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Morris County re-entry programs to be featured at national convention

Community Connections & STAR Will Be Highlighted at 2022 National Sheriff’s Association Winter Conference

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – Two, heralded Morris County re-entry programs, both designed to help ex-offenders successfully return into the community, will be highlighted next month at the 2022 National Sheriff’s Association Winter Conference in Washington, D.C., Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon said.

Leaders of the Morris County Community Connections and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office STAR (Successful Transition and Re-Entry) Program were accepted to present information about their programs at the annual sheriffs’ event to be held Feb. 5 through Feb. 8 at the J.W. Marriott in the nation’s capital.

National statistics show that, within five years of release from custody, nearly three-quarters of ex-offenders are re-arrested. More than half return to incarceration after being convicted of a new crime or violating the conditions of their release. The risk factors that perpetuate recidivism include homelessness, lack of education, unemployment, mental illness, and substance abuse.

The STAR Program is a branch of the Morris County Office of Temporary Assistance, which provides the Morris County Correctional Facility with a case manager to connect individuals to important services during and after incarceration that help them avoid the risk factors that lead to re-offending. The STAR program also follows a client for one year after release from incarceration to provide continued assistance while the individual is integrating back into our community.

Community Connections was launched on June 16, 2021 through the STAR Program, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and the Superior Court of Morris County to  create a model to additionally assist court-involved individuals obtain life-changing services. This new program identifies and links the individuals to an array of services, including recovery support, mental health services, and social services.

The Mental Health Association (MHA) and Prevention is Key’s Center for Addiction, Recovery, Education & Success (CARES) are essential partners to provide life-saving resources to individuals involved in re-entry.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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