Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $750,000)
The Maine Prisoner Community Reintegration Project will benefit individuals releasing from prison, and their rural communities, Qualified Opportunity Zones, families, employers, and the State of Maine at large by introducing coordinated peer support and community connection to reduce recidivism, increase public safety, provide an able and motivated workforce, reduce system costs, and empower ex-offenders to be reliable family members and realize their full potential.
This Maine Prisoner Re-Entry Network (MPRN) proposal expands, enhances, and confirms the effectiveness of MPRN’s current collaborative reentry partnership with the Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) and community stakeholders.
Service area: This project will serve the entire state of Maine with an intentional focus on providing services in Qualified Opportunity Zones and rural counties
Target population: Moderate to high-risk offenders residing at the Maine State Prison (MSP) and following their reentry into the community.
Collaborate with the Maine Department of Corrections through shared data, expanded access, quarterly meetings, and regional alignment with community corrections.
Connect and support 50 pre-release offenders starting at 9-months prior to release date, every 12-months with peer support and community resource connections
Continue to support 50 program engaged offenders for at least 12-months following their release date with peer support and community resource connections.
Train a minimum of 20 currently incarcerated offenders every 12 months to be peer supports for returning offenders within the prison. Minimum of 3 certified trainings.
Continue and increase community engagement (10% annually) with a stakeholder kickoff meeting, annual assessment meeting, and continue weekly statewide community resource meetings.
Develop an evidence-based reentry template for use in all MDOC facilities and in community corrections by comparing moderate to high-risk data for program participant offenders against non-participant offenders.
Work directly with community corrections (probation) by hiring three Regional Peer Case Coordinators to work in alignment with Maine’s 3 community corrections regions in supporting program engaged offenders, post release. These positions will act as peer case managers working with offenders, facility staff, community partners, and community corrections officers
This program will strengthen communities by providing much needed, highly motivated, productive, and supported workers to supplement Maine’s aging workforce and build mutually supportive connections between returning citizens and their communities.
At its core, this proposal leverages the power of coordinated peer support inside correctional facilities, during reentry, and in the community to create unique connections, reduce recidivism, increase public safety, reduce system costs and empower returning citizens.