HARRISBURG, Pa., April 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole Chairman Leo L. Dunn, Esquire, today announced five parolees under the board's supervision successfully graduated from the Philadelphia Reentry Program held at the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center.
The board's reentry program is based on the National Association of Drug Court Professionals model, with a judge and board member presiding, and provides individually tailored services for offenders with substance abuse issues when they leave prison.
"I offer my congratulations to these five individuals for their successful completion of the program," said Dunn. "They have demonstrated that they are serious about changing their lives and we were pleased to be able to offer them assistance as they return home."
The graduation ceremony today was conducted by Board Member Michael C. Potteiger and the Honorable Sheila Woods-Skipper, President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia.
"The program provides intensive supervision for offenders at medium to high risk of re-offending," Potteiger stated. "These are not easy cases, drug and alcohol addictions are not easy to kick. I commend them for their hard work and success in the program."
"The Philadelphia State Parole Reentry Program was designed as an intensive parole supervision program for at risk parolees. It provides practical assistance to overcome barriers to successful reentry and reintegration back into society by providing referrals in areas such as education, employment and substance abuse," stated Judge Woods-Skipper. This is an excellent opportunity to partner together to reduce recidivism, produce individuals who are law abiding, productive members of society and to improve our criminal justice system while balancing the need to ensure public safety."
In addition to the graduation for the offenders, the ceremony also recognized the participation of former Chairman Michael L. Green, who was the assigned Board Member to the Philadelphia Reentry Program since its inception in 2014. Green, who retired from the Commonwealth on March 15 after 12 years of service, and more than 40 years of experience in community corrections, probation/parole, and court administration, including the establishment of Juvenile and Adult Drug Courts, was honored for his commitment and dedication to the reentry program.
"Chairman Green was an essential ingredient of the program. He was always there to provide encouragement, support and direction," Woods-Skipper added. "We really learn a lot about the participants, their lives and their families through our monthly status listings. Chairman Green was effective in relating to each of the participants and recalling their individual circumstances."
The Reentry Program includes parole board staff, court staff, representatives from local drug and alcohol and mental health services, and community-based providers who generally meet for one program session per month. The program provides intensive parole supervision and substance abuse treatment to offenders for 12-18 months. Offenders move through four phases and parole contacts and drug testing decrease as they are successful. Inpatient treatment, employment assistance, team and peer support, life skills, drug and alcohol counseling and mental health services are available.
The Board has four reentry programs currently established: York County (2005), Lackawanna County (2008), Dauphin County (2013), Allegheny County (2014) and Philadelphia County (2014).
For more information on state parole visit the Board's website at www.pbpp.pa.gov.
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole