Through a Department of Justice grant, the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office and Cayuga Counseling Services have been working to reduce recidivism at the jail. Earlier this month, Sheriff Brian Schenck was asked to speak in Maryland about the program’s success to other grant awardees.
He told Finger Lakes News Radio it was an honor for him and Heather Petrus with Cayuga Counseling to speak at the event.
“I was really honored that our grant provider asked Heather Petrus and I to come down and present to the other grant award winners to learn about how we’ve been able to establish collaborative efforts and bring so many community stakeholders here to the jail to provide services and support,” Schenck said on FLX Morning.
Through the community-based reentry program, the sheriff’s office and Cayuga Counseling work with local partners to prepare incarcerated individuals to reenter society so they have the skills they need to be successful and avoid a return to criminal activity.
“It’s something that we really excelled at,” Schenck continued. “I’m proud that our community was able to go down and talk about how we had success because I think a number of other communities are having difficulties building these partnerships and bringing those services into their jails and prisons.”
He added that he also learned from others at the conference and hopes to take that knowledge and use it to improve Cayuga County’s program.
“I learned some information from others there too, he said. “There were people from all over the country who have similar programs so I was glad that we could help and I was certainly helped by going there as well.”
In 2022, the office was awarded $750,00 to be distributed over three years. As part of the grant from the DOJ’s Burea of justice Assistance, the sheriff’s office will need to assess the effectiveness of the program.