Every year, about 1,200 individuals who are released from prison come to New Haven. Some are at the end of their sentence, while others are serving out criminal convictions in the community under the supervision of parole or probation officers. When provided the right level of support and opportunities, these ex-offenders can successfully become law-abiding and productive members of society. But a complex set of factors make them highly vulnerable to relapsing to criminal activity and going back to prison.
Many ex-offenders have no place to go besides a homeless shelter or to stay with friends or family in the poorest, most crime-ridden neighborhoods. They most likely lack a high school education and have limited work experience. The result is a disturbingly high recidivism rate. This cycle is devastating to families and neighborhoods and exacts a high cost from taxpayers. As successful reentry programs in New Haven and around the country have demonstrated, however, it is a cycle that can be broken.
Please visit The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven's website to read it's latest issue brief on prisoner reentry.