Community Partners in Action Awarded $750,000 Reentry Grant

by | Dec 20, 2021

U.S. Department of Justice grant will expand CPA’s prison reentry initiatives in Hartford and Waterbury.

Community Partners in Action is the recipient of a three-year, $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to implement and expand our Reentry Welcome Centers in Hartford and Waterbury.

The grant is part of the Second Chance Act Community-Based Reentry Program, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. It provides funding to nonprofit organizations and Indian tribes to implement or expand on reentry programs that demonstrate strong partnerships with corrections, parole, probation, and other reentry service providers.

“CPA is proud to be a leader in providing much-needed services such as basic needs, employment, housing assistance, and referrals for substance abuse and mental health for those returning home from prison,” said Beth Hines, CPA Executive Director. “This grant will enable CPA to continue our strong partnerships with the CT Department of Correction, Court Support Services Division of the CT Judicial Branch, the cities of Hartford and Waterbury, and other reentry service providers to help ensure the successful reintegration of people coming home from prison.”

The primary grant deliverables for both Centers include:
A centralized location for reentry information and referrals to housing, substance abuse/mental health services, employment, transportation, basic needs, etc.

A safe location to be dropped off by the Department of Correction for people on their day of release from prison when returning to the Cities of Hartford, Waterbury, or their surrounding towns.

Pre- and post-release care continuity and case management for 100 individuals annually (300 over the life of this grant) who are released from prison and returning to Hartford, Waterbury, or surrounding towns.

A Collective Impact Approach for returning citizens to enroll in services and access community resources through a coordinated and collaborative process.

“Reducing crime does not end after a prison term is completed,” added U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal for Connecticut. “This significant federal grant will reduce recidivism and community crime, providing people who were formerly incarcerated with the services they need to become productive members of society. Community Partners in Action has deep experience working with individuals to provide the assistance and support they need so they do not return to a life of crime. These funds will allow CPA to expand these efforts and reach more people. I am proud to advocate for this funding as we continue to take steps to lower the crime rate and reduce the harmful impacts of incarceration.”

“People leaving our criminal justice system often face big barriers when looking for housing, securing employment, and accessing health care,” said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy for Connecticut. “Community Partners in Action helps thousands of people in Connecticut get back on their feet each year, and this grant will be a game-changer for so many in Hartford and Waterbury.”

About the Hartford Reentry Welcome Center: CPA, in collaboration with the City of Hartford and community partners, opened the Hartford Reentry Welcome Center (HRWC) in September 2018. Since then, the HRWC has assisted over 800 individuals, with a priority focus on people released “End of Sentence.” The grant will allow CPA to assist more people, including those on probation and parole, and expand programming to include pre-release services.

“Building a Reentry Welcome Center was a priority of our administration five years ago. We are excited that CPA will be able to build on its incredible work with this significant federal grant,” said Thea Montanez, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Hartford. “CPA’s Reentry Welcome Center in City Hall has worked with more than 800 persons returning from incarceration. We’re very grateful to all the staff who devote so much time and energy to facilitating successful reentry in our community. This new Department of Justice grant, combined with City funding provided through President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, will expand the Center’s services and capacity to assist more people returning to Hartford after prison.”

About the Waterbury Reentry Welcome Center: Replicating the success of the Hartford Center, CPA’s Waterbury Reentry Welcome Center is being developed with support from the City of Waterbury and local and national foundations. To tailor the program to the needs of those impacted by incarceration in the Waterbury area, Community Partners in Action received input from community partners and people with lived experience. The Waterbury Reentry Welcome Center opened this month, providing case management services and basic needs assistance to a limited number of clients. With the awarding of this grant, the Center will scale up to full operations by summer 2022.

“After several years of planning, the Waterbury Reentry Welcome Center just opened this month thanks to the tremendous work by the Greater Waterbury Reentry Council, CPA, and the collaboration of federal, state, and local organizations,” said Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary. “Our region’s returning citizens need a centralized location for reentry information and referrals to housing, substance abuse, mental health services, employment, and transportation. This grant will allow what is already a great start for the Center to rapidly expand its services in a matter of months.”