first_img By: J.J. Abbott, Deputy Press Secretary BLOG: How DOC is Helping Inmates with Mental Illness Transition Home (Round-up) Criminal Justice Reform,  Round-Up,  The Blog Yesterday, Department of Corrections officials highlighted a state-run, first-of-its-kind unit at the Wernersville Community Corrections Center that helps individuals with mental illness transition home following incarceration. At the media event, reporters were given a tour of the 32-bed unit and interviewed employees and center residents.“We are proud of our efforts to address the behavioral health needs of those who are incarcerated in Pennsylvania,” said Corrections Secretary John Wetzel. “With fully one-quarter of all of those entering prisons in Pennsylvania diagnosed with mental illness and nine percent of those struggling with serious mental illness, it is imperative that the department develop the best possible programming to help them succeed when they return to the community. We anticipate that Pathways Transitional Wellness Center will become a model facility for other states.”Take a look at the additional coverage below: May 18, 2016 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Philadelphia Inquirer: Helping mentally ill inmates find their way home“When Henry Hamm, a 61-year-old Lancaster man who has schizophrenia, finished serving time for writing a bad check, he was sent to a new program designed to help offenders with serious mental illnesses rejoin the outside world. He joined Pathways Transitional Wellness Center, which connects mentally ill parolees to social and medical services, housing, and jobs before they try to make it on their own. Three months later, he’s a fan of the nine-month-old Department of Corrections program, which is housed in a boxy, utilitarian building on the grounds of Wernersville State Hospital, about nine miles southwest of Reading.”Allentown Morning Call: State touts reentry program for seriously mentally ill inmates“As a state prison inmate with serious mental illness, 61-year-old Henry Hamm represents one of the biggest challenges that Pennsylvania’s corrections system faces. Hamm, who is serving a 2- to 4-year sentence in Lancaster County for felony theft, is diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Too often, the extra hurdles he faces would make his time as a prisoner a difficult one, and one in which he risked returning to the streets no better able to cope with his problems than when he left. Enter a first-of-its-kind program at a halfway house run by the Department of Corrections on the campus of Wernersville State Hospital, roughly 10 miles west of Reading.”Reading Eagle: State corrections secretary celebrates success at Wernersville center“Mentally ill Americans are disproportionately more likely to be arrested, incarcerated and commit another crime once released. This problem extends to the state level. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said about 27 percent of all inmates in the system have a mental illness and about 9 percent of those are battling severe disorders. So to address the needs of this unique population the department launched a new program solely dedicated to helping those offenders return to the community after they have served their time.”Follow the Department of Corrections on Twitter @CorrectionsPA and on Facebook. Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolflast_img read more


first_imgI was called misinformed, mistaken and mislead when I had a very strong and vociferous difference of opinion with the Steelers concerning the future employment of Mendenhall and Sweed. To the best of my recollection; Mendenhall was passed over in the first round of the same draft by the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys. It is also known that for quite some time Ben Roethlisberger had been pining for a six foot four plus size wide-out along the size of ex-Steelers and current NY Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress who was his favorite guy to throw the “fade” to anywhere on the field but especially when the black and gold reached the ‘red zone’.Why oh why would any team of the Steelers tradition draft a running back with far less than a Heisman Trophy mention especially when they had a running back (Willie Parker) who had proven that if you gave him a crack, he would give you a mile. Pittsburgh had also just lost offensive guard Alan Faneca to free agency and had some serious O-line discrepancies to address. My suggested draft sequence for the Steelers for the 2008 draft was; offensive line, first round, defensive line, second round, offensive line, third round. Ladies and gents please press your fast forward button and stop at the year 2011, buck, buck, buck, buck, bucka. The chickens have come home to roost.The Steelers lost to the Houston Texans 17-10. The defense gave up 17 points on the road to a very good Houston team, 17 lousy points. Big Ben seems to hate “check downs” and short passes. Is he deliberately not calling the alternate plays just so that he may continue on the “road to glory?” Or is he leading the offense down the “road to gory?” Roethlisberger continues in many failed attempts to go “deep” and while doing so is slowly drowning the offense in the shallow water of his enormous ego. Does he have other play calling options and if so is he ignoring them? Something tells me that there is trouble in the Steelers camp and if there isn’t it should be. Was the team’’ plane ride back to Pittsburgh filled with turbulence that originated from sources beside the aircraft?Head coach Mike Tomlin should have shouted so loud and sprayed saliva so wide that Bruce Arians and Roethlisberger should have been victims of ruptured ear drums and the “Cowher syndrome.” These