Essex County Sheriff’s Department Opens New Re-Entry Transition Unit

The Essex County Sheriff’s Department (ECSD) held a Grand Opening event on May 16 for its new Re-Entry Transition Unit (RTU) at the department’s Pre-Release Center on Marston St. in Lawrence. Inmates within the last 90 days of their sentence will be provided Re-Entry services to help them effectively transition back to the community.

“We want to offer our residents every resource available while they are with us to increase their chance of success back in their communities,” said James Petrosino, Executive Director of the ECSD Re-Entry Division.

The focus of this new program is on implementing customized individual re-entry plans that include inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment, career training, educational programming, mental health and veteran service referrals to reduce recidivism. This unit will work collaboratively with the programs and services already provided at the Middleton House of Correction.

Sheriff Kevin Coppinger noted that the new Re-Entry Transition Unit is part of his department’s commitment to reduce inmate recidivism by working collaboratively with federal, state, local community partners and stakeholders for the success of inmate reintegration efforts. “At ECSD every inmate is assessed when first incarcerated to determine what programs could best assist them in redirecting their behavior and their lives. The Re-Entry Transition Unit is a critical part of that effort because it helps prepare an inmate to take a more productive and responsible role in the community and helps them avoid falling back into criminal behavior. A successful re-entry is a win-win for everyone and we are grateful to our community partners for their participation and support,” concluded Coppinger.

Sheriff Coppinger was joined at the opening event by Superintendent Michael Marks, Executive Director Re-Entry Division James Petrosino, Reintegration Coordinator Julie Hartling, Asst. Superintendent Christine Eisenhaure and William Cabrera from Billy’s Barbershop/Reclamation Center Lowell, MA.