Nine individuals from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office's new community-based program Supporting Transitions and Reentry (STAR) Program graduated.
These justice-involved individuals were the first graduate, and in need of services to help keep them out of jail and on a pathway to success. Each were assigned a STAR Navigator that developed an individualized plan for services and connections to community resources that helped these individuals get the treatment, counseling, educational services, workforce training, and other supports they need.
“This is just the start for these men and women who came to the STAR program looking for a chance. They put their trust in our Navigators, they put in the hard work, and now they have hope for a better life,” said Sheriff Kevin Coppinger. “It doesn’t matter how they got to our program. It matters that they are here, continuing to do the work, and ready for a change.”
The STAR program has offices in Lynn and Lawrence, which offer classes, group therapy, drug testing, and a safe space to meet with community partners. STAR’s goal is to keep people out of jail by keeping them connected to community programs and services. The graduates received help with achieving their high school equivalency degree, housing, substance use treatment, workforce training, and much more. Two of the participants completed STAR’s Tech Goes Home course and received a free Chromebook and a year of free internet access.
Each of the nine participants recognized have decided to stay with the program on a voluntary basis to continue the work they started.
Graduates were presented with a certificate from the STAR Program. State Senator Brendan Crighton and State Representative Peter Capano also presented each with a special proclamation.
“When people come together, thing get done. The STAR program is an example of this,” said State Rep. Peter Capano. “This is a beginning. This is proof you can do it and it should give you hope for the future.”
The STAR program takes referrals from courts, police, parole, probation, and community members, including loved ones. Because the program is based on individualized plans, there is no set time for completion. The participants in this first group took anywhere from four to five months to complete.
For more information on the STAR program, visit https://bit.ly/3Fyzglf or contact STAR Director Stacie Bloxham at firstname.lastname@example.org.