FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 19, 2008
COUNCIL MEMBER LETITIA JAMES, CROWN HEIGHTS MEDIATION CENTER, ALONG WITH CHURCHES, AND RESIDENTS OF CROWN HEIGHTS INVITE YOU TO A RE-ENTRY RESOURCE FAIR, FOR FORMERLY INCARCERATED INDIVIDUALS AND THEIR FAMILIES ON SATURDAY, NOV. 22ND, FROM 1PM–3PM
The goal of the Re-Entry Resource Fair is to assist formerly incarcerated people with rehabilitation for successful integration into society, the community, and the workforce.
Re-adjusting within the community for formerly incarcerated individuals is often a difficult experience. It has been argued that incarcerated persons do not receive adequate resources during their time in prison to equip them upon their release.
Within the employment environment, the formerly incarcerated face limited opportunities, as well as discrimination from potential employers. The U.S. Department of Justice states that, in 2007, 30% of people released from prison are rearrested in the first six months following release, 44% in the first year, and 67.5% in the first three years. This can partly be explained by inappropriate planning at the end of an inmate’s jail or prison term as well as a lack of employment opportunities and affordable housing upon release. The Independent Committee on Reentry and Employment reports that up to 60% of formerly incarcerated individuals are unemployed, as are 89% of those who violate parole or probation. Yet, if an individual has a job at the start and end of a supervised release from jail or prison, federal court statistics show that the success rate is 85%.
Finding housing for formerly incarcerated individuals is also a difficulty. Private property owners typically inquire into the background of individuals and often deny housing to anyone with a criminal background. Before1988, public housing was a solution to this issue. Ex-offenders were placed on a list like all other public housing applicants and considered based on a number of factors, including age, marital and parental status. However, Congress removed this through an amendment to the public housing statute, adopting a one-strike eviction policy for tenants in federal public housing who engage in certain types of criminal behavior. It has become virtually impossible for formerly incarcerated individuals to find stable and suitable housing.
The Re Entry Resource Fair is an opportunity for formerly incarcerated individuals, and their families, to gain professional and unbiased information on many issues that affect their everyday lives. The fair will contain information on Housing, Legal Advocacy, Counseling, Family Services, Education, Employment and Career Development, Medical Services, Substance Abuse Treatment, and Spiritual Resources.
What: Re-Entry Resource Fair for formerly incarcerated individuals and their families
Who: The Formerly Incarcerated, Churches and Residents
When: Saturday, November 22nd, from 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm
Where: Calvary Community Church, 1575 St Johns Place (at the corner of Buffalo Avenue), Brooklyn
Contact: Faye Biggin at (212) 788-7081, and CHCMC at 718-773-6886