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COMPASS Program Launches in Akron to Assist Young Ex-Offenders in Creating Better Lives

Police headquarters, Akron, Ohio
Tim Rudell
The Akron Municipal Court-sponsored COMPASS program for young high-risk ex-offenders aims to help reduce the chances of recidivism.

A new program dedicated to preventing recidivism, the likelihood of an ex-offender committing another crime, has begun in Akron.

Akron Municipal Court Judge David Hamilton says the COMPASS program, which stands for Compassion, Opportunity, Mentoring, Purpose, Assistance, Survival and Stepping forward, is the first of its kind in Ohio. It aims to help 18-to-26-year-old men who have a history of homelessness and family violence.

Judge David Hamilton discusses a way to help prevent recidivism
Akron Municipal Court Judge David Hamilton has launched the COMPASS program to help repeat offenders.

“One way that you tackle recidivism is by offering these types of opportunities—offering mentorship programs, offering job opportunities, offering counseling, trauma therapy, those type of things,” Hamilton said.

The program runs six to 12 months, but Hamilton says it will continue to provide resources after completion that he hopes will contribute to its success.

Updated: November 16, 2020 at 4:59 PM EST
Kelsey Paulus is a Junior studying journalism at Kent State University. She is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in journalism with a minor in design. Along with interning for WKSU, Kelsey is also a co-producer of TV2’s kentcore and a designer for A Magazine. She is an aspiring music journalist and hopes to work in the magazine industry someday.