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PCCF recognized by CCAP
Tri-County Independent - 11/2/2020
MILFORD -- The Pike County Correctional Facility (PCCF) has been recognized for their efforts at reducing the rate of how often an offender returns to jail, to a stunning 19%. Nationally, the average is 70% according the U.S. Department of Justice.
The award was announced at the county commissioners' meeting by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP). The local correctional facility received he Best Practices Award in the small jail category in recognition of its Model Recidivism Reduction Programs, as part of CCAP's 2020 Criminal Justice System for the 21st Century Best Practices Awards.
Janine L. Quigley, CJM, Warden of the Berks County Jail System and Chair of the CCAP Committee on County Criminal Justice Systems for the 21st Century, in a ZOOM video conference, bestowed the award.
"I would like to thank CCAP for this distinct honor. I also thank the Commissioners, Prison Board, volunteers, staff, Reentry Coalition and our contracted employees for making our facility programs a complete success," stated Warden Lowe. "Together we continue to help offenders get back on their feet and have successful outcomes. I am proud of our team and thank everyone for working together for the betterment of others. We are truly blessed to live in Pike County with the amount of volunteers that give of their time."
Quigley said that in 2003, CCAP did a study of overcrowding in county jails and looked at 16 counties. They found that population management and good programming affected targeted practices more appropriately than simply building more jails.
CCAP has been encouraging counties to enact these best practices and has since broadened the focus of the awards.
Starting in 2002, Pike County Correctional Facility developed a set of programs which have been successfully providing tools for offenders to better themselves and prepare for release and rehabilitation.
The correctional facility's core Recidivism Reduction Programs include: A.R.R.O.W. (Actively Reducing Recidivism Opens Windows); C.O.R.E (Correctional Offenders Reintegrating Effectively); H.O.P.E (Helping Offenders Promote Excellence); and M.O.R.E. (Motivating Offenders to Reintegrate Effectively).
"Under the leadership of Warden Lowe and Assistant Wardens Robert McLaughlin and Jonathan Romance, the team at PCCF works hard every day to maintain a disciplined and safe correctional environment while providing offenders with tools for societal success upon release. We congratulate Warden Lowe and his dedicated team on this well-deserved honor," said the Pike County Commissioners in a statement.
Quigley said Pike County is blessed to have so many volunteers which help. Over 100 volunteers participate in more than 90 programs. She called them "unsung heroes" especially to those with limited resources with big visions for changing and restoring lives. She said that Pike County's example can be an inspiration and role model for other counties.
Pike County's recidivism rate has been 19% over the last three years. Data presented at worldpopulationreview.com indicates that Pennsylvania's rate for 2020 is 46.40%. The PA Department of Corrections listed the three-year recidivism rate to be 53.4%.
The statement from the commissioners continued, "The criminal justice system is meant to rehabilitate, but incarcerated individuals are often repeat and returning offenders. A high recidivism rate burdens correctional facilities, taxpayers, communities, and families. We again commend the staff at the Pike County Correctional Facility for their efforts to equip offenders during incarceration with the skills and motivation needed to contribute to society in sustainable, mutually beneficial ways as returning citizens."
Reflecting on what the team at the prison, including the volunteers do, Lowe added, "I'm proud to be the warden here in Pike County."
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