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County Executive McCoy Accepts National Award for Driver Education Program

July 15, 2018

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy today officially accepted the National Association of Counties (NACo) 2018 Achievement Award for the “innovative and effective” Probation Driver’s Licensing Program at the Annual Conference in Nashville, TN this weekend.

The award for the program was presented in the category of Human Services for helping those court-ordered to serve probation to overcome the obstacles they face finding employment by assisting them in obtaining driver’s licenses. The countrywide recognition was first announced in May of this year.

“The Probation Driver’s Licensing Program gives those who only want to get back to work a second chance by helping them secure long-term employment,” said County Executive McCoy. “Albany County was the first municipality in the state to implement an educational program like this and I am so proud that we are being recognized today as a national leader that other localities can emulate.”

“Probationers are far more likely to reoffend and wind up back in the criminal justice system if they do not have adequate job prospects,” said Albany County Department of Probation Director William Connors. “Not only does this important program break that cycle of recidivism, but those with a license are often able to find better paying jobs than those without one so I commend County Executive McCoy for spearheading this effort.”

Residents ordered by the court to serve terms of probation may fail to obtain meaningful work for a whole host of reasons – from employers unwilling to hire them because of their prior conviction, to court requirements that they remain within the county, to not having a driver’s license. The five-hour pre-licensing course targets probationers of all ages and ethnicities who did not previously have the opportunity to obtain a driver’s license, which is often required of higher paying jobs, including those through local labor unions.

Since its implementation last year, the program is already seeing early success with 31 individuals taking the course, 19 having found employment and ten receiving their New York State Driver’s License helping them to avoid subsequent incarceration.

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Albany County ExecutiveDaniel P. McCoy