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NYS Grant Helps Extend Program @ Jamesville to Help Inmates Break Criminal Habits, Reduce Recidivism

Chris Bolt/WAER News

More inmates in Jamesville prison will be getting help to try and keep them from going back to prison once they finish their sentences, thanks to a state grant.  The Center for Community Alternatives runs “Thinking for a Change.”

Re-Integration Director Ron Boxx said they work with inmates on the patterns that led to crime.

“They talk about what choices they have made that have led them to be incarcerated. They’re able to, as a group, decide kind of what led to those choices and then identify what they can do differently moving forward to not face those same consequences,” said Boxx.


The State Department of Criminal Justice Services gave CCA a grant of $170,000 to continue and expand the program at Jamesville. Deputy Commissioner Mike Greene said they’re trying to find ways to cut down on ex-inmates being arrested for new crimes.

“We looked at what could we do in a cost-effective way to try and reduce those recidivism rates and make the state safer,” said Greene. “The cognate behavioral interventions are relatively low cost and proven to be very effective in helping change behavior to inmates who are traditionally very high risk of reoffending.”

CCA’s Ron Boxx said it can be tough to get out of routines that will put former inmates in bad situations once they come out.

“You know we all have different habits and breaking a habit takes a while and requires a lot of support. Being able to do that while someone is incarcerated, before they return to their home environments where they’re going to face all of those same situations… have trial and error through what they will do differently next time,” said Boxx.

He said the grant expands how many inmates they can work with.  It also goes along with programs for job skills and child care that can help an ex-inmate find and keep employment.  Boxx said the grant supports the program for three years.


  • Cayuga County – Cayuga Counseling Services, $63,450
  • Livingston County – Catholic Charities of Livingston County, $135,700
  • Oneida County - Oneida Workforce Development, $146,700
  • Oswego County – Oswego County Probation Department, $27,000
  • Monroe County – Volunteers of America of Upstate New York, $217,730
Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.