April 13, 2012
For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Debra S. Tingley, APR
Director of Communications
(717) 526-1010 x 3336
County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania honors outstanding jail and juvenile detention center efforts
Awards honor and recognize county jail and juvenile detention center practices offering exceptional programming
The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) recently bestowed honors upon several Pennsylvania county jails and three juvenile detention centers along with leaders from both who oversee their operations during its Spring Conference at the Harrisburg Hilton. The awards are presented to county jails and juvenile detention centers who have implemented best practices and exemplary programming. CCAP also presented its first-ever Partner Award.
A County Criminal Justice System for the 21st Century Best Practices Award for 2012 in the large county category was given to Berks County for its Community Re-entry Center project. A Best Practices Award for 2012 in the small county category was presented to Lycoming County for its Lycoming County Criminal Justice System Best Practices Project. Now a three-time award winner, the Lycoming County project has been in consistent operation since 1974, and continues to produce positive results for the county, for the taxpayers, and for the inmates and their facilities.
CCAP also awarded an honorable mention in the large county jail category to Bucks County for its Forensics Re-entry Enhancement Program, and an honorable mention in the small county category to Clarion County for its Drug and Alcohol Treatment Court project.In the Juvenile Detention Center and Shelter Facility category, CCAP selected Montgomery County as the winner of the large county award for its Weekend Accountability Program. The winner of the small county award was given to Dauphin County for its Community Connections Project. An honorable mention was awarded to Bucks County in the large county class for its Child Accountability Program.
CCAP also presented its first-ever 21st Century Committee Criminal Justice Partners Award to Thresholds of Chester County, which was developed by a former prison inmate and is designed to improve literacy and improve the lives of detention center and shelter youth.
The winner of the PCCD CJAB Best Practice Award for 2012 was presented to Berks County. This award is given to a Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) who has demonstrated the adherence to best practices and successes. CCAP worked with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) to identify the Criminal Justice Advisory Board Best Practice award. PCCD has regional representatives who work with counties to assist them in forming, organizing and getting the most from criminal justice advisory boards. The regional representative from each region of the state made a recommendation and CCAP selected the winner.
A formal award presentation is planned for June 11 in State College.
Each entrant was required to describe how its county project maintains best practices for keeping populations down, assuring better recidivism rates, improving collaboration with the community and assisting inmates with their re-entry to society. Juvenile detention shelters/centers awards are designed to showcase the efforts of the men and women working each day to change the life of a child.
According to Scott Martin, Lancaster County commissioner and chair of the CCAP Committee On County Criminal Justice System Best Practices for the 21st Century who administers the awards for CCAP, “These awards play an extremely valuable and important role in promoting best practices of county jails and juvenile detention centers and in helping the counties to find alternatives to the costly solutions of building new jails. We salute the efforts of these counties in being innovative pioneers in meeting the challenges that all county jails and juvenile detention centers are facing as costs increase. We hope other counties will follow these examples and bring these solutions or others to their counties.”
Martin said CCAP undertook a Pennsylvania Prison Overcrowding Project in 2001 in response to concerns raised by its Courts and Corrections Committee about jail crowding and construction costs. CCAP reconvened its Prison Overcrowding Task Force and charged it to devise a strategy to assist in the alleviation of crowding problems and the costs associated with jail construction.
The Association contracted with Dr. Alan Harland, professor in the Criminal Justice department of Temple University, to design and conduct a statewide survey of all county-operated prison facilities to document the extent and magnitude of the problem. In 2004, CCAP was awarded a grant from the National Institute of Justice to defray the cost of the work on the overcrowding project. Then U.S. Senator Arlen Specter made the grant available by virtue of a Congressionally Directed Award placed in the 2003 federal budget.
CCAP is the voice of county government, a statewide, nonprofit, nonpartisan Association representing Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. CCAP membership includes the county commissioners, council members, county executives, administrators, chief clerks and solicitors. CCAP strengthens the counties’ abilities to govern their own affairs and to improve the well-being and quality of life for every Pennsylvania resident
For more information on the county awards, visit the CCAP website at www.pacounities.org.