Democratic Norfolk County Sheriff Candidate Patrick McDermott Announces Plan to Increase Education Opportunities in Effort to Combat Recidivism

QUINCY – Patrick McDermott, Democratic candidate for Norfolk County Sheriff, announced his plan today to increase partnerships with non-profits, unions, trade schools, and community colleges to provide vocational and skills-based education to inmates in an effort to increase successful reentry and reduce recidivism.

“We need to stop the revolving door of recidivism that has taken hold.  We need to get and keep offenders the right path so that they can break the cycle, and that starts with providing educational opportunities that give them the necessary skills to seek a good paying job when they leave custody,” Patrick McDermott said. “The Sheriff needs to do more than simply manage inmates while they are in the House of Corrections – the Sheriff has a responsibility to ensure that residents and inmates have the resources they need to succeed outside of the jail.  Part of my plan to reduce recidivism is to focus on working with community organizations, labor unions and educational institutions to create opportunities for good paying jobs that provide stability and hope and keep people out of trouble.”

Research has shown that unemployment and underemployment lead to a number of social problems. A 1989 study by Emilie Andersen Allen and Darrell J. Steffensmeier, for example, found that higher employment rates were associated with lower arrest rates, but more importantly, the higher the quality of employment (pay rates and amount of available hours) the lower the rates of arrest. Other researchers have found similar effects, including a 2011 study by David S. Pedulla and Katherine S. Newman, which found that underemployment negatively impacted family and community strength as well.

Maximizing his strong community ties throughout Norfolk County, Patrick McDermott will create a more robust and effective educational and skills training program, allowing inmates to look for jobs that will help provide for them and their families when their sentence is complete.

McDermott, who has been endorsed for Sheriff by 17 labor unions, will work with the unions to bring their educational and skills training programs into the Norfolk County Sheriff’s office.

For the past 18 years, Patrick McDermott has served the 28 cities and towns of Norfolk County as the Register of Probate, where he has worked to improve services and efficiency in the Probate and Family Court. At the same time, he has worked with community organizations to increase education and awareness, help victims of domestic violence, and provide new avenues for the residents of Norfolk County to engage with the Norfolk County Family and Probate Court.

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