New program aims to keep ex-convicts out of jail in Pennsylvania

A new intensive state program aims to help former inmates stay out of prison by giving them access to loans, educational programs and drug and alcohol treatment, state officials said Tuesday. State.

The court-supervised STRIVE program will serve ex-convicts in northeast Pennsylvania by connecting them with a bank, community college and behavioral health provider, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections said.

“The period after incarceration can be daunting for reintegrants, particularly if they lack support,” Kelly Evans, assistant secretary for reintegration at the Department of Corrections, said in a written statement. “By helping put them on the path to success, STRIVE partners not only reduce the risk of reoffending, but also strengthen local communities.”

The program is modeled after an existing federal court initiative for inmates in central and northeastern Pennsylvania leaving the US prison system. The same private institutions that participate in the federal CARES program will be involved in the new state program.

ESSA Bank & Trust, a community bank based in Stroudsburg, will offer money management courses and loans of up to $15,000 to be used for housing, transportation or education. In addition, Northampton Community College will provide education services and Pyramid Healthcare Inc., behavioral health services.

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