Over the last several years, there has been a distinct shift in Suffolk County toward collaborative criminal justice policy-making and the implementation of correctional and community-based programs designed to reduce inmate recidivism and ultimately drive down crime and the jail population. These efforts are ongoing in the County jails and are already demonstrating significant results and saving the taxpayers approximately $10.5 million a year.
The Youth re-entry Task Force is comprised of more than 100 individuals representing many of Suffolk County’s non-profit organizations, as well as local, state and federal government employees.
In 2013 and 2016 the Sheriff’s Office was granted an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for its youth initiatives and the work of the Youth Re-entry Task Force. The awards are granted to counties for programs that serve to improve services to county residents, and are judged on their innovativeness, effectiveness, and for delivering results.
The Youth Re-entry Task Force has:
- Served as a vehicle to enhance community relations between government and the county’s human service providers
- Helped to intensify the county’s focus on driving down the local jail population through Alternatives to Incarceration for non-violent youthful offenders and, in some cases, appropriate treatment alternatives in the wake of the opioid epidemic
- Collaboratively developed the kinds of services and programs to help youth and other populations address the underlying causes of criminal behavior, thereby reducing inmate recidivism
- Developed sub-committee to tackle specific issues related to education, grants, housing and mental health.
- Worked as a group to educate policy and law makers, the media and the general public about issues concerning youthful crime and rehabilitation.
- Advocated for service improvements and made recommendations to improve and streamline systems that impact the operations of the jail.
The Youth Re-entry Task Force continuously accepts new members from the non-profit community. Interested parties should send a letter of interest to:
Sheriff Vincent DeMarco
Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office
100 Center Drive
Riverhead, NY 11901
Or via email to: Suffolk_Sheriff@suffolkcountyny.gov
For general inquiries, call or email the program coordinator, Kristin MacKay at (631) 852-3436.
News 12 Long Island's coverage of the Sheriff's Youth Re-Entry Program.