GEO Reentry Services and Dauphin County Probation hosted a transition ceremony – aka graduation – for individuals on probation who have successfully completed an intensive reentry program at the Dauphin County Reentry Service Center. To mark the seriousness of the participants accomplishments, the graduation was held in Harrisburg at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex Main Rotunda.
The event’s keynote speakers include Honorable President Judge John Cherry, Dauphin County Commissioner George Hartwick, and a representative from Dauphin County Probation.
The ceremony was attended by program participants, their family members, program staff and local probation officers and corrections officials. During the ceremony, graduates shared their experiences, and most credited the GEO Reentry team for being supportive during the duration of their time in the RSC. The celebration follows months of regular reporting to the RSC, intensive treatment and training, and substance abuse testing.
ABC News was there to capture the inspiring graduation event.
“It’s everybody’s job to help somebody who’s a returning citizen and help the mission of reentry and this program does exactly that, so it’s a benefit to the community, it’s a benefit to enhance public safety, it’s a benefit to rehabilitate the folks that are involved with this program and see them be productive,” said John Hogan GEO Reentry Area Manager.
The Dauphin County RSC provides a structured combination of evidence-based cognitive behavioral treatment, life skills training, case management, workforce development, and community connections designed to change criminal thinking.
For more than a decade, GEO Reentry has operated the RSC for the Dauphin County Probation Department. A 2022 report found the program is having a positive effect on participants. The report assessed data points for 132 participants who entered the program in calendar year 2022, finding more than 1,000 drug tests administered and only 16 percent positives, and employment gains of 110 percent for discharged participants. Importantly, when assessing a sample 34 program participants during this year, there was a 36 percent risk reduction as measured by the LSI-R, an industry tool for assessing risks and needs.