Dutchess County Comptroller Robin Lois Issues Audit on Project MORE
Alternatives to Incarceration Prove to be a Good Investment for Dutchess County Taxpayers
Dutchess County Comptroller Robin Lois today issued an audit of Project Model Offender Reintegration Experience, Inc. – more commonly known as Project MORE. Based in New Haven, Connecticut, Project MORE is a not-for-profit corporation which contracts with Dutchess County to provide criminal justice reform and alternatives to incarceration programming. Project MORE has worked with the Department of Probation and Community Corrections as well as the Dutchess County Sheriff ’s Office Corrections Division for over a decade, growing and adjusting its programming based on the County’s needs and industry evidence-based data.
“The programs offered by Project MORE are critical to assisting those in the criminal justice system gain the confidence and skills needed to re-enter the community, improve their lives, and decrease the risk of recidivism,” said Dutchess County Comptroller Robin Lois. “We have seen a high rate of success for individuals in most of the programs administered within the County. The cost savings realized by these diversionary programs compared to the cost of incarceration, coupled with the social benefits of providing clients with the services they need, prove to be a good investment for the County.”
Project MORE provides several community correctional services for Dutchess County: the Community Transition Center, the Transitional Housing Program, and an in-jail and post release program called Re-Entry Stabilization Transition And Reintegration Track, or RESTART. These three contracts with the County totaled $2.3 million in 2017 and over $2.4 million in 2018. The Transition Center and Transitional Housing are funded by appropriations through the Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections, and RESTART is funded by appropriations through the Dutchess County Jail.
Project MORE also oversees a Women’s Reporting Center in Poughkeepsie that serves Dutchess County women in the criminal justice system. This program is fully funded by New York State; the County provides no financial assistance in the administration of this program. This new program is currently at full capacity.
“Dutchess County should continue to invest in these valuable, life-changing alternatives to incarceration,” added Comptroller Lois. “The County should additionally and specifically monitor the Women’s Center to determine if it should begin to invest in expanding this successful program,”