral also addressed the essential need for community partnerships with respect to reentry and the potential to impact women’s programming both locally and nationally.
“What the Bright Ideas Award from Harvard’s Ashe center recognized is that the C.R.E.W. Program is not only a model for corrections – it’s transferrable,” Sheriff Cabral said. “We can export it to other sheriff’s departments around the country. But, you can’t do any of this without strong community partners. Project Place has been phenomenal, and the South End Community Health Center as well. If you’re doing reentry without any community partners, then you’re not really doing reentry.”
For more information about the C.R.E.W. Program, visit: www.scsdma.org. To learn about Project Place, visit: www.projectplace.org. You can also visit www.sechc.org for information about the South End Community Health Center.