Scranton, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) Scranton District Parole Office today announced an innovative program that leverages public and private resources to better serve reentrants in the Lackawanna County area. State Transition Reentry Incentive Validating Endeavors (STRIVE) is a partnership to assist reentrants in making a successful transition back into the community following incarceration.
STRIVE is modeled after the federal Court Assisted Re-Entry (CARE) program developed in 2015 and made possible locally thanks in part to the efforts of Attorney Albert R. Murray Jr. and retired Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie. STRIVE will offer reentrants coordinated support in several areas including education, from Northampton Community College (NCC); behavioral health, from Pyramid Healthcare, Inc.; and financial literacy, from ESSA Bank & Trust.
"The period following incarceration can be daunting for reentrants, particularly if they lack support," said Kelly Evans, Deputy Secretary for Reentry at the PA DOC. "Reentrants are our friends, neighbors, and coworkers. By helping put them on a path to success, the STRIVE partners are not only reducing the risk of recidivism, but also strengthening local communities."
NCC serves more the 34,000 area students in a four-county region each year, offering associates degrees, certificates, and diplomas in over 100 programs. As part of STRIVE, NCC will support reentrants with job training, employment counseling, vocational training, financial assistance when possible, and referral to other community colleges throughout the service area when appropriate.
Pyramid Healthcare, Inc. is a leading provider of behavioral healthcare services, providing a full continuum of adult and adolescent behavioral healthcare services including residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, outpatient substance abuse and mental health services and medication assistance treatments. Pyramid will complete a Level of Care Assessment for STRIVE participants and provide recommendations and referral information.
ESSA provides commercial and retail banking, financial, and investment services in eastern Pennsylvania. The bank operates 21 community offices throughout the Greater Pocono, Lehigh Valley, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and suburban Philadelphia markets in Pennsylvania. ESSA has established financial literacy and counseling services for qualified STRIVE participants, as well as a STRIVE loan program. Qualified participants are eligible for loans for up to $15,000 for exclusive use toward housing, education/training, or transportation.
Participation in the STRIVE program will also provide reentrants with opportunities for involvement with several local community service agencies that will aid in their successful reintegration in the community.
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