Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $900,000)
LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York proposes to implement an Accelerated College Transition project targeting the residents of Queensboro Correctional Facility, a New York State reentry prison situated directly across the street from the college campus. The project’s purpose is to create a readily accessible, evidence-based, multidisciplinary array of prerelease engagement to post release graduation wraparound resources and services specifically tailored to the unique needs of a prison charged with the care of urban prisoners, primarily Black males, expected to be released into New York metropolitan area within four months, as well as men on work release.
This project will increase the likelihood of successful community reintegration, increase public safety, and mark a much-needed enhancement of the college’s successful prerelease volunteer services project at the prison. Projected activities include the creation of an interagency transitional services planning committee; review and modifications as needed of prerelease risk and need screening and assessment tools to determine interagency compatibility; coordination of pre-to-post release reintegration case management; and collaborative post release referral services from selected community organizations actively participating in the NY State Department of Criminal Justice Services County Reentry Task Force for men returning from Queensboro Correctional Facility enrolling in academic and continued educational programs at LaGuardia. The program will advance racial equity and support by making educational opportunities more accessible to incarcerated Black males, the majority population at the prison, most slated to return to high risk, underserved urban communities within New York City.
Expected outcomes include creating a coordinated prerelease best practices engagement strategy that most effectively and efficiently addresses the educational needs of Queensboro Correctional Facility residents; developing a post release resource provider base and referral protocols for Queensboro Correctional Facility residents who enroll as students at LaGuardia Community College; and a reduction in recidivist incidents of new arrests or convictions for the aforementioned students enrolled in good standing at the college.
Additional activities include developing transferrable prerelease credit-bearing classes at Queensboro Correctional Facility leading to an Associate’s degree at LaGuardia or general education diplomas; developing a comprehensive admissions through graduation on campus educational service office offering post release case management and advisement, as well as guidance in financial assistance, course selection, and the appointment of a program coordinator; prison-to-college peer liaison; and pre-to-post release case management.