Incarceration and Reentry

Incarceration & Reentry

Every year, New Haven receives about 1,200 men and women who are released from prison1. They are dropped off at varying times of day, usually early in the morning. Social service agencies, including faith-based organizations, face challenges locating these newly released individuals because of lack of information and coordination. Individuals re-entering New Haven from prisons are in need of housing, employment, mental health and primary care services, and a positive emotional support system. However, these individuals often “fall through the cracks” due to poor access and coordination of services and many are unable to receive the help that they need and in the long term are more likely to re-offend or end up back in prison. 

Reentry is part of a larger challenge in criminal justice reform and the issue of mass incarceration. Mass incarceration has disproportionately affected African Americans and Latinos resulting in significant racial and ethnic disparities. Black men are incarcerated at nearly 5.6 times the rate of whites and Latinos are incarcerated at nearly double the rate of whites. Connecticut is one of the states with the highest racial and ethnic disparities in incarceration rates. 

Our Leadership Strategy

The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven is committed to improving the lives of recently incarcerated individuals and their families. When provided the right opportunities and support instead of barriers, formerly incarcerated men and women are far more likely to successfully find jobs, rebuild their relationships and reintegrate back into the community (read the issue brief here). Building on its long history of supporting organizations serving recently incarcerated individuals, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven is making the issue of successful reentry a strategic focus.

Although the focus of this strategy is reentry, The Community Foundation understands that mass incarceration is a complicated issue with intersecting root causes including: structural racism, lack of access and coordination, education, policy, poverty and culture. The Community Foundation believes that as a community, we can do better to empower men and women to rebuild their lives when they return home.

The Goal

A region where formerly-incarcerated individuals are empowered with opportunities so that they can successfully reintegrate, making them less likely to reoffend, and reducing the ripple effect on their children, family and the community as a whole.

Through community partnerships, grantmaking and public education, The Community Foundation hopes to achieve the following:

  • Returning citizens will have access to a robust support network that empowers the reentering individual, their families, communities and providers to address education, housing, employment, and primary and mental health care tailored to the needs of individuals and their families
  • Social service and community-based organizations are better coordinated with each other and with the criminal justice system, allowing service providers to better identify, reach, and effectively serve formerly incarcerated individuals 
  • Greater New Haven is better informed about the impact of incarceration

Additional Resources:


A clearinghouse of research on recidivism and reentry from the Prison Policy Initiative. 


1 Avg. based on the City of New Haven’s Prisoner Reentry program data since 2009
2 2012 “Annual Recidivism Report,” State of Connecticut Office of Policy and Management Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division. The comprehensive state survey found that nearly 80% of the men released from Connecticut prisons in 2005 were re-arrested within 5 years and 50% returned to prison on a new charge.  
3 2,532 per 100,000 black residents are incarcerated; 1,401 per 100,000 Hispanic residents are incarcerated; 211 per 100,000 white residents are incarcerated, according to According to The Sentencing Project 
6 CT Coalition to End Homelessness survey, 2014 data

Graphs: Prison Policy Initiative at


70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510



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