Ga. sheriff’s office receives $50K grant for recidivism reduction software

The department joins 12 other jurisdictions chosen to benefit from a $148M national initiative aimed at criminal justice reform

By Corrections1 Staff

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office will receive a $50,000 grant from the The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to help reduce recidivism and lower incarceration rates, GovTech reported.

As one of 12 agencies chosen to join the foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, the sheriff’s office will have access to resources such as Pokket, a software from startup Acivilate to help streamline communication between jurisdictions and newly released offenders. 

“Frequently officers say, ‘Well you know, I had to lock him up because he’d just done too many things wrong, but he wasn’t trying to do the wrong thing. He just wasn’t doing the right thing,’” Acivilate CEO Louise Wasilewski told GovTech. “And so Pokket helps that individual … do the right things.”

Pokket is designed to help parole officers or caseworkers gather information about the various parts of an inmate’s re-entry. It allows officials to communicate with other agencies, while also providing former inmates a tool with which to track their goals and progress. 

By simplifying communication and connecting ex-offenders to community programs and re-entry resources, officials hope Pokket will keep people out of jail and help them better acclimate to life outside a cell.

“Pokket will reduce the amount of time our staff spends coordinating those resources, making the program more effective in meeting its goal of reducing recidivism in our county,” said Sheriff Butch Conway.

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