Incarceration and Re-entry | Special Funds & Initiatives |
Author and director Shaka Senghor took the stage at The Foundation convening, EMERGING: Life After Incarceration. Photo courtesy of Chris Volpe.

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.

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

Grant Process

Opportunity for Nonprofits Serving Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

Organizations providing services or programs that align with the goals of The Foundation’s reentry strategy are encouraged to apply for funding through a request for proposal process. Consideration is given to programs and services that remove barriers to full social, economic, and civic participation for formerly incarcerated individuals and children impacted by incarceration; through direct service, advocacy, collaborative efforts, capacity building, public education and leadership development.The 2019 grant process is closed.

Grant Awards

Reentry grant awards for 2018 


Additional Resources:

Supported by the Foundation

Connecticut Bail Fund Fights for Justice »


Working to end the criminalization of poverty.

Advocating for Juvenile Justice »


Black and Latino youth are over-represented in the juvenile justice system. The Center for Children’s Advocacy's work is tackling the disparities.

Foundation Strategic Grants Support a Welcoming Community »


Foundation grants help immigrants and those returning from prison successfully integrate into a welcoming community.

Building Connections Through Local Media »


Voices of people starting over after coming home from prison are heard on “Criminal Justice Insider,” a new Foundation-sponsored show on the New Haven Independent 's WNHH radio station.

How can we help?

Caprice Taylor Mendez

Strategic Program Manager 203-777-7089 Email Caprice


70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510



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