October isn’t a traditionally associated with graduations, but last month the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office held a ceremony for graduates of the AISS program. AISS, or All-Inclusive Support Services, was founded more than 20 years ago to help ex-offenders transition back into the community and reduce recidivism rates. Now, Sheriff Nick Cocchi’s AISS program helps connect both ex-offenders and other community members in need with housing, employment, and other supportive services.  

Connecting Point’s Ray Hershel sat down with AISS Assistant Superintendent Sally Johnson-Van Wright and AISS graduate Melissa Phelan to find out more about how this program is transforming lives in Hampden County.