are the risks of dealing with a pissed off head coach that occasionally require players and subordinate coaches to be on the receiving end of the headmaster’s wrath requiring them to wear hearing aids and gauze face masks.Roethlisberger reminds me of an old story that my grandfather told me when I thought I was being “slick.” Once a farmer heard a ruckus in the chicken coop. He arrived at the chicken coop. switched on the light in the henhouse and heard a faint sound, he asked a question. He said, “hey is there anybody in here?” Nothing but silence. Then he heard the fox saying in a soft voice, “ain’t nobody in here but us chickens.” The farmer looked around, spotted the fox, walked up to the fox, put his shotgun in his mouth and said, “you ain’t no chicken.” The fox replied, “yes I am chicken, that shotgun got me scared as heck.”The moral of the story is that Roethlisberger has raided the Steelers henhouse of millions, crowing like a rooster but really being a fox. I know, I know, this week and beyond everyone will be gushing on how courageous Big Ben is for taking a licking and keeping on ticking but the majority of the time the beating may be self inflicted. Big Ben is playing head games with the media and the public.There is nothing courageous about sitting in the pocket for 3-4 seconds trying to complete a 25 yard or longer pass when you can complete a 10-15 yard pass in 1 ½ -3 seconds. There is no glory in short passes, but the chains keep on moving. When Roethlisberger gets sacked or throws a pick, the yellow finger pointing is directed at the offensive line. If he would get rid of the ball in a timely fashion, he could have O-lineman from the peewee leagues and still complete a significant percentage of his pass attempts if he would just take what the defense gives him.Time and time and time again, I have said that there is some skullduggery jumping off in the Steelers camp but until someone speaks out, it will be business as usual.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@new­pitts­burghcourier.com) I said it once and I am going to say it again. Each draft pick in the NFL is vital. It might not appear so from the outset but two or three years later, if GM’s and player personnel directors are not careful; “the chickens may or may not come home to roost.” Ex-Steelers wide receiver Limas Sweed was drafted by the Steelers in the second round of the 2008 draft, right after Pittsburgh signed the “great” running back Rashard Mendenhall in the first round.last_img read more


first_imgFacebook69Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Harlequin Productions Harlequin Productions own comedy troupe, Something Wicked, will be just one of the acts during the 2nd Annual South Sound Improv Comedy Festival.Harlequin Productions is gearing up to present The 2nd Annual South Sound Improv Comedy Festival April 3rd and 4th at 8:00 p.m. at the State Theater in downtown Olympia. This festival will feature some of the most acclaimed improv troupes from the Olympia area and the Puget Sound region.Troupes set to perform include Unexpected Productions, Jet City Improv, Fools Play, Olyimprov, Hat Trick Pony, Generation Friends, and Harlequin’s own improv troupe, Something Wicked. Local favorite stand-up comedian Morgan Picton will serve as Master of Ceremonies.“This festival aims to celebrate extraordinary improv in our area,” said festival organizer and Harlequin development manager Mark Alford. “I think a lot of people don’t realize how vibrant our local improv scene is.”Last year the 1st annual festival sold out completely, forcing the theater to turn many patrons away at the door. This spurred the Harlequin staff to make this year’s festival a two-night affair.“The festival last year was Harlequin dipping its toe into Olympia improv,” commented Harlequin managing artistic director Scot Whitney. “We couldn’t fit the audience inside the theater! So this year we’ve added another night, two more troupes, and the amazing Morgan Picton. We’re preparing for a nice long swim in deep water.”Modern improvisational theater became a popular form of live comedy in the United States in the 1970’s and 80’s. However, it is still predominately confined to large cities. A scattering of improv troupes can be found among smaller cities and towns, but a festival of this size in a smaller city is not a common occurrence. “This is not some small-town, knock-off version of a big city festival,” Alford said. “We’ve got some of the most popular troupes in the state coming to perform. It’s really cool to be able to present this right here in Olympia.”“Unexpected Productions is the longest-running show in Seattle. Ever. And Hat Trick Pony is headed by the people behind the popular film series The Gamers and the web series JourneyQuest. Meanwhile, Jet City Improv is one of the most popular improv companies in the Pacific Northwest. Fools Play has been doing comedy in the South Sound for over 21 years. OlyImprov has been a local favorite since 2006. And in my opinion, Generation Friends is one of the best college improv groups in the nation. We’ve got an incredible lineup set to perform.”Friday April 3 will feature performances by Generation Friends, Hat Trick Pony, Olyimprov, and Something Wicked. Saturday April 4 will showcase Fools Play, Jet City Improv, Unexpected Productions, and Something Wicked.Harlequin is offering single-day tickets for $20 and two-day passes for $30. Patrons can find more info and purchase tickets by calling (360)786-0151, or by visiting harlequinproductions.org/something-wicked-improv.Alford summarized his excitement by saying, “This truly is a collection of some of the best improv our region has to offer. They’re gonna blow the roof off the place.”last_img read more