Reentry services play an integral role in reducing re-incarceration and creating a safer New York. Our Office connects formerly incarcerated New Yorkers with the healthcare, education, housing, and employment resources and opportunities necessary to ensure they can become full members of our community. We’re proud to take on a greater role in reentry services than perhaps any other D.A.’s Office in the nation.
In 2018, we reaffirmed our commitment to formerly incarcerated New Yorkers by investing $7.2 million in reentry through our Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (CJII). Among the innovative approaches we’ve funded:
- The NYC Health Justice Network established partner clinics in Upper Manhattan to serve the primary care needs of reentering and justice-involved individuals. The Network supplies training for primary care providers in trauma-informed care and harm reduction, as well as education on the criminal justice system and associated health risks. Additionally, formerly incarcerated New Yorkers can be employed as patient advocates and navigators to primary care and other necessary services, including housing, transportation, and employment services.
- Prisoner Reentry Institute expanded its College Initiative program to assist people returning to New York City after incarceration with enrolling and succeeding in college. College Initiative offers intensive academic counseling and mentoring services to students. It also increased alumni activities and developed workshops and resources to aid students who are parents in creating educational paths for their children.
- College and Community Fellowship broadened its Build-Out of Student Services (“BOSS”) program, which helps formerly incarcerated women earn college degrees and determine career paths. Through this grant, BOSS will enhance its existing Academic Support Program and Peer Mentoring Program, as well as launch the Career Advancement Program.
- The Osborne Association’s Kinship Reentry pilot, which empowers family members to house their formerly incarcerated relatives, also received a planning grant from our Office. The subsidies offered through this pilot are modeled after those provided to kinship foster parents and are designed to meet the most immediate need many individuals have when leaving prison – securing shelter.
One year later, in October 2019, our Office awarded a $3 million reentry investment to the Osborne Association, in partnership with the Living Redemption Youth Opportunity Hub in Central/West Harlem and the Tayshana Chicken Murphy Foundation. This multi-faceted program – a direct response to the June 2014 law enforcement intervention in ongoing gang violence that led to the prosecution of 103 individuals living in the Manhattanville and Grant housing developments and surrounding areas.
Since 2016, our Office has championed statewide education efforts for incarcerated New Yorkers. We invested $7.5 million in New York’s first College-in-Prison Reentry Program, which helps people incarcerated in New York State prisons earn college degrees. An estimated 800 to 1,000 people will have the opportunity to receive an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or an industry-recognized certificate because of our investment. One funded program, the Bard Prison Initiative, is the subject of a PBS documentary called “College Behind Bars.”
We also invested $7.1 million in three social enterprises – run by Drive Change, Sweet Generation Bakery, and The HOPE Program – creating employment opportunities and career training for at-risk youth and formerly incarcerated New Yorkers. Social enterprises are non-profit organizations (or non-profit divisions of for-profit entities) that blend a non-profit’s social welfare mission with a business’ market-driven approach.
In addition, we provided $9 million toward the City’s “Justice-Involved Supportive Housing” program. This program will serve 400 people who have at least five admissions to city jail and five admissions to city shelters within any four-year period, and who are likely living with behavioral health issues.