March 18, 2019

Pike County establishes a Re-entry Coalition to foster safer communities

L-R: Hampton Morgan, Pike County Correctional Facility Volunteer of the Year 2018; consultant Melanie Snyder;
Pike County Commissioner, Steve Guccini; Pike County Correctional Facility Warden, Craig Lowe.

MILFORD - The Pike County Commissioners are establishing a local Re-entry Coalition to help reduce recidivism among inmates at the Pike County Correctional Facility, and to ensure that a follow-up plan is in place that creates opportunities for former-offenders to move forward in life.

A kickoff meeting of the coalition was held last month at the Pike County Training Center, in Lords Valley. A series of four more meetings will be held from now through May to develop a strategic plan and set the stage for a collaborative approach to reentry. The project is supported by a $15, 000 grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

“Coalitions such as this are working all across Pennsylvania to make our communities safer by helping offenders to reenter society as productive individuals,” says Pike County Commissioner Steve Guccini. “The coalition will support the great work currently happening at the Pike County Correctional Facility (PCCF).”

The recidivism rate in Pike County is 19% as compared to 76% nationally, according to PCCF Warden Craig Lowe. “Our team is dedicated to making Pike County safer for everyone,” says Lowe. “We welcome this opportunity to strengthen our partnerships, which help to reintegrate offenders into society.” 

Consultant Melanie Snyder has been hired to guide the newly forming Reentry Coalition in Pike County. Snyder provides strategic planning and facilitation services to similar entities in other regions and states.

“Melanie brings a proven track record of success on similar processes in other PA counties,” says Chairman of the Pike County Commissioners Matt Osterberg. “This process is about reintegrating returning citizens by breaking the vicious cycle of crime and repeated incarceration.”

Snyder is the author of Grace Goes to Prison: An Inspiring Story of Hope and Humanity (Brethren Press, 2009. She is a certified instructor for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Healing Communities model, a National Institute of Corrections certified Offender Workforce Development Specialist, and a Restorative Justice Mediator.

The next meeting of the Re-entry Coalition will be held on Tuesday, March 26, from noon to 4:00 pm, at the Pike County Training Center, in Lords Valley

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