SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Governor Patrick was in Western Massachusetts Tuesday to see how people are adjusting to society after spending time in jail.
The Governor met with Sheriff Michael Ashe to tour the Hampden County After Incarceration Support Systems program on State Street in Springfield.
The Sheriff says it's about building safer communities through effective offender reentry, and added it's important the governor see what they're doing and how successful it is so it can be implemented in other parts of the state.
The center assesses individuals' specific needs, and then designs a personalized program around their needs.
According to center leaders, 90% of the offenders in Hampden County abuse drugs and alcohol, and 40% are under the age of 30. They also say that 55% percent have no positive family support.
Maritza Morales of Springfield told 22News that the program changed her life.
"Being able to gain education and support, just whatever opportunities that I needed to have that support, to face my fears, make those changes and maintain," Morales said.
Patrick not only toured the center, but also learned how expensive it is to operate. Sheriff Ashe says they've had to redistribute their staff and resources to make ends meet.