The Harlem Reentry Court helps parolees make the transition back to their community.
The Reentry Court's work with parolees is based on the following principles:
Comprehensive Information: Potential participants undergo a pre-release assessment in prison. Parole staff develop detailed profiles of participating inmates that include information about medical status (including mental health), addiction, criminal involvement, living arrangements, vocational skills and family composition. Based on this information, a customized treatment and supervision plan is prepared for each participant.
Accountability: After their release, parolees appear frequently at the Reentry Court to report on their compliance with the treatment and supervision plans. To promote compliance, the reentry team uses graduated sanctions and rewards. Sanctions for misbehavior may include curfews, increased court appearances and, in the most serious cases, return to prison. Rewards, which provide positive reinforcement for positive behavior, include reduced court reporting and relaxation of travel restrictions.
Coordinated Services: To improve service delivery, Reentry Court staff, parole officers and service providers convene regular case conferences. When appropriate, reentry court staff will meet with the family members of parolees to encourage their assistance and support. As part of the Harlem Community Justice Center, the Reentry Court also convenes the Manhattan Reentry Task Force, part of New York State’s Offender Reentry Task Force initiative. This partnership aims to reduce recidivism among high risk parolees returning to Manhattan through its strategic planning and jurisdiction wide collaboration, individual case management, and public outreach and education efforts.
Aftercare: The Reentry Court has developed a leadership training program that teaches presentation skills to formerly incarcerated persons. Graduates have spoken at events across the tri-state area.
Rethinking Reentry: How One Reentry Partnership is Changing Lives in Harlem
The Harlem Community Justice Center, with the generous support of the J.C Flowers Foundation, participates in the Circles of Support Initiative, which brings together the faith community and formerly incarcerated leaders to support men and women returning home from prison. The video below highlights a Circles of Support partnership between the Harlem Reentry Court and the Church of the Heavenly Rest. The program assists participants on parole who are seeking employment.