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1 Community Reinvestment- Re-Entry Maureen Price-Boreland, Esq. Executive Director Community Partners in Action, established 1875 Member Agency Of Connecticut.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Community Reinvestment- Re-Entry Maureen Price-Boreland, Esq. Executive Director Community Partners in Action, established 1875 Member Agency Of Connecticut."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Community Reinvestment- Re-Entry Maureen Price-Boreland, Esq. Executive Director Community Partners in Action, established 1875 Member Agency Of Connecticut Association of Non-Profits

2 2 Goals of Effective Prison Re-entry Safer Communities Community Investment Social reintegration Stabilize the offender in the community Continued intervention/supervision post incarceration Reduce Recidivism Reduce incarceration cost to the state

3 3 The state of the State of Connecticut re-entry services Connecticut is viewed nationally as progressive in its re-entry efforts CTs DOC is committed to re-entry services DOC and CSSD have a proven track record of funding a myriad of services for re-entry services CT has a long and established good working relationship between the DOC, Board of Parole, CSSD and Community Providers

4 4 The state of the State of Connecticut re-entry services. CT through the legislative leadership of Bill Dyson and Mike Lawlor conducted a review and implementation of reinvestment strategies (Building Bridges 2003 & 2004) which has resulted in correctional cost reinvestment and legislation on prison and jail overcrowding CT has a rich group of established community providers who have partnered in providing quality re-entry services to the criminal justice population for many years This partnership and alternatives to incarceration have resulted in immense savings to the State of Connecticut. Estimated average community cost per person $3,000-$8,000 vs. $27,000-$30,000 for incarceration

5 5 Premise and Need for Community Programs/Services Approximately 96% of those incarcerated will return to the community Period immediately following release is a critical transition point for offenders Managing re-entry is critical so that fewer crimes are committed Managing re-entry so that fewer crimes are committed enhances public safety

6 6 Premise of Need for Community Programming/Services contd. Managing re-entry so that there are fewer returns to prison=significant cost savings Managing re-entry benefits families and communities Coordinated approach to re-entry is effective in reducing recidivism Churning is expensive

7 7 Issues with re-integration Men and Women are re-entering with: Low levels of educational and vocational skills Many with health related issues to include mental health and substance abuse Serious housing, educational, employment, social and family needs Most are returning to concentrated communities which are already deprived of resources and ill equipped to meet the challenges of this population. (Five towns reflect 50% of the incarcerated population)

8 8 Issues with re-integration contd. Limited assistance in reintegration for end of sentence inmates (EOS) pose immediate public safety risks Increased pressure on criminal justice system to solve the social ills within communities Significant collateral impact

9 9 Issues with re-integration contd. Persistent pressure for a tougher response to crime More bi-furcation between urban and suburban areas African American Ratio 12:1 in CT. 88% of those overdosing on drugs according to DPHs 2004 report are white Significant racial and ethnic disparity in the system

10 10 Employment/Training and Re-Entry Challenges: Prison records diminish prospects for stable employment and reduces average wages Time spent in prison is time spent out of the legitimate labor market Stigma associated with having served time Ex-Offenders are barred from working in certain types of jobs Desired results: Employed ex-offenders are less likely to return to prison Education and Job Training placements reduces the likelihood of re- incarceration

11 11 Health and Re-Entry Challenges: Nationally 30-40% of offenders report chronic physical or mental health conditions, most commonly depression, asthma and high blood pressure Higher rates of schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder and posttraumatic stress than general population (21% with significant needs in Connecticut) Infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS are a significant problem Incarceration makes offenders ineligible for Medicaid Desired Results: Facilitating timely linkages between corrections and local mental health and physical care providers is critical Services should meet the specialized and identified risk factors of the offender e.g. sex offender treatment, domestic violence, substance abuse

12 12 Housing and Re-Entry Challenges: Housing is one of the most pressing concerns for ex-offenders Without housing ex-offenders have trouble finding and maintaining stable employment Without stable housing, ex-offenders are more likely to return to prison Public Housing denies housing to ex-offenders Some ex-offenders will find housing with family or friends, others in public shelters and many are homeless Desired Result: Securing stable housing is critical to fostering successful re-entry Appropriate housing should take into consideration a healthy and supportive environment

13 13 Substance Use and Re-Entry Challenges: 88% of Connecticut offenders report substance abuse addiction or substance abuse having an impact on their incarceration 26% receive treatment while incarcerated Offenders identify substance abuse as being a critical factor associated with problems for employment, schooling, family, finances and criminal activity Desired Results: Continuum of services from prison to community addressing substance abuse Adequate inpatient and out patient evidenced based substance abuse services

