On January 23, the Community Reentry for Women (CREW) program celebrated the graduation of its 62nd class of women at the Suffolk County House of Correction. Nine women completed the eight-week program, which was led by Claire Daley and Heather Hayes of Project Place and focused on life skills and job readiness training. The partnership between the Sheriff’s Department and Project Place began 13 years ago as a way to provide wraparound reentry services for women at the House of Correction. At the ceremony, one of the graduates shared the following speech:
“Being in jail can make us feel like we will never be anything more than just inmates, but after taking the CREW program, I know that there is a place for me after jail. This program encourages us all to try. No matter our past, no matter our mistakes, if we don’t try, how will we ever know what’s possible.
“CREW gives us all a sense of hope and reminds us that we are still people with bright futures. Claire and Heather’s support in and out of the class makes it much more easy for me to relax and begin to put my best foot forward. I’m still a bit fearful of the unknown, but with the help of CREW and their resources, I know that I do not have to face it alone.
“I’m proud to say this program is a part of my life along with the people in it, no matter the places I have been that led me in their direction. My new direction is toward the future, and CREW will help me get there.”