Westchester County Jail receives national recognition

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VALHALLA -

The Westchester County Jail has received national recognition for one of its programs.

The jail's Community Oriented Re-Entry Program, also known as CORE, won the "Program of the Year" award for inmate mental health services. 

County Executive Rob Astorino was on hand Friday at the jail in Valhalla to commend the staff and participants. The Westchester County Jail topped 500 jails and prisons nationwide for the honor.

Some inmates told News 12 that the program helped turn their lives around. 

"When I came here, I was like a diamond in the rough. Now I'm learning how to be refined, how to be humble, and come back into society's graces," says CORE participant Daquan James.

CORE coordinator Ron Hood says the key to the program is treating inmates like human beings, instead of property of the state. 

Officials at the jail say the benefits of the program have manifested in fewer incidents inside the jail, such as fights and assaults on staff, and reduced recidivism on the outside of the jail's walls.

Go HERE for extended footage from Friday's announcement.

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