Modified: July 19, 2019 10:36am
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined today by Erie County Legislature Chair April N.M. Baskin (2nd District), Legislators Howard Johnson (1st District) and Timothy Meyers (7th District), Erie County Commissioner of Mental Health Michael Ranney, and community members at the Edward A. Rath county office building in downtown Buffalo as he signed a new Local Law establishing an Erie County Corrections Specialist Advisory Board (“ECCSAB”) for the Erie County Jail Management Division. The Advisory Board is intended to focus on restorative justice and serve as a bridge between the community, the county Department of Mental Health, and the Jail Management Division, which administers the Erie County Holding Center and the Erie County Correctional Facility.
‘This new law lays the groundwork for better treatment and outcomes in the Jail Management Division. It is imperative that we work together to build a stronger and more responsive system, one that responsibly serves individuals in contact with the jail system and also utilizes information, perspectives and insights from the community to achieve better results,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “I commend Legislature Chair Baskin for her work in getting this accomplished along with the support of Legislators Johnson and Meyers. This is a positive step forward that will lead to a stronger community.”
“Today’s ceremony caps years of work from community leaders,” said Legislature Chair April Baskin. “When I took office in 2018, I made public safety and criminal justice reform one of my top priorities. I worked closely with law enforcement professionals, attorneys and advocates to develop the legislation that established the ECCSAB. Their hard work and dedication made this day possible, and I look forward to working with my partners in government and the community to recruit members. The ECCSAB will help to ensure that Erie County’s jail facilities are operated professionally and effectively.”
The Corrections Specialist Advisory Board was created to replace the non-functioning Community Corrections Advisory Board (“CCAB”) with a robust, inclusive advisory board comprised of current and/or retired professionals who have expertise in criminal justice, public safety, restorative justice and reducing recidivism and will more effectively serve the people of Erie County. The ECCSAB will bring these leaders together to help monitor and improve the county’s correctional facilities, improve the lives of those who have left correctional facilities, reduce recidivism and help with re-entry to society, and work on ways to improve internal operations and procedures.
“The Erie County Department of Mental Health has an extensive history of working with the Sheriff’s Office and as a former member of the CCAB I look forward to our office assisting in the establishment and implementation of the Erie County Corrections Specialist Advisory Board,” said Michael Ranney, Erie County Commissioner of Mental Health.
“Our Forensic Mental Health Service is committed to assisting individuals with mental illness in the criminal justice system and has developed progressive and innovative programming tailored to address specific needs in order to permit stability from serious mental illness, attention to co-occurring mental health and substance use concerns, coordinated approaches to crisis intervention, as well as targeted energy surrounding discharge planning, re-entry efforts, and guidance for those within the Erie County Correctional System to promote success in the community,” said Ronald Schoelerman, Director of Intensive Adult Mental Health Services.
The Local Law was sponsored by Legislature Chair Baskin (2nd District) along with Legislators Howard Johnson (1st District) and Timothy Meyers (7th District).
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