Pike coalition forms to keep former inmates out of jail
Toward a safer community: Commissioner Matt Osterberg says the plan is about 'breaking the vicious cycle of crime and repeated incarceration'


Pictured at the kickoff meeting of the Pike County Reentry Coalition are, from left: Hampton Morgan, Pike County Correctional Facility Volunteer of the Year 2018; consultant Melanie G. Snyder; Pike County Commissioner, Steve Guccini; and Pike County Correctional Facility Warden, Craig Lowe (Photo provided)

MILFORD — The Pike County Commissioners are establishing a re-entry coalition to reduce recidivism among inmates at the Pike County Correctional Facility.
The coalition will make sure a follow-up plan is in place that creates opportunities for former offenders to move forward in life.
A kickoff meeting of the coalition was held on Feb. 19 at the Pike County Training Center in Lords Valley. A series of four more meetings will be held from now through May to develop a strategic plan and set the stage for a collaborative approach to re-entry.
The project is supported by a $15,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
“Coalitions such as this are working all across Pennsylvania to make our communities safer by helping offenders to reenter society as productive individuals,” said Commissioner Steve Guccini. “The coalition will support the great work currently happening at the Pike County Correctional Facility.”
The recidivism rate in Pike County is 19 percent as compared to 76 percent nationally, according to Craig Lowe, warden of the correctional facility.
“Our team is dedicated to making Pike County safer for everyone,” said Lowe. “We welcome this opportunity to strengthen our partnerships, which help to reintegrate offenders into society.”
Consultant Melanie G. Snyder has been hired to guide the newly forming coalition. She provides strategic planning and facilitation services to similar entities in other regions and states.
“Melanie brings a proven track record of success on similar processes in other Pennsylvania counties,” said Matt Osterberg, commissioners' chair. “This process is about reintegrating returning citizens by breaking the vicious cycle of crime and repeated incarceration.”
Snyder is the author of "Grace Goes to Prison: An Inspiring Story of Hope and Humanity" (Brethren Press, 2009). She is a certified instructor for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Healing Communities model, a National Institute of Corrections certified Offender Workforce Development Specialist, and a Restorative Justice Mediator.
The next meeting of the Reentry Coalition will be held on Tuesday, March 26, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Pike County Training Center.
For more information, call the ommissioners at 570-296-7613.