Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $250,000)
The proposed plan contributes to the continued success of the EMU Reentry Criminal Justice Field Unit, which strives to increase the presence of social workers within systems that serve justice-involved populations.
The proposed project aims to break the cycle of incarceration, release, and recidivism in a specific mid-west county (Washtenaw County, Michigan) with the intent to be replicable in other areas. The project leverages established university-community partnerships in order to expand capacity of an existing reentry program overseen by EMU’s School of Social Work. This project provides specialized reentry-focused training to a unit of social work students, including:
• Barriers to reentry
• Trauma-informed care
• Intensive case management
• Motivational interviewing
• Expanded Community-Partnerships
Through current programming, EMU has been working in partnership with such agencies as Michigan Center for Youth Justice, Wise Mind, A Brighter Way, Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, and Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office. This project aims to maintain and increase EMU’s presence within these reentry-focused agencies. Last year, EMU piloted its Returning Citizens Fellows (RCF) Program to augment reentry by supporting access to higher education opportunities. The proposed project would support the Field Unit’s merging efforts with RCF in order to provide expanded reentry support to formerly-incarcerated college students. This project posits to further solidify efforts across campus to expand academic admission to citizens with criminal records; and, to strengthen coordinated partnership with such campus departments as the Disability Resource Center, Financial Aid, Drop-In Tutoring, Holman Success Center, and Counseling and Psychological Services. Additionally, the proposed program aims to explore opportunities for collaboration with such organizations as The Bail Project, Nation Outside, Offender Success, and Washtenaw County Housing Committee.