14 14 Families and Re-Entry Challenges: Incarceration has a major impact on the family unit Family oriented services can appropriately strengthen ties between offenders and their loved ones Desired Results: Strong family relationships can lead to improved employment outcomes and act as a protective factor against further criminal activity. Need to be mindful and plan for issues such as domestic violence, risk of injury to children that may not be conducive to family reintegration

15 15 Communities and Re-Entry Challenges: Large number of offenders returning to mostly 5 communities in Connecticut These communities are overwhelmed with managing this concentration Limited resources to address the social ills that ex-offenders bring back to the community Desired Results: Network of informal control, empowered and informed part of the solution – family, religious organization, mentor Strong partnerships between formal and informal controls Information sharing between parole, probation and community providers strengthen the ability to identify, predict and possibly deter future criminal activity

16 16 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Challenges: Offenders make poor choices in problem solving Many offenders exhibit poor impulse and self control Desired Results: Offenders must develop better reasoning skills, learn problem solving skills and improve self control Teach offenders to anticipate problematic situations and develop alternate pro-social behavioral response to those situations Crisis intervention with intense case management is critical These services need to be administered close to release and reinforced post release

17 17 Program Evaluations Goals: 1. Research can help to inform on effectiveness of programs 1. Evaluations will produce evidence on the link between good re-entry and recidivism 1. Help in the efforts to develop future activities

18 18 Program Evaluations Evaluations should look at both Process and Outcomes: A. Process evaluations- Does not evaluate effectiveness. Identify issues that obstruct program participation and program operation- quantitative and qualitative Identify clear operational details of the program B. Outcomes: Does the program reduce recidivism? Is the program cost effective? Does the program produce benefits in terms of education, substance abuse reduction, employment, housing stability, family functioning and cognitive skills?

19 19 Public perception vs. Reality issues Arguments for Alternatives Time served is a significant component of the rising prison population Time served does not influence recidivism Increasing time served does not contribute to general deterrence Time in prison is expensive Longer prison terms erode community ties The pressure to punish the offender beyond the established sentence can be counter-productive We cannot imprison our way out of the problem

20 20 Sample Programs that work Resettlement, established Long term case management services to female offenders 6 months prior to release and up to one year follow up services in the community. U.S. Department of Labor re-entry grant.-Awarded to Connecticut under the Presidents Re-Entry Initiative. Focuses only on non-violent offenders for employment services.

21 21 Resettlement-est.1992 Have at least 4 to 6 months left on their sentence Participant must actively participate in identifying needs and problems, setting goals to overcome issues and succeed. Participant must develop a concrete transitional plan addressing goals for the future Participant must help develop and sign a commitment contract Ongoing individual and group guidance, support and encouragement Basic needs offered ; housing, clothing, identification, access to employment services, substance abuse/mental health, and medical treatment.

22 22 U.S. Department of Labor Re-Entry Grant- March 2006-Present 3 Year Grant to Community Partners in Action and a group of collaborative community partners: Department of Correction Capital Workforce Development Board Urban League of Greater Hartford Families in Crisis South Arsenal Neighborhood Development Corporation (SAND) Co-Opportunity, Inc. Our Piece of the Pie

23 23 Goals and Services of Prep Re-Entry Seeks to strengthen the Greater Hartford offenders with an employment centered program that incorporates: Risk and Needs assessment Case Management Mentoring and Family intervention Job Training Job Development, placement and intervention Substance Abuse Other Transitional services

24 24 Results to Date U.S. DOL Re-Entry Grant Participants enrolled- 318 History of Alcohol or Substance Abuse- 224 Received Job Training Activities- 44 Received Work preparation activities- 306 Received Mentoring Services- 232 Job Placements- 166 Recidivism Rate- 28%

25 25 Connecticuts Case Study Conducted by: Public Safety Performance ( A project of the Pew Charitable Trusts) and The Council of State Governments

26 26 Strategic Planning and Recommendations 1. Coordinated and centralized re-entry system to include stakeholders: Correctional Staff Community Corrections Police Judicial staff Non-Profit Provider Network Mental Health Providers Local Workforce Boards Victim Advocates

27 27 Strategic Planning and Recommendations 2. Coordinated system should include- Institutional phase, structured re-entry phase and community re-integration phase. 3. Coordinated communication system between Corrections and Community providers to ensure identification and provision of services based on risk and needs 4. Legislative and State Agencies- Intervention in assisting with siting residential facilities 5. Support for Non-Profits to enhance their service delivery and ensure stability of the provider network – Constant loss of staff to state agencies, ability to hire staff with required qualifications


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