The Middlesex Sheriff ’s Office has formally begun a groundbreaking new initiative designed to reduce recidivism amongst young adult offenders in the New England’s most populous county.
The young offender unit is a result of a collaboration initiated by Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian with the Vera Institute of Justice. The MSO is the first local jurisdiction in the country to engage Vera as part of its Restoring Promise Initiative, which partners with state and local corrections agencies to transform living conditions for incarcerated young adults across the country in order to produce better outcomes for individuals and communities.
“With the launch of this unit, we are reimagining corrections,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “We are pursuing a better, more effective approach to the way we deal with the individuals in this critical population”
The new P.A.C.T. (People Achieving Change Together) program is specially designed for individuals aged 18- to 24. The name was coined by MSO staff members who will work in the unit.
The first group of P.A.C.T. participants moved into the repurposed space at the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction on February 5, with a second group expected to move in later this month. Programming in the unit will be specifically geared towards addressing issues impacting young adult offenders.
“I want to thank our partners for their incredible support and our staff for embracing this shift,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “We’re focused on – the future of the young men in our custody, their families and our communities.”