MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County Freeholder and Republican candidate for Surrogate, Heather Darling, attended the STAR (Successful Transition and Re-entry) simulation, where she addressed the audience and then took part in the simulation. The STAR program, administered by the Morris County Sheriff’s office, is designed to get newly released prisoners on a path to success, so they are less like likely to reoffend.
In her remarks, Darling thanked Sheriff Gannon and others for the work they did to make the program a success and confirmed the Freeholders commitment and support of the STAR program moving forward.
Following her remarks, Darling participated in the simulation, where she took the identity of someone who had recently served several years in prison for internet crime, had no money to their name and whose only two sources of immediate funds were to pawn a camera in their possession or sell their blood, a various array of fines to pay and other bounds that most of us do not live within.
“Attending the STAR program was an eye-opening experience, where I had the opportunity to understand the issues facing prisoner re-entry in a simulated first hand situation. While we must continue to punish those who commit crimes and endanger the public, it is also imperative to allow for rehabilitation and ensure programs are in place to lower the recidivism rate, giving those who have committed crimes for which they have paid the price a second chance at a productive life.”