Special Programs for County Inmates
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Choose Your Path is a programmatic housing area for incarcerated young adults between the ages of 18-25. It offers youth a robust selection of vocational training, schooling, counseling, pre-release and post-release transitional services, and mental health support. All of the inmates work a 40-hour work week doing a combination of programs and work assignments inside the jail. Correction Officers assigned to Choose Your Path received special training to work with young adults and a Correctional Counselor oversees the program.
Choose to Thrive is a programmatic housing area for female inmates at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility. The program features a variety of supportive services, mental health services, vocational training, parenting and family reunification, and frequent visits from outside agencies that specialize in transitioning women from incarceration to the community. The initiative is overseen by a Correctional Counselor.
The Sheriff’s Addiction Treatment Program (SATP) is an intensive substance abuse treatment initiative designed for incarcerated individuals with a range of criminal charges, all of which correlate to their substance use disorders. Participants in the program can either be sentenced or un-sentenced, but in either case, they must have a minimum of thirty days left in-custody to enter the program. Length of stay in the program varies, but it is guided largely by the individual’s progress. The program is designed around three basic educational phases. The SATP is staffed with Social Workers and Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselors (CASACs) who provide both group and individual treatment sessions. Correction Officers are specifically dedicated to the treatment dorms and these officers are part of the treatment team.
The Human Trafficking Unit is staffed by three correction officers that work along with other jail personnel, outside federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and human service providers to identify victims of human trafficking and human traffickers. These officers use a variety of methods to identify possible trafficking victims as they enter the correctional facility, conduct interviews -- and train other staff to detect and report signs of trafficking. They are also making program/legal referrals, and pulling together outside resources with the goal of helping to provide incarcerated victims of human trafficking the tools to transition to a safer environment upon discharge. Since its inception in 2018, this initiative has led to the successful prosecution of numerous human trafficking and other criminal networks, while helping the victims to reclaim their lives.
The Veterans and Senior Program POD at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility offers specialized services at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility geared towards older inmates, as well as veterans of the armed forces. The program includes case management and visits from human service providers that specialize in working with older inmates, as well as veterans. The Suffolk County Correctional Facility has partnered with the Northport VA and the Veterans of Foreign Wars to help veterans transition from jail to the community.
The Sheriff's Youth Re-Entry Task Force
Over the last several years, there has been a distinct shift in Suffolk County toward collaborative criminal justice policy-making and the implementation of correctional and community-based programs designed to reduce inmate recidivism and ultimately drive down crime and the jail population.
Sheriff Toulon has made inmate rehabilitation a priority of his work in public office. In 2018, he launched several initiatives, including a program for emerging adults 18-24 called CHOOSE YOUR PATH. The Youth Re-entry Task Force provides community support for the initiative.
The Youth Re-entry Task Force is comprised of more than 100 individuals representing many of Suffolk County’s non-profit organizations, as well as local, state and federal government employees.
In 2013 and 2016 the Sheriff’s Office was granted an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for its youth initiatives and the work of the Youth Re-entry Task Force. The awards are granted to counties for programs that serve to improve services to county residents and are judged on their innovativeness, effectiveness, and for delivering results.
The Youth Re-entry Task Force has:
Served as a vehicle to enhance community relations between the government and the county’s human service providers
Helped to intensify the county’s focus on driving down the local jail population through Alternatives to Incarceration for non-violent youthful offenders and, in some cases, appropriate treatment alternatives in the wake of the opioid epidemic
Collaboratively developed the kinds of services and programs to help youth and other populations address the underlying causes of criminal behavior, thereby reducing inmate recidivism
Developed sub-committee to tackle specific issues related to education, grants, housing, and mental health.
Worked as a group to educate policy and lawmakers, the media and the general public about issues concerning youthful crime and rehabilitation.
Advocated for service improvements and made recommendations to improve and streamline systems that impact the operations of the jail.
The Sheriff's Veterans Re-Entry Task Force
The Sheriff's Office launched the Veterans Housing POD at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in June 2016. The initiative was spearheaded with Suffolk County Legislator William Lindsay III, (Retired) Judge John J. Toomey of the Veterans Treatment Court, and Veteran Mentors from the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 11, from Farmingville, New York.
The Veterans Re-entry Task Force met for the first time in September 2016 to help plan programming and provide ongoing support. The Task Force is comprised of Veterans, correctional staff, members of the non-profit community and county, state and local government employees.