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Rockland Inmate Re-entry Program Works to Give Back to Community - LoHud

HAVERSTRAW — Don Daniel watched this week as the service project he and others worked on through a program for former inmates became a part of the community.

Daniel, 27, of Spring Valley, and more than a dozen others who were part of the Rockland County re-entry program, which assists people re-entering the community from incarceration, designed and built a new sign for the Catholic Charities Community Services of Rockland. The sign was the first project of a new community service initiative for the re-entry program.

"I wanted to do something right for my community — for Rockland," said Daniel, who was at the sign's unveiling on Wednesday at the Catholic charity in Haverstraw.

The re-entry program is run by the Rockland County Re-Entry Task Force, and implemented by the Rockland Independent Living Center. The task force is one of 19 funded through the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, and is co-chaired by Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe and Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Bureau Chief Paul Pacheco.

The sign was a much-welcomed gift, said Martha Robles, executive director of the Catholic charity.

“It’s beautiful. I was expecting the traditional metal sign, but this is so creative. This is a dream come true that is non-traditional,” said Robles about the sign, which will grace the front lawn of the not-for-profit social service agency and an affiliate of the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York.

The wooden sign — featuring the name of the nonprofit and a silhouette of the county — was the start of the task force’s community project initiative, said Dana Krengel, coordinator for the county’s re-entry task force. The re-entry program, which began in 2013, works with about 110 people a year.

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