HARRISBURG, Pa., June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- State and local officials today announced a partnership that will help offenders with drug and alcohol programs successfully transition from prison to their community.
"Drug and alcohol addiction and abuse are barriers for many offenders to successfully complete parole and turn their lives around," Parole Board Chairman Michael C. Potteiger said. "This partnership with Allegheny County continues the emphasis on meaningful reentry efforts under the leadership of Gov. Tom Corbett to decrease the number of offenders who return to the criminal justice system."
The partnership is a court-based Reentry Program with the PA Board of Probation and Parole and Allegheny County Court to decrease recidivism, increase public safety and reduce correctional costs.
The Reentry Program provides intensive supervision and oversight to higher risk offenders with a history of substance abuse and it does so in a unique way by having a Parole Board Member and Common Pleas Judge meet with the offender on a monthly basis in the court room.
President Judge Jeffrey A. Manning of the Fifth Judicial District stated:
"For many years, our Court has made a commitment to support the successful reintegration of offenders released from the Allegheny County Jail. This collaboration with the state completes this commitment by the incorporation of the Board of Probation and Parole in devoting the necessary resources to offenders returning from state incarceration to our community to make them better equipped to serve as productive citizens."
The program includes a case management team to provide individually tailored continuity of services for each parolee, maximizing their ability to succeed in the community. To be eligible, offenders must have been convicted in and returning to Allegheny County and have at least 18 months of parole supervision remaining on their sentence.
The Allegheny County Reentry Program will include Board Member Craig McKay, Judge Anthony Mariani, parole Board staff, county drug and alcohol case managers, mental health services and supports, and other agencies as necessary to help the offender to be successful.
The Board currently has Reentry Programs operating in Berks, Dauphin, Lackawanna and York counties. The Berks, Lackawanna, and York county programs, which have been operating the longest, have a 23, 17 and 17 percent one-year recidivism rate, respectively. Of those offenders who graduate from the programs, over 80% have not been recommitted since program completion.
Visit the Board of Probation and Parole online at www.pbpp.state.pa.us.
Media contact: Sherry Tate, PBPP, 717-231-4411
SOURCE Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole