By Clare Dignan
About 100 people come out of prison to return home to the city every month. This week begins an awareness campaign to help these individuals put their lives together again.
Mayor Toni N. Harp and Earl Bloodworth, of Project Fresh Start and the Warren Kimbro Reentry Project, announced Monday special events being held this week recognizing National Reentry Week. Faith-based and education organizations are collaborating with the city on the initiative.
The week promotes reentry of formerly incarcerated individuals back into their communities. Project Fresh Start and WKRP both work to facilitate successful transitions and better opportunities for people who have gone to prison.
“Each returning resident has already faced consequences for his or her criminal behavior,” Harp said. “To prevent them from a resuming a productive life amounts to double jeopardy and yet, nationally, an estimated 60 percent of prisoners are re-arrested, so the need for these services is clear. National Reentry Week and New Haven’s acknowledgment of it is meant to call attention to all that’s being done, and so much more that could be done to restore returning residents to productive, fulfilling lives.”
Project Fresh Start helps formerly incarcerated people with employment, housing and medical referrals, getting identification, substance abuse and mental health, pardons and others areas to get them back into the community.
“Anybody who’s ever had any type of issue that’s formerly incarcerated can come through that door and find assistance,” Bloodworth said, or they can find somebody to just talk to who will listen.