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Berks Connections/Pretrial Services Shares Reentrant Success Story

February 09, 2022 12:00 AM
By: DOC Staff

A man standing by a sign for Berks Connection Pretrial Services

Editor’s Note: The following was originally published by Berks Connections / Pretrial Services (BCPS). Based in Berks County, BCPS is one of the DOC's non-residential service providers. They provide reentry services to reentrants and their families. Learn more about BCPS and its Rebuilding Reentrants and Reading (R3) program at berksconnections.org.

Meet Benjamin Marrero-Rivera. 

While a resident of the Wernersville CCC in 2017, Benjamin was referred to BCPS’s DOC Reentry Workforce Development Program. He was addicted to drugs and could not speak English very well. Hewas in a dark place; his family did not trust him, and he was considering suicide. He didn't know what to do. But he knew he did not want to go back to prison, ever.

Ben successfully completed the Workforce Development Program. Seeing Ben’s commitment to change, Ben’s case manager referred him to the R3 Program, and he was accepted into the program’s second cohort. Sensing it was going to change him, he did everything fully, and with enthusiasm, starting with becoming clean and sober. He even gave up smoking cigarettes! When he graduated, he got a job right away, getting hired on the spot in a temporary position, and three months later they offered him a permanent position.

That job led to the one he is at now, using the skills he learned in R3 as a Maintenance Supervisor with Laurel Home Association. He will celebrate his 3-year anniversary there this year.

With a grateful heart, Ben stopped by BCPS to update us on his successes, and say "thank you!", without struggling with the English language! When we first met Ben, he rode a bike everywhere; he now owns a car and a truck! He has money in the bank and knows how to budget, thanks to the financial literacy education he received as part of the DOC Workforce Development Program. Last year he got married. This year, he is looking forward to getting a new home for his family. He is happy and healthy!

And something that is so very important to Ben, his family trusts him again.

He wants to give back to BCPS, and offered to speak with any of our clients, and help them see the benefits of the programs and services we offer.


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