Corrections with compassion — that was the theme of last night’s Grand Opening Service League Fundraiser at the new Maple Street Correctional Center.

Held in partnership with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, the event raised approximately $12,000 to help the nonprofit Service League continue its mission of “protecting our community by rebuilding lives” through in-custody programs and services inside the County’s correctional facilities.

For more than 50 years, the Service League has delivered compassion and hope for thousands of inmates and their families. The new facility gives the Service League expanded and better configured space in an energy efficient building to help both men and women equally after occupancy begins March 19.

“San Mateo County’s new jail will not only foster an atmosphere of growth and change for incarcerated women and men, it will succinctly allow restoration of their dignity and a renewed purpose,” said Karen Francone, executive director of Service League. “Teaching someone to re-route negative patterns and replace those with useful and positive ones, through evidence-based programming and practices, will ultimately reduce recidivism and return productive members back to the community.”

In the existing women’s jail, overcrowding and rundown conditions are an issue. Laundry folding and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, for example, sometimes share the same table at the same time, providing very little space and privacy for women to speak freely. Programs and religious services are often canceled or rescheduled when space is needed for other purposes.

For male inmates, the new jail also means additional  programming opportunities like domestic violence and anger management counseling, education and training that provides the incarerated a chance for successful reentry into the community.

The Service League’s programs and services include:

·   Alcoholics Anonymous

·   AIDS Education

·   Anger Management/Parenting

·   Domestic Violence Counseling

·         CHOICES (a therapeutic community approach to substance abuse intervention based on the Delancey Street model)

·         Mediation

·         GED Tutoring

·         Job Search Workshop

·         Narcotics Anonymous

·         Project READ: (Basic English literacy)

·         Substance Abuse Information and Pre-release screening: (access to community substance abuse programs for pre-release screening for post-release entry into these programs)

To learn more about Maple Street Correctional Center, visit the County’s Newsroom: http://bit.ly/1TPsIQv.