To the editor:
I want to thank Superintendent Joe Furnari, Deputy Frank Garrison and correctional officers Brian Farese and Ryan Devaney from the Essex County Corrections Department for helping us move our office recently.
The Essex County sheriff’s office offers community service opportunities for residents who reside at the Essex County Correctional Alternative Center in Lawrence, an innovative re-entry program called The Farm. Qualified inmates from Middleton Correctional Facility are moved here to prepare for the “outside” by living in a more open environment. These inmates also enjoy better housing, education and even work opportunities. In addition to moving, inmates can provide many services to nonprofits, such as painting, landscaping and maintenance. The four residents of The Farm who helped us move worked tirelessly all day and always remained respectful, friendly and careful.
After meeting these men and seeing their work ethic and hearing some of their stories, I can’t thank the sheriff’s office enough, not so much for helping us move, but for providing a program such as this for these young men, many of whom are first offenders who made a mistake and now have the opportunity for a second chance. As a taxpayers and community members, the staff and students at Salem CyberSpace, say thank you.