Why I Went to Federal Court Last Week…

Last week, for the second time this year, I found myself sitting in a courtroom in the middle of the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building in Wilmington, shedding a few tears along with the judges, attorneys, officers, and other members of the community.

We were there to witness a very special graduation ceremony.


You see, the U.S. District Court here in Delaware recently started a program where the men and women transitioning from Federal Prison life to civilian life are given the opportunity to accelerate that transition. Normally, these individuals spend three years on probation, but they have the opportunity to take on classes, offer community service, and obtain employment to reduce that time of probation by a year (it’s a pretty rigorous program, there’s a lot more to it than I have written here).

What’s truly inspiring is seeing how the men and women in the Federal Probation Office and the District Court become essential parts of the support system for these individuals as they apply themselves to the program. They work together as a team, along with family members, employers, and community leaders.

It is through these efforts that we see lives changed, families strengthened, and communities restored.

Here’s Chief U.S. Probation Officer John Selvaggi talking about how important this program is to public safety and strong communities.

If you know anyone involved with this program, from the judges to the probation officers to employers to community leaders to family members to former offenders – I hope you’ll take a moment to thank them for their hard work.

We are a community and we’re all in this together.

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