(Buffalo, N.Y.) - Senator Chris Jacobs (60th SD) and Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (59th SD) joined representatives of the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York to announce nearly $75,000 in state funding to support the organization’s First Time/Last Time Program. The program provides an alternative to incarceration for youths aged 16 to 21 across Western New York.
“The First Time/Last Time program provides an alternative to incarceration for young people and helps them to become productive members of society,” said Senator Gallivan, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction. “Through counseling, education and other referral services, this program works with law enforcement and the judicial system to help ensure that first time offenders don’t offend again.”
“I am extremely pleased to partner with Senator Gallivan to provide funding for the First Time/Last Time program and I want to commend the NFJC for the outstanding job they do in reducing recidivism rates for young people in our community,” said Senator Jacobs. “The personalized approach they take with each participant contributes to their 90% success rate, and it is important that we continue to support such a valuable asset for our court system and youthful offenders.”
"We are so proud and appreciative of the tremendous continued support from Senator Patrick Gallivan and Senator Chris Jacobs for the First Time/Last Time Program,” said Lana Benatovich, President of NFJC. “The Senators have been strong advocates for this effective and successful NFJC program for many years. Their belief in the program's mission and their respect for Susan Croglio, Program Director and the committed counselors remain steadfast. This 39 year-old alternative to incarceration program has made a significant difference in the lives of hundreds of young men and women, thanks to the continued efforts of these great Western New York leaders."
Senator Gallivan and Senator Jacobs secured a total of $74,650 in funding through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services to support the First Time/Last Time initiative.
First Time/Last Time services include counseling for individuals and families, assistance with educational and vocational programs, shelter and referrals to drug and alcohol treatment programs.