PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Jennifer Donahue/Erika Gully-Santiago
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2022
Trial Court Awarded Federal Grant to Improve Probationer Reentry and Employment
Three-year federal grant totals $900,000
BOSTON, MA – Trial Court Chief Justice Jeffrey A. Locke and Trial Court Administrator John A. Bello today announced that the Trial Court has received a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to support reentry education and employment outcomes for probationers.
The Massachusetts Probation Service’s Office of Community Corrections will use the three-year federal grant of $900,000 to pilot the new High-Tech Career Reentry Path (HTCRP) Project. The project will expand the work of Community Justice Support Centers by implementing an innovative Career Technical Education (CTE) program for justice-involved individuals that will yield jobs in the high-demand field of Information Technology (IT) by enabling them to earn valuable, industry-recognized credentials.
“We greatly appreciate the Department of Justice’s recognition of the Trial Court’s commitment to providing effective re-entry services to individuals returning to the community after incarceration,” said Chief Justice Locke and Court Administrator Bello. “Educational programs such as this are part of the Probation Service’s evidence-based programming aimed at improving outcomes for justice-involved individuals and reducing recidivism rates.”
“Successful reentry depends on a lot of things,” said Probation Commissioner Edward Dolan. “Meaningful employment is just one of them. This initiative will engage those returning to the community in treatment services to address decision making, drug and alcohol use, motivation, and other needs in exchange for a career opportunity to pursue coding, digital media development or another high-tech field.”
The Trial Court will partner with two Boston-based correctional agencies – the Suffolk County Sheriff ’s Department and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) – through a strategic partnership with the Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology (BFCIT) and employer partners who will guarantee interviews for entry-level positions.
Technical education certificates will be earned by people who have committed to real change through EOPSS’s School of Reentry, Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins’s Department, and Probation’s Community Justice Support Center.
“As integrated service partners of the Trial Court, we deeply appreciate the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s investment in the High-Tech Career Reentry Path Project for returning citizens,” said Andrew Peck, Undersecretary for Criminal Justice at the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). “EOPSS and the School of Reentry remains committed to preparing students within our system for the Trial Court’s special career technical educational opportunities made possible by this grant. This program will improve education and employment outcomes for individuals across the Commonwealth returning from incarceration into our communities.”
“We are thrilled to be partners on this project with our colleagues from the criminal legal system and the Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology (BFCIT),” said Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins. “As we well know, one of the most crucial components for the success of formerly incarcerated men and women is to have well-paying, sustainable employment. This collaboration, which will offer career-level training in the realm of Information Technology (IT) to men and women in our care and custody, will help to provide them with the opportunity to achieve that success.”
“BFCIT is proud to partner with the Trial Court to deliver its Computer Information Technology programs that are designed to give students the greatest possible flexibility in their studies,” said Dr. Marvin Loiseau, BFCIT’s Dean of Academic Affairs. “These programs enable justice-involved individuals to attain educational equity and achieve their career and technical education goals.”