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  • By Gina T Reilly

Court targets 50-percent drop in recidivism

The Judiciary of Guam has formally established the Guam Adult Reentry Court Program, with a goal to cut the rate of recidivism in half.

Created through Public Law 34-81, the newest treatment court of the Superior Court of Guam has convened with nine post-release participants.

“The Judiciary will help reduce recidivism in our criminal justice system by 50 percent by the year 2023,” said Chief Justice Katherine A. Maraman.

“We are just one of many stakeholders focused on the planning and coordination of services to address the needs of recently released prisoners from the Guam Department of Corrections.”

The target population for this program is defined as at least 75 males and females 18 years of age and older who are assessed through a validated assessment tool as medium to high risk. The baseline recidivism rate based on the target population is 55%.

“We know that approximately half of Guam’s recidivists are re-incarcerated due to drugs,” said Presiding Judge Alberto C. Lamorena III. “Offenders transitioning back into the community need careful pre-release assessment and connection to community treatment and/or aftercare treatment to reduce their risk to re-offend.”

Led by the Judiciary, community partners comprised of government and community-based organizations have developed a strategic plan to ensure comprehensive, individualized service delivery.

Pre-release services include education, job skills training and treatment for substance abuse. Post-release services include counseling services, educational and job training programs and housing and public assistance to qualified participants.

“Quality partnerships allow our criminal justice agencies to present a united front to enhance our reentry efforts,” said Presiding Judge Lamorena.

“When these folks walk out of prison they need to see someone familiar to them-the Guam Reentry Court Program will be that someone-to shine a light and give guidance to those reentry participants as they reintegrate their lives back into our island community,” he added.


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