Incarceration & Reentry
“Accountability does not mean oppression. It doesn’t have to mean creating horrible conditions that further damage and traumatize people when part of the reason why they are in here is because they are damaged and traumatized.” - John E. Wetzel, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
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 . 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.
Our Leadership Strategy
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.
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