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Community Reinvestment- Re-Entry. Maureen Price-Boreland, Esq. Executive Director Community Partners in Action, established 1875 Member Agency Of Connecticut Association of Non-Profits . Goals of Effective Prison Re-entry. Safer Communities Community Investment Social reintegration

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Community reinvestment re entry l.jpg
Community Reinvestment- Re-Entry

Maureen Price-Boreland, Esq.

Executive Director

Community Partners in Action, established 1875

Member Agency Of

Connecticut Association of Non-Profits

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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

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The “state” of the State of Connecticut re-entry services

  • Connecticut is viewed nationally as progressive in its re-entry efforts

  • CT’s 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

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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

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Premise and Need for Community Programs/Services 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

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Premise of Need for Community Programming/Services contd. services.

  • 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

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Issues with re-integration services.

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)

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Issues with re-integration contd. services.

  • 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

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Issues with re-integration contd. services.

  • 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 DPH’s 2004 report are white

  • Significant racial and ethnic disparity in the system

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Employment/Training and Re-Entry services.


  • 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

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Health and Re-Entry services.


  • 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

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Housing and Re-Entry services.


  • 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

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Substance Use and Re-Entry services.


  • 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

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Families and Re-Entry services.


  • 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

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Communities and Re-Entry services.


  • 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

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy services.


  • 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

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Program Evaluations services.


  • Research can help to inform on effectiveness of programs

  • Evaluations will produce evidence on the link between “good” re-entry and recidivism

  • Help in the efforts to develop future activities

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Program Evaluations services.

Evaluations should look at both Process and Outcomes:

  • 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

  • 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?

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Public perception vs. Reality issues services.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

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Sample Programs that work services.

  • Resettlement, established 1972- 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 President’s Re-Entry Initiative. Focuses only on non-violent offenders for employment services.

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Resettlement-est.1992 services.

  • 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.

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U.S. Department of Labor Re-Entry Grant- March 2006-Present services.

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

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Goals and Services of Prep Re-Entry services.

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

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Results to Date-11-28-07 services.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%

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Connecticut’s Case Study services.

Conducted by:

  • Public Safety Performance ( A project of the Pew Charitable Trusts)


  • The Council of State Governments

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Strategic Planning and Recommendations services.

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

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Strategic Planning and Recommendations services.

  • Coordinated system should include- Institutional phase, structured re-entry phase and community re-integration phase.

  • Coordinated communication system between Corrections and Community providers to ensure identification and provision of services based on risk and needs

  • Legislative and State Agencies- Intervention in assisting with siting residential facilities

  • 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