Honoring the guides on the journey from jail to society

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HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – Hundreds of volunteers and staff from 35 local agencies were honored by the Atlantic County Department of Public Safety on Tuesday, Aug. 10 at the Mays Landing branch of the Atlantic County Library on Farragut Avenue for their efforts to help reduce recidivism in the county jail.
In 2005, Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson directed the implementation of a program to address repeat offenders, especially those with a substance abuse problem. The program connects inmates with community-based agencies to provide support services in the inmates’ transition from jail to the community.
Levinson began the ceremony by addressing the role of the corrections officers.
“No one has a tougher job than our corrections officers,” he said.
Levinson said that the best way to address recidivism is to treat the inmate’s problem before they are released back into the community.
“You treat sicknesses; you don’t lock people up who are sick,” he said. “They’re all going to get out and when they get out, if we don’t do something while they are in jail, then we just release them back into the neighborhoods and it happens all over again.”
Volunteers honored came from organizations across Atlantic County and the state, including AtlantiCare, Covenant House, South Jersey AIDS Alliance, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Harrah’s Casino, Bally’s Park Place, Career Opportunity Development, Inc., Atlantic Prevention Resources, Jean Webster’s Kitchen, First Presbyterian Church of Brigantine, Jewish Family Services, Mental Health Association of Atlantic County, Atlantic Human Services, Harvest Counseling, Atlantic County Women’s Center, Planned Parenthood, Atlantic County Intergenerational Services, Atlantic County Family Center, John Brooks Recovery Center, Literacy Volunteers of Atlantic County, Atlantic City Rescue Mission, Southern Jersey Legal Services, New Jersey Probation, Atlantic County Public Defender’s Office, Atlantic County Substance Abuse Unit, Atlantic County Department of Family and Community Development, NAACP of Atlantic County, Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office, New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services and the U.S. Veterans Administration.
In April, the county was one of four counties that received a $250,000 grant through the Office of the Attorney General and the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act for its jail-based prisoner re-entry program.
John McLernon, Atlantic County director of social services, announced that the request for proposals was put out a few months ago that would use those funds to hire specialized staff to assist inmates with job placement, mental and physical health medication and case management.
“We’re excited about the work that’s going on here,” said guest speaker Deputy Attorney General Wanda Moore, state director for re-entry services.
Moore said that the state is supporting the county’s efforts by putting its money where its “mouth” is.
She said the state is also working to address the problems of juveniles with programs like transitional housing, working with schools and communities and a graduation campaign.
“We know that many times if we don’t address the issues that juveniles face, they end up in the adult system,” Moore said.
The Gerard L. Gormley Justice Facility Deputy Warden Geraldine Cohen and Warden Joseph Bondiskey were also present to help confer certificates of recognition.

The following volunteers were recognized:
Kooky Agosto
Luis Al Rios
Alexa Angster
Kimberly Arroyo
Nita Bailey
Linda Bastedo
Officer Daniel Bertonazzi
Jerdlylia Blackwell
Kathy Boyle
Brian Braudis
Lori Brookins
Jacqueline Brousse
Pierre Brown
Gregory Bryant
Steve Bybee
Sharon Callaway
Vera Carey
Christine Carter
Kathy Caselberry
Officer Brian Casto
Lisa Catalano
Lillian Cathey
Renee' Cerullo
Mark Cheatham
Daria Christie
Joel Clark
Irene Claybourn
Georgiana Coley-Gaston
Antoinette Corrigan
Selby (Connie) Costella
Donald Cross
Jim D'Annuntis
Steve Diggins
Ron Dill
John Dougherty
Thomas Douglass
Michelle Duffy
Phillip Durrant
Keith Egan
Melaine Embert
Fernando Fernandez
Marilu Gagnon
Rev. Ethel Gaylord
Esq. Ken Golden
Ken Goldman
Armando Gonzalez
Celeste Goodson
Ken Gorski
Thomas Graef
Tom Graff
Carlene Graham
Anne Groh
Jodine Gross
James Harris Jr.
Steve Hauck
Charles Hofker
Carol Hollows
Akliah Hughes
Lt. Steve Iuliucci
Stephan Jackson
Officer William Jacoby
Patricia Johnson
Jaime Kazmarck
Vince Keough
Lorraine Khan
Rebecca King
Tamu King-Lewis
Barbara Kiyaga
William Long
Judy Macavoy
Reggie Malvern
Robyn Margulis
James McClain
Shiela McLaughlin
Joe McNamera
Jane McNesby
Linda Mellor
Doug Mercer
Kathy Merlino
Kristie Metroka
Chaplain Miller
Joyce Mollineaux
Chaz Mollins
Lee Mooney
Steve Moore
Pamela Moore
Robert Moran
Cynthia Morganstern
Liah Mortimore
Frank Muscolina
Syed Muslim
Officer Chris Neall
Rosalind Norell-Nance
Alicia Oatman
Deborah Oeser
Erin O'Hanlin
Brian S. Osbourne
Barbara Paugh
Jennifer Peilhau
Vicki Phillips
Linda Pinkerton
Gretchen Raring
Frederick Ray
Shirl Rementer
Jamie Rexx
Bridget Richardson
Gayle Riddle
Tyme Roberts
Sheron Robertson
Shannon Roche
Laura Rodgers
Donald Rodgers
Trinna Rogers
Jennifer Rowles
Yvonne Royal
Thomas D. Ruben
Dean Ruff
Brenda Rupp
Keith Sadler
Joy Sanchez
Joseph Sanchez
William Schugar
Shari Schugar
Robert Schurman
Betty Sherman
Dave Sholler
Alex Sinari
Barbara Smith
Barbara Sorace
William Southery
Hildagard Spindler
Michael Steffen
Ted Stryker
Loretta Sutton
Mike Taylor
Janey Taylor
Jason Thurlow
Carol Truss
Erica Wagner
Claudios Walker
Washanta Walker
Gwendolyn Waples
William Warren
Cora Watson
Jason Wertzberger
Wynston Whitlow
Yvonne Williams
Karen Williams
Jennifer Williams
Joanna Wilson
Barbara Woodall
William Yew
Steve Young
Dr. Robert Zlotnick

 


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