Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $540,000)
The Prisoner Reentry Initiative (PRI) is designed to provide funding to state units of government to develop and implement institutional and community corrections-based offender reentry programs. The PRI strengthens urban communities characterized by large numbers of returning offenders. The PRI is designed to reduce recidivism by helping returning offenders find work and assess other critical services in their communities. The PRI supports strategies to deliver pre- and post-release assessments and services, and to develop transition plans in collaboration with other justice and community-based agencies and providers for supervised and non-supervised offenders.
In FY 2008, BJA will again coordinate the PRI Program with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The design of the FY 2008 PRI Program is structured to work in conjunction with a DOL-selected faith ' or community-based organization (FBCO).
The Connecticut Department of Correction (DOC) will use the FY 2008 PRI grant to establish the Bridgeport Reentry Initiative (BRI). The goal of the BRI is to reduce recidivism rates for offenders and increase public safety. The objectives are to engage in a period of assessment and planning followed by implementation of a plan to: 1) introduce dynamic risk assessment tools to corrections; 2) provide pre-release services that prepare offenders for reentry; and 3) establish community linkages and offenders' access to post-release programs and services.
The BRI will link the Department of Correction/Parole, Judicial Court Support Services - Division/Probation, and Dept of Labor with faith-based, community organizations (FBCO) to establish a consortium of expanded post-release programs and services. To accomplish this, DOC along with an advisory group during Phase I of the grant period will design a program and implementation plan specific to the needs of the Bridgeport community. Through a partnership with the community, DOC will engage providers, community leaders and other stakeholders, all of whom have substantial subject matter expertise, to identify available community resources and the gaps in critical reentry services. A Logic Model will specify the program's intended objectives and activities and be ready for Phase II no later than the fourth month of the project period. A steering committee will actively monitor progress to implement the plan by reviewing it quarterly and making modifications, as needed. Program implementation will encompass offender assessment, pre-release services, and transition planning with a focus on employment, education, and vocational services.
DOC will contract with one faith-based, community organization (FBCO) selected in accordance with State of Connecticut procurement procedures to provide post-release services and programs such as general support assistance, education/vocational services, job development and placement, counseling, mentoring, as well as provide case management. A total of 200 offenders will receive services over the course of 21-months. DOC estimates 566 inmates, most nonviolent offenders, will meet basic eligibility criteria when enrollment begins.