|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
||For More Information, Contact:
|July 23, 2006
||Coria Holland, Director of Communications
||617-727-5300, ext. 258
FALL RIVER DISTRICT COURT LAUNCHES INITIATIVE TO BETTER
TRACK OFFENDERS AND ADDRESS HOMELESSNESS
The Fall River District Court Probation Department
began a new initiative this month that is expected to enhance
efforts to track offenders who serve a split sentence at the
House of Corrections which includes time spent in jail followed
by a period of probation.
This new initiative evolved from Probation's
involvement with the Fall River Task Force to End Chronic Homelessness.
It was designed to assist offenders, who face housing issues
and other challenges, locate housing and necessary resources
such as drug treatment, mental health care, and job training,
said Fall River District Court Assistant Chief Probation Officer
Lourenco A Lopes Jr., who was assigned to work with the Task
Force by Fall River District Court Chief Probation Officer James
This effort, which has no formal name, is a joint
partnership between Probation and the Bristol County Sheriff's
Department, and was devised by Lopes and Bristol County Sheriff
Re-Entry Coordinator Jodi Hockert-Lotz.
Under this initiative, a Probation Officer goes
to the jail twice a month and meets with inmates who have been
classified as Pre-Release and are generally within 30 to 60 days
of being released. The inmates are then individually apprised
of their probation conditions and obligations. They must provide
a valid address in the community where they will reside and are
given a copy of their probation conditions and business card
of their assigned Probation Officer.
"Once released, if the offenders do not report
to Probation within the allotted 48 hours, the respective Probation
Officers will have more than ample evidence to bring the matter
back before the court and successfully argue for detention," said
Fall River District Court Probation Officer II
Donelle Gomes, who was also assigned by Flannery to work with
the Task Force, recently conducted the first meeting with pre-release
inmates and said of the offenders, "We thoroughly reviewed
the conditions of probation with each person and told them what
is required of them."
Lopes said he hopes to expand the effort to probationers,
serving split sentences, at Department of Corrections facilities.