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Building a Brighter Future: Paterson CRC Thrives Under Leadership of Shakir

Since joining Kintock in September 2020, Shakir has brought nearly a decade of reentry experience to his role as Director of the Paterson CRC, shaping it with his unique perspective and personal journey. Growing up in Newark, NJ, Shakir witnessed the revolving door of the prison system firsthand. His own brush with incarceration, followed by transformative experiences at Kintock and Rutgers University, ignited his passion for guiding others towards a brighter future beyond bars.

“I knew I wanted to be an example. I wanted to let [them] know there is life after being incarcerated. There are options other than crime,” Shakir reflects.

Leading with Empathy and Innovation  

His empathy and relatability resonate deeply with the clients he serves. Having navigated similar struggles, he leads by example, emphasizing the power of education over criminality. Before his tenure in reentry, Shakir provided vital outreach support in the mental health field, further enriching his holistic approach to rehabilitation.

“Mr. Griffith is exceptional in his ability to relate with the clients and staff in his program. Since the beginning of his employment, he has consistently displayed an excellent work ethic demonstrative of cultural sensitivity and zealousness for learning new ideas. He leads by example and has exhibited a strong commitment and genuineness to addressing the many needs of our client population,” noted Robinette Arthur, Director of Clinical and Specialized Services.

Grateful for the positive environment at Kintock, Shakir relishes the opportunity to foster growth and community within the CRC. Under his guidance, the Paterson program has flourished, undergoing significant transformation in both infrastructure and ethos.

“Shakir's leadership has been the cornerstone of our  (Paterson) CRC program's remarkable evolution. His commitment to innovation, coupled with unwavering empathy and open-mindedness, has not only transformed our approach but also empowered our clients,” said Paul Taggines, COO.

Involving and Empowering Clients

From revamping educational materials to empowering clients to facilitate group sessions, he constantly seeks ways to enhance the program's efficacy and client experience. Central to his success are empathy and open-mindedness, qualities he believes are paramount in this field.

“It’s very important to learn how to curb your biases... To be able to really help people, you need to let go of those biases,” Shakir emphasizes.

With that in mind, Shakir also works to raise awareness about the program and foster community support. “We continue to grow and establish new relationships in the community that help us better support our clients,” Shakir notes.

With a master’s degree in clinical social work from Fordham and a master’s degree in public administration from Rutgers, Shakir continues to pursue personal and professional growth, with aspirations of attaining his social work license and exploring doctoral studies. Beyond work, he finds joy in family time with his four children and cheering on the Yankees.

Building a Brighter Future: Paterson CRC Thrives Under Leadership of Shakir
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