Erie County Legislature Calls for “Former Detainee to Employee” Program Plan

Initiative will help former detainees to readapt to regular life and have access to jobs and housing

pictured above Chairwoman April Baskin and Legislator Howard Johnson

The Erie County Legislature proclaimed April 2022 as Second Chance Month in Erie County.  

Chairwoman April Baskin and Legislator Howard Johnson presented the proclamation to the Erie County Corrections Specialist Advisory Board, which is currently working on a “Former Detainee to Employee” program to implement in the Erie County Jail system.

The purpose of the program is to  support people  who are being   released from incarceration and make sure they are readapting to regular life  and have access to jobs and housing.

“As someone who is working with Peaceprints and recently started a new job, I know how important employment is for former detainees,” said Eddie Henley. “I want to thank the Erie County Legislature for marking April 2022 as Second Chance month, and for asking the ECCSAB to begin to lay the groundwork for a detainee to jobs program.”

“Local employers have a serious need to fill jobs,” said Peter Herman, the co-founder of Tipico Coffee. “I have seen this first-hand in our company. I would welcome any attempt to connect employers with individuals who are willing and interested in working. A jobs to detainee program can play an important role in filling jobs and stimulating our local economy.”

“As the lead sponsor on the resolution for creating the Erie County Corrections Services Ad-visory Board, I am so proud of the work they have accomplished in just a few short years for the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated peoples of Erie County.” said Chairwoman Baskin.  “I am also proud that the ECCSAB has accepted my challenge to create an action plan and implement an Erie County Small Business Workforce Support via Former Detainee Action Plan. A 2011 study of former detainees found that employment cut recidivism in half and was the single most important factor in decreasing recidivism, and with Erie County’s 4.3% unemployment rate, we can clearly see there is a need for jobs.”

“Making sure there is a way for those previously incarcerated to reenter society is very im-portant for the whole community.  The Majority Caucus has prioritized criminal justice reform and this latest policy proposal is the next logical step.” Legislator Johnson said.  We have the opportunity to create a safer and more equitable community, and to boost our region’s   economic recovery by addressing unemployment among former detainees.”

“As Chair of the Erie County Corrections Specialist Advisory Board, I am proud to see Second Chance Month recognized across Erie County.  The other board members and I are excited to work on the Former Detainee to Employee program and begin a pilot program in the coming months.  These are big steps in the right direction for those currently and formerly incarcerated.” said Cindi McEachon.

“I am pleased that we have the full support of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, and local businesses, this will be the key in making this program a success. I hope more local businesses will open their doors to the formerly incarcerated and give them that Second Chance that they need.” Chairwoman Baskin said