FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2018
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Baltimore City District Court honors fifth class of
Re-Entry Project graduates
BALTIMORE - Baltimore City District Court is celebrating the graduation of 40 people who have successfully completed the District Court Re-Entry Program (DCREP). Baltimore City District Judge Nicole Pastore Klein presided over the ceremony for the program’s fifth class of graduates. District Court of Maryland Chief Judge John P. Morrissey and Baltimore City District Administrative Judge Barbara Baer Waxman attended the program, along with Greg Harrell, former NFL tight end and world bobsled champion, who served as keynote speaker.
"In just two years, Judge Pastore Klein has taken an idea and brought it to fruition by creating a program that helps individuals improve their lives through access to existing local resources, from counseling, to job readiness training, to full-time employment,” said Chief Judge Morrissey. “People in the Re-Entry Program are now making positive contributions to their families and society."
Judge Pastore Klein founded the DCREP in September 2016 as a court-focused, criminal recidivism initiative offering defendants an opportunity to participate in full-time job training and job placement programs as a condition of their probation or in lieu of incarceration. More than 95 participants have completed the program to date.
“The Re-Entry Project is an innovative and effective strategy to reduce recidivism and help defendants get the skills and services needed to ensure their success,” said Judge Waxman.
Through the program, a judge refers a defendant to one of 17 participating organizations that focus on preparing ex-offenders for the workforce. If the participant successfully completes the organization’s requirements, they receive an agreed-upon incentive. A judge may convert a supervised probation to an unsupervised probation, waive probation fees, or even end the defendant’s probation early. In addition, defendants who may have been sentenced to a minimal amount of jail time may have the chance to participate in the DCREP in lieu of jail time. The DCREP also has expanded to include pretrial services, which allow defendants awaiting trial the opportunity to acquire new skills and gain employment.
“The Re-Entry Project helps criminal defendants change the course of their lives and gives people a fresh start. This is a viable alternative to incarceration, when the defendant is willing to follow the plan and put in the work,” said Judge Pastore Klein. “The program helps to empower defendants by connecting them to resources and opportunities for employment.”
Through the Re-Entry Program’s partnerships, participants have earned certifications in solar panel installation, lead paint removal, apartment maintenance, food service, and electrical apprenticeships. One of the program’s main goals is to reduce recidivism by helping participants learn workforce skills. The Re-Entry Program has a low recidivism rate to date, with just five out of 95 participants re-offending.
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