For Immediate Release - April 04, 2014

Malden District Court Probation Initiative Grants Wishes For New Start

Malden District Court Assistant Chief Probation Officer Marisa Cogliandro-Vaughan and Probation Officer Jennifer Casali have created a store called the Wish Locker, filled with donated clothing, for probationers and others who are trying to get a new start.

The Wish Locker, which officially opened on March 31st, has served six individuals so far: three probationers and three people referred from Tri-Cap in Malden, a local social service agency. The clothing is donated by court staff and is provided to individuals who express a need.

“The individuals have demonstrated much gratitude and appreciation so we know that we are doing something really good here,” said Cogliandro-Vaughan. “It is amazing how something so simple as providing donated clothing to individuals in need can touch so many people.”

Cogliandro-Vaughan and Casali came up with the idea to start the Wish Locker after learning about a similar initiative called Hope’s Closet which was established by Worcester District Court Probation staff. Hope’s Closet was featured as a “Boston Strong” story on WCVB-TV, Channel 5. Casali said she saw the story and was “touched by it.”

“There are people getting out of jail with only their jail uniform on their backs. The Wish Locker is a way to help those who have nothing get their dignity back,” said Casali.

Upon hearing about the Wish Locker, Jeffrey Adams, a 48-year-old Malden resident who is on probation at Malden District Court, began spreading the word about it.

“I was homeless at one time and I don’t want anyone to go without. I volunteer at Tri-Cap and have sent a few people to the Wish Locker to get coats and clothes. I think it is a good thing,” said Adams.

"Carrying on the spirit and practice of John Augustus, Malden District Court Probation's innovative Wish Locker goes beyond the enforcement of conditions to include engagement and support for offenders to change a negative life trajectory to a positive one." said Commissioner Edward J. Dolan. "It builds on the premise that the success of our probationers is a measure of our success as Probation Officers. When probationers achieve success in turning their lives around, their lives are improved, their family's lives are better off and our communities are safer."

“I commend ACPO Vaughan and PO Casali for starting this initiative at the Malden District Court. We have had an outpouring of donations from many individuals and we continue to get new supplies weekly,” said Malden District Chief Probation Officer Paul Cervizzi. “The clothing initiative provides those individuals in the Malden, Everett, Melrose, and Wakefield communities with a very basic necessity, and allows those less fortunate to have something to take pride in, something as simple as having clothing to wear.”