Reentry Program Achieves Promising Results
04/15/2010

Participants Recognized at 4/14 Dinner Reception

Online PR News – 15-April-2010 – – LOS ANGELES – Just In Reach, a multi-agency reentry program, will host a dinner and recognition ceremony for 50 program participants. Challenged by a variety of obstacles throughout their lives, including homelessness, repeated incarcerations, mental health issues, and chemical dependency, these 50 men and women now have real reason to celebrate. Armed with new careers and stable housing, they are looking forward to a brighter future than they could have ever imagined. Family and friends will join the honorees.

Date: Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Time: 6:30pm
Location: Union Rescue Mission (Main Chapel/Ground floor) 545 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, California 90013

Interview &
Photo Oppts: Program Participants & Just In Reach Agency Partners

Media are welcome to attend.

Since inception, the Just In Reach reentry program has admitted over 600 program participants within Twin Towers, CRDF Lynwood, Pitchess Detention Center and Men’s Central Jail. This 34% recidivism rate is dramatically lower than the general population of LA County jails recidivism rate of 53% within 1 year and 75% within 3 years.

Out of more than 600 program participants:

• 199 homeless or chronically homeless inmates were placed into transitional or supportive housing
• 75 secured employment

The Just In Reach reentry program began as a pilot project in 2008 through a grant from the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH). CSH also provided technical assistance with project agency members including the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department (Community Transition Unit), Eimago Inc, Tarzana Treatment Centers, Volunteers of America, Goodwill Industries, and the Amity Foundation.

Background
For many persons with chronic health and/or mental health challenges, serving time, being homeless, and returning to jail or prison is a familiar cycle. Every year, over 650,000 people are released from prisons and more than 7 million individuals are released from jails in the United States. Nationally, about 54% of homeless persons in shelter report histories of incarceration — 49% report previous time spent in jail and 18% report previous time spent in prison. In addition, 16% of inmates in federal prison have mental health problems, and 27% of federal inmates have substance dependence or abuse. More often than not, people leaving incarceration return to impoverished communities with inadequate safety-net institutions (such as hospitals, clinics, shelters, and human service agencies) that are struggling to meet the needs of this growing population. In addition, the longstanding fragmentation of health care, social service, and housing delivery systems exacerbate these problems.

By providing housing and services that are often difficult for formerly incarcerated people to access upon release, supportive housing can provide a meaningful opportunity for stability for people whose untreated chronic health, mental health, and addiction problems would otherwise likely lead to a quick return to homelessness, relapse, and/or recidivism. A growing body of evidence suggests placing people in supportive housing, as opposed to jail or prison, provides more efficient use of scarce public re- sources; improves human condition and outcomes; and enhances public safety.

The multi-agency JIR collaborative consists of:

Community Transition Unit (CTU) of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

The mission of the CTU is to increase inmate participation in educational, vocational, and other life-skills training programs, and to assist with their successful reintegration into the community. This shall be accomplished by establishing partnerships between correctional staff, and with both public and private community based organizations and programs. The CTU work together on the JIR project with these partnering agencies:

• Tarzana Treatment Centers provides case management, housing advocacy, transitional housing, primary medical care, substance abuse and mental health services;
• Volunteers of America provides case management, transportation services, transitional housing, and benefits advocacy;
• Goodwill Industries provides employment specialists, job search and career exploration;
• Eimago, Inc. provides program oversight, data collection, case management, employment specialists that provide job training/development, housing advocates and transitional housing;
• Amity Foundation, provides mentoring services, case management, and residential substance abuse treatment;
• Corporation for Supportive Housing provides funding for housing activities, technical assistance and training for staff on housing advocacy and placement.

About Corporation for Supportive Housing
CSH is a national nonprofit community development financial institution with offices located throughout the United States. Building on a commitment to invest in the communities it serves, CSH provides the advocacy, expertise, leadership, and financial resources to make it easier for local communities to create and operate supportive housing.

The Just In Reach reentry program is part of CSH’s national Returning Home Initiative which aims to end the cycle of incarceration and homelessness that thousands of people face by engaging the criminal justice systems and integrating the efforts of housing, human service, corrections, and other agencies. Returning Home focuses on better serving people with histories of homelessness and incarceration by placing them in supportive housing. Learn more about CSH Reentry efforts at www.csh.org.

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