Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe ( at left) seen here congratulating Springfield Police Commissioner William Fitchet on his recent retirement was honored at the White House for pioneering programs to help former inmates re-enter society
The longest serving sheriff in Massachusetts was honored at the White House today for his pioneering work helping local jail inmates re-enter society.
Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe was honored as one of 16 so-called “Champions of Change.” The program was created by the White House as an opportunity to highlight individuals who do extraordinary things to empower and inspire people in their communities. Ashe was introduced along with the other honorees by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Massachusetts has launched an initiative to reduce recidivism by signing a contract for the largest pay-for-success financial investment in the country. The goal is to improve the lives of nearly 400 at-risk youth in western Massachusetts, reduce crime, and save taxpayers money.
Massachusetts will pay millions of dollars to Roca if the non-profit organization succeeds in reducing the number of days young men referred to its program spend in jail. The greater the success, the higher the payments – up to $27 million.
A program that has reduced recidivism rates was praised today by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. The governor toured the program operated by the office of Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe.
Since 2007, the Hampden County Sheriff’s office has operated a one-stop center for newly released inmates. Located in a nondescript one- story brick building in a tough Springfield neighborhood, the center helps former inmates transition back into the community with a range of support services.