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Sheriff Ashe Congratulated by Massachusetts Lawmakers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sens. Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick congratulated Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe Jr. for being honored this week at the White House as a “Champion of Change” for his exemplary work establishing a model continuum of supported community re-entry for offenders.

Ashe is chief administrator of the Hampden County Correctional Center, which supervises approximately 1,450 offenders in five levels of security — medium, minimum, pre-release, day reporting, and after-incarceration support. As part of his re-entry effort, Ashe has utilized some 300 community partnerships to help offenders find 523 jobs in 2013, and more than 10,000 jobs in the past 20 years, having an impact on recidivism and public safety.

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. This spring, Markey and Neal nominated Ashe for the White House Champion of Change Award in the category of Expanding Reentry Employment Opportunities.

“Sheriff Ashe is one of the most passionate and innovative public officials in the country, and this recognition honors his nearly four decades of exemplary service to the people of Massachusetts,” said Markey. “He has led the charge in implementing rehabilitation and re-entry polities for incarcerated individuals that have become the model for facilities across the country. His motto as sheriff is ‘strength reinforced with decency; firmness dignified with fairness,’ and this recognition from the White House honors these ideals and his extraordinary record of achievement.”

Added Neal, “I was honored to nominate my great friend Mike Ashe for the Champions of Change Award. In my opinion, there is no one in law enforcement more deserving of this special recognition from the White House than Sheriff Ashe. It is a fitting tribute to a remarkable career in public service.”

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