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Gov. Malloy: Connecticut Receives Millions in ‘Second Chance Act’ Grants for Crime Reduction Initiatives

(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the State of Connecticut has been awarded over $2.3 million in grants from the United States Department of Justice under the federal Second Chance Act that will help bolster one of the state's criminal justice efforts.  The grants, awarded to both the Department of Corrections, the City of New Haven, and a variety of non-profit organizations, will support a wide range of efforts to reduce recidivism and help turn offenders into productive members of society.

The federal grants will directly support the Governor's Second Chance Society crime reduction initiative, which he signed into law this summer.  They specifically focus on reducing recidivism by improving programing, implementing juvenile justice reforms, supporting strategic planning, and developing new strategies.

"In Connecticut, we are working to break a cycle of crime and poverty that has persistent for too long.  Our efforts are about lowering crime, benefitting the economy, and transforming lives and communities.  Crime is already at a nearly 50-year low - and we're working to drive it down even further," Governor Malloy said.  "The Second Chance Society is not just about being tough on crime, but smart on crime.  We're fundamentally changing the way we approach criminal justice in Connecticut, and these grants will no doubt help.  I would like to thank Connecticut's Congressional delegation for their work on helping secure these dollars, as well as the Department of Justice and Attorney General Loretta Lynch."

Last month, the FBI released statistics showing that in 2014, Connecticut had the fourth largest drop in violent crime of any state in the nation - a 9.7% decline over the prior year.  That is on top of a 10.1% decrease the state experienced in 2013.

The Governor said that a broad coalition of public safety and criminal justice professionals working cohesively, along with nonprofits and community groups focused on prevention and rehabilitation, are helping the state make extraordinary strides at reducing crime in the state.
"This major federal investment is an endorsement of the powerful work Connecticut is doing to develop strategies, programs and policies to drive down recidivism and end the cycle of incarceration," Senator Richard Blumenthal said.  "The goals of criminal justice are only truly served when offenders who have served their time are able to successfully transition back into their communities and families in a way that lowers the risk that they will commit another crime.  That means providing services to both children and their incarcerated parents, providing meaningful employment and housing assistance, and developing a structure for sentencing and incarceration that promotes rehabilitation over punishment alone.  Connecticut's Second Chance Society initiative is leading the nation in building a criminal justice system that recognizes the need to hold law-breakers accountable while also making sure they, their families and communities have access to the services they need to reduce the risk of future criminal behavior."

"I commend Governor Malloy for his commitment to the Second Chance program," Congressman John Larson (CT-1) said.  "These grants will help Connecticut reduce criminal recidivism while strengthening the community and our families.  Public safety remains a top priority, and we have seen time and again that providing support, mentoring, and opportunities to those transitioning out of incarceration dramatically reduces the chances they will re-offend.  The United States has a larger imprisoned population than nearly any other nation.  It is our responsibility to change that, and the Second Chance initiative is a positive step in that direction."

"Society benefits when ex-offenders have the necessary tools, not just to re-enter our community, but to create productive lives for themselves and their families," Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) said.  "New Haven has been in the forefront of this effort with their innovative Fresh Start Reentry Initiative.  I am proud that so many Connecticut organizations are dedicated to providing opportunities to ensure that everyone in our state has the opportunity to succeed."

"An individual who has paid his or her price to our state should not be encouraged to recidivate due to a lack of resources or difficulty finding a job," Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) said.  "We need strong training and job placement programs to assist these men and women re-entering our society.  I applaud the Department of Justice and the Governor's Office on their commitment to a strategy to reduce recidivism.  These federal grants will go a long way to improve the lives of young people and adults across Connecticut and strengthen our communities."

"Reintegration of non-violent offenders is a priority in New Haven because it reunites families, rebuilds trust and faith, and restores men and women to contributing, productive members of this community," New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp said.  "Funding from these grants will help underwrite program development and administration among all providers to help provide a Fresh Start and the benefit of a second chance to those who are committed to learning from a previous incarceration."

"When men and women return home from prison, we have an opportunity to help them realize their potential" said Van Jones, Co-founder of #cut50, a Dream Corps initiative. "This sizable investment from the Bureau of Justice Assistance is a testament to Connecticut's leadership when it comes to innovative efforts to reduce recidivism and enhance public safety. These Second Chance Act grants will be critical to Governor Malloy's ongoing push to create a Second Chance Society in Connecticut. We can only hope the state's impressive example will inspire Congress to reauthorize the Second Chance Act and pass other meaningful criminal justice reforms."

