Luzerne County Family Court Judge Jennifer L. Rogers donated a bag of neckties to the male participants at Luzerne County Day Reporting Center to help them dress respectably for court appearances, job interviews and special occasions.
“This was a very thoughtful gesture on behalf of Judge Rogers, and we are very appreciative,” Program Manager at the Luzerne DRC Stacey Velez said. “The men were honored by this gesture, it was a boost for their self-esteem, and it brought hope for a better future for the participants working toward continued success in life.”
Among the many evidence-based reentry programs GEO Reentry Services provides at the Luzerne County DRC is Employment Readiness, which prepares participants to seek employment that will help establish a successful reentry to their communities. In the class, participants are taught to tie a necktie as part of the preparation for interviewing and presenting their best self for employment.
“Four participants never knew how to tie their necktie, so they were shown by GEO Reentry male staff,” Velez said. “All were extremely proud of their newly acquired skill. Being able to tie your tie was a rite of passage some had never experienced. This gift was beneficial, ensuring commitment to programming and a desire to live a positive life. One individual stated he never even owned a tie.”
Necktie recipients expressed gratitude and excitement, and even gifted a framed photo of themselves sporting their new ties to Judge Rogers. One member of the group said he plans to wear his new tie to an upcoming court date when he sees the Judge.
Individuals who secure employment are less likely to re-offend, lessening the chance for recidivism. The Luzerne County DRC offers a non-residential program of reentry services for those referred from the criminal justice system, providing services for substance abuse treatment, life skills, and educational and vocational preparation to help individuals return to society as productive citizens.
Many respond positively to the reentry programming provided and can turn their lives around to stand proudly, sporting jackets and ties, ready to begin a new and positive lifestyle.