Bosley Outlines Re-entry Plans
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Daniel E. Bosley, candidate for Berkshire County sheriff, has released more details on his plans for expanded reentry programs for inmates.
"It is important," said the candidate, "that we become proactive on following inmates back to the community to ensure that they stick with their reintegration programs. Inmates need to have a place that they can call if they have questions and they need to know that people are watching to make sure they stay on the plan designed for them."
Bosley commented that the average sentence served in a House of Correction is approximately nine months. He said that, "On the day an offender walks into the jail we need to start preparing them for the day they leave. That means an individual plan for rehabilitation tailored to each inmate."
Bosley said those nine months, however, are not enough time to fully rehabilitate an inmate. The candidate said that is why his re-entry plans are so important. "If punishment alone worked, no one would re-offend. However, we know that some inmates come back again and again. It is important to continue to follow them as they leave the House of Correction in order to give them the best chance to stay out and not re-offend."
Bosley outlined plans to work closely with probation, parole, community corrections and local services in order to maximize efforts while avoiding duplication. "If we wish to be successful in returning people to our communities, we need to provide more than a plan. We need to keep in touch, coordinate our efforts with other services in the community and proactively follow people through the re-entry process in order to ensure that they continue their plan. If we can stop people from re-offending, we make ourselves safer, more secure and save the system the expense of incarcerating that inmate again and again."
Bosley said he would convene monthly round table meetings with all of the participating agencies to track re-entry and discuss individual treatment plans and challenges.
Bosley said that part of his plan is to be active in neighborhoods throughout the county in order to develop programs that have a positive effect on the community as well as for the inmates. "This is all about taking ownership of a community as most citizens do. It is about developing a sense of community and responsibility," he said.
|Tags: Bosley, reentry|
Letter: Bowler Most Qualified
To the Editor:
In an ideal world the position of sheriff of Berkshire County would require that applicants apply and the most qualified person would be selected for the position.
Fortunately, we do have a candidate in Tom Bowler, who clearly would be the most qualified applicant regardless of the process. His background in law enforcement and public service makes him the prime candidate to be our next sheriff.
Please mark Tuesday, Sept. 14, on your calendar because this is a primary race and the winner will be decided on this date. Please join me and cast your vote for Tom Bowler, sheriff.
Bowler Proposes New Program For Children of Incarcerated Offenders
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tom Bowler, candidate for Berkshire County sheriff, on Wednesday proposed expanding existing programs at the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction in a comprehensive new effort to assist children whose parents are inmates at the jail. The new initiative is aimed at breaking the cycle of incarceration.
The program would feature collaboration with social service and mental health agencies, as well as a strong emphasis on existing youth and recreational agencies. The focus of the expanded programming would be on both the offender and their children.
"The older I get, the more I realize that the greatest gift given to me during my life was the foundation established in a loving home where both parents were actively involved in raising responsible children," Bowler said. "The children of some of the offenders at the jail will never know the value of this kind of family foundation."
According to national statistics, the children of incarcerated parents are at least 2.5 times more likely to be incarcerated themselves. The statistics also reveal that children of incarcerated parents tend to have more arrests and more problems with behavior, relationships, school and substance abuse.
"We need to stop this cycle of crime and to do that, we have to expand existing programming to address at-risk youth," Bowler said.
Statistics from 2009 at the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction indicate that 1,059 individuals were booked at the facility and of that number, 833 of the incarcerated men and women each had an average of two children.
Bowler said there is already a full range of programs at the jail that address the significant issues that led to an individual's incarceration, including drug and alcohol addiction, or a lack of education or vocational training.
"But all too often, these offenders are also parents of little kids, and it is their children who are the most vulnerable victims of their crimes," he continued. "I want to expand on existing programming to include courses on how to be better parents. I want offenders to see a much bigger picture — that their obligation to the community must expand beyond improving themselves and also include providing a better life for their children."
The second emphasis of the expanded programming would be on the children of offenders by collaborating with social service, mental health and local recreational agencies to help fill the gaps in their lives while a parent is incarcerated.
"All kids need to be involved in good activities that help them gain confidence and find positive role models. When a parent is in jail, kids desperately need the involvement of other adults in their lives," Bowler said. "There are so many youth and recreational agencies in our community that can have a lasting impact on a child's life if we make a better effort to connect the kids of incarcerated offenders with the leaders of these agencies."
Bowler and his wife, Dayle, are the parents of four children.
|Tags: Bowler, program|
Bosley Calls for End of 'Pay to Play'
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Daniel E. Bosley, candidate for Berkshire County sheriff is refusing to accept campaign donations from employees at the Berkshire County House of Corrections (BCHOC) and asked his opponent to take a similar pledge and return any such donations.
“For too long, I have witnessed people donating to a candidate because they are afraid they will lose their job if they don’t write a check. People should be hired and promoted based on their ability, performance and experience; not on the size of their political contribution. The next sheriff will have to make a lot of decisions regarding personnel upon entering office. There should be no question that these decisions are made on merit, not campaign checks,“ the candidate said in a statement.
Bosley stressed that it is important for the public and employees to have confidence that the system works based on merit.
“This issue came up in a debate last week at MCLA. My opponent said that personnel issues shouldn’t be made based on contributions. If that is true, then neither of us should be accepting contributions from potential employees. I have never taken a contribution from one of my employees. It’s just not a good practice, policy, and doesn’t inspire public confidence," he said.
|Tags: Bosley, campaign contributions|
Debates Slated for Sheriff, 2nd Berkshire Candidates
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College, in collaboration with the Pittsfield Gazette and Pittsfield Community Television, will host the following debates Monday evening, Aug. 30, in K-111 on BCC's main campus. Seating is first-come, first-served and voters are invited to attend one or all three debates
The first event will begin at 6 p.m. with a debate between Democratic candidates Paul W. Mark, Noreen P. Suriner and Thomas S. Szczepaniak, who are vying for the nomination for representative for the 2nd Berkshire District.
Michael F. Case and Rosanne M. Frieri, the Republican candidates for the 2nd Berkshire District, will begin their debate at 7.
Jenn Smith, reporter for The Berkshire Eagle, will moderate both debates.
Daniel E. Bosley and Thomas N. Bowler, who are running to replace retiring Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, will debate at 8 p.m. Clarence Fanto, freelance newspaper and radio journalist, will moderate this debate.
The debates will be telecast live on CityLink, the government channel of PCTV, and through streaming at www.pittsfieldtv.org. The event will also be rebroadcast on PCTV several times prior to the Sept. 14 primary elections.
|Tags: PCTV, Bowler, Bosley, Frieri, Szczepaniak, Mark, Suriner, Case|