The U.S. Department of Justice's Second Chance Act grants announced today for the State of Connecticut include:

Second Chance Act Smart on Juvenile Justice: Community Supervision

  • Grant Awardee: Connecticut Office of Policy and Management
  • Award Amount: $190,000
  • Summary: This program provides planning grants of up to 12 months to state and local government agencies and federally recognized Native American/Alaskan Native tribes to support their efforts to develop and finalize a comprehensive juvenile community supervision reform strategic plan that will implement evidence-based supervision strategies to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for juveniles under community supervision. These grantees will be able to compete for larger awards to implement their plans.
  • Partner details: The Connecticut Office of Policy and Management has partnered with the Tow Youth Justice Institute and Central Connecticut State University. COPM has also partnered with state juvenile justice and child service agencies, nonprofit and advocacy organizations, families, youth, and other academic and research organizations, the names of which have not yet been announced.

Second Chance Act Strengthening Relationships Between Young Fathers and Their Children: A Reentry Mentoring Project

  • Grant Awardee: Family ReEntry Inc.
  • Award Amount: $420,000
  • Summary: This program helps to ensure that the transition young fathers make from secure confinement facilities back to their families and communities is successful and promotes public safety through services such as mentoring as well as programming that focuses on developing parenting skills.
  • Partner details: Services for incarcerated young fathers will come from local reentry providers, which includes Bridgeport Reentry Collaborative.

Second Chance Act Strengthening Families and Children of Incarcerated Parents

  • Grant Awardee: Families in Crisis, Inc.
  • Award Amount: $366,881
  • Summary: This program will expand services to children who have a parent who is incarcerated in a Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) correctional facility through services such as mentoring and programming that facilitates healthy and positive relationships between incarcerated individuals, their children, and caregivers.
  • Partner details: This program will run out of the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut (FCI Danbury).  FIC anticipates using six months to conduct comprehensive planning and collaboration with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Bureau of Prisons, the FCI Danbury and their evaluator, Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). FIC will use CCSU's Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (CCSU-IMRP).

Second Chance Act Statewide Recidivism Reduction Planning

  • Grant Awardee: State of Connecticut Department of Correction
  • Award Amount: $99,060
  • Summary: The Connecticut Department of Correction has a planning grant to engage the state in a 12-month strategic planning process to develop a comprehensive statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategic Plan (RRSP).The Department seeks to promote evidence-based strategies as we work to reduce recidivism in our state by 10% in two years and by up to 50% in five years. Connecticut will use this opportunity to work across state agencies and with partners to review the drivers of recidivism, identify a target population and recidivism reduction goals on which to focus implementation, review the alignment of existing and new criminal justice, treatment and reentry programs and practices in our state with evidenced-based practices, and to develop a RRSP to meet recidivism reduction goals using evidence-based practices.
  • Research Partner: Dr. Mirlinda Ndrecka, University of New Haven Henry C. Lee College of Forensic Sciences (UNH)

Second Chance Act Adult Demonstration

  • Grant Awardee: City of New Haven
  • Award Amount: $1,000,000
  • Summary: The City of New Haven's Fresh Start Reentry Initiative (FSRI) represents a local restructuring of on-going initiatives operating over the last ten years. FSRI's restructuring will synthesize existing initiatives into a comprehensive process designed to accomplish our strategic goals of (a) successful reintegration and (b) reducing recidivism by 50% over five years. FSRI will partner with the Connecticut Department of Correction (DOC) to connect with New Haven residents up to 12 months prior to release. 40 community partners will collaborate using the VEOCI communications/data system to communicate and track activities / outcomes.
  • Research Partner: University of New Haven Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences

BJA Visiting Fellows Program

  • Grant Awardee: Yale University
  • Award Amount: $258,113
  • Summary: The visiting fellows program will work in collaboration with BJA and DOJ staff to help provide critical outreach, data, research, and subject-matter expertise to inform the development of new BJA strategies and programs to benefit the field. The Fellow aims to enhance BJA's efforts related to promoting successful reentry and reducing recidivism by exploring the interrelatedness of correctional systems and community healthcare.
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