Re-Entry Program Produces Thirteen New Graduates
Community Partnership Celebrates Student Success
Re-Entry Commencement Exercises were conducted by the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office at the Eastern Shore Regional Jail (ESRJ) on Friday, February 26, 2021. Presentations for three female inmates and ten males were overseen by Sheriff David Doughty and Captain Roger Kennedy, with participation from Eastern Shore Community College and Eastern Shore Community Services Board. Both partnered with ESRJ to create the re-entry program and provide skills and knowledge to prepare individuals for success as returning citizens.
Standing in for the Director of the Re-Entry Program, Chaplain Kelvin Jones, was the Program Coordinator, Rev. Vincent Thomas, who provided the scripture and invocation, followed by greetings and acknowledgements by Sheriff Doughty. Both programs included reflections by a graduating class member, followed by the keynote speaker, ESCC President Dr. James Shaeffer. ESCC Vice President Dr. Patrick Tompkins oversaw the presentation of successful cohorts, while special presentations were made by program instructors, Cheryl Rein, Amy Shockley, Lynn Wajda, and Chrystal Roughton, ESCSB Peer Recovery Specialist. Captain Kennedy provided closing remarks to the successful cohorts. Over 50 family members and friends attended the event virtually.
The goal of ESRJ’s re-entry program is two-fold: increase public safety and reduce the rate of recidivism. A primary focus of re-entry is to reduce barriers to successful re-entry so motivated individuals can learn skills leading to jobs, acquire stable housing, support their families and strengthen the community.
The partnership reflects Your Eastern Shore Community College’s YES! culture of hospitality, inclusion, and accountability. Dr. Tompkins commented, “We are grateful to ESRJ for including the college in this program.” Dr. Shaeffer added, “Our adult education staff and instructors are devoted to this program, its values, and its outcomes.”
All participants in the program are also an ESCC cohort and are enrolled students of the college. Upon their release, they will be connected with a an ESCC success coach so they can continue their educational and career pathway at ESCC.