The Middlesex, Massachusetts, Sheriff’s Office opened a new jail unit specifically for young adults this month. Established in partnership with the local nonprofit UTEC and the Vera Institute of Justice, the specialized unit—called People Achieving Change Together (PACT)—seeks to reduce recidivism by offering tailored programming to young people between the ages of 18 and 24 at the Middlesex Jail and House of Correction.
A Lowell-based organization that focuses on reentry, UTEC has received Second Chance Act mentoring and Latino youth grants to support its work with young adults both in correctional facilities and transitioning home to their communities. UTEC helped design the new unit after years of collaboration with the Middlesex Jail and House of Correction.
The rollout of PACT follows the CSG Justice Center’s 2016 analysis of the criminal justice system in Massachusetts, which found that 18- to 24-year-olds released from state Houses of Correction (HOCs) and Department of Correction (DOC) facilities in 2011 had the highest recidivism rate of any age group. Seventy-six percent of 18- to 24-year-olds released from HOCs in 2011 were rearraigned within three years of release.
Read more about one of UTEC’s participants and see the CSG Justice Center’s Dos and Don’ts for Reducing Recidivism among Young Adults in the Justice System.
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