HomeTop StoriesSheriff's new HOPE Center helps inmates adjust to life outside Massachusetts prisons

Sheriff’s new HOPE Center helps inmates adjust to life outside Massachusetts prisons

BRAINTREE – The new HOPE Center in Braintree, Massachusetts is helping people transition from life in prison to the community.

What is the HOPE Center?

HOPE stands for healing, opportunity, purpose and commitment. Norfolk County Sheriff Patrick McDermott pushed for the center to open when he was elected in 2021. He said the center extends its reach into the community and helps protect residents by reducing the risk of a convicted criminal reoffending.

“When it comes to people who are in prison, people who are going through the criminal justice system. These are your neighbors, these are your family, your friends. These are people who just veered off the wrong path in life,” McDermott told WBZ. -TV.

‘Stepping out of the system’

“It’s hard to get out of the system,” John Keegan said. Keegan turned himself in 20 years ago when he was addicted to drugs. In the short time he has been part of the HOPE Center, he finally feels like he is getting the support he needs.

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“They’ll ask do you need food? Do you have food stamps? Do you need clothes and anything I need for now until I find a job,” Keegan told WBZ.

“It seems like they’re just really grateful that someone is listening to them and feeling like they’re definitely being helped,” said program manager Cheryl Portman.

The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Obligation

McDermott hopes the treatment services will help inmates’ reintegration into the workforce, education and the community.

“As sheriff, I have an obligation to do what I can to give you a better product than what I received,” McDermott told WBZ.

Keegan said the program has already helped him.

“It gives me hope because I’m so used to just walking out and getting into trouble and doing drugs and stuff like that and then I come back in. This way when I go out I have something walk and I’m OK, I don’t need all this stuff,” he said.

For more information and how to get involved, visit nsocares.org.

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