Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Ex-Convicts Help Companies Fill Need for Skilled Labor

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Erickson Cos., a Chandler, Ariz., based construction firm, has hired almost 30 former inmates from Arizona state prisons over the past year to build frames for new homes, an effort to cope with skilled-labor scarcity.

“We’re searching for every alternative avenue that we possibly can to help solve this labor shortage,” Rich Gallagher, Erickson’s chief executive, said in an interview.

Read the whole article HERE.

Evidence-Based Policymaking: Findings From States

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In a new report, the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative assesses the prevalence and sophistication of six key evidence-based policymaking actions—in each state and the District of Columbia—across four policy areas: behavioral health, child welfare, criminal justice, and juvenile justice. States are categorized as Leading, Established, Modest, or Trailing in their levels of evidence-based policymaking.

These interactive maps provide a range of information regarding states’ engagement in evidence-based policymaking. The first map shows how each state scored overall, while the other two maps detail implementation of particular actions across the policy areas studied. In the full report, Pew researchers explain methods and findings in depth, exploring how states have created different tools and processes to incorporate evidence into decision-making.

Read the whole article HERE.

AZ to Spend $1.5 Million to Turn Ex-Cons Into Professional Firefighters

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Arizona is letting inmates out of prison to fight fires, and now it wants to help them turn that experience into a career.

After successfully using work-release inmates to fight fires, Arizona will now spend $1.5 million to create a professional ex-con fire crew, Gov. Doug Ducey (R-Ariz.) has announced. “I want it to be easier for individuals released from prison to stand up and protect their communities.”

Read the whole article HERE.

New Government Report Points to Continuing Mental Health Crisis in Prisons and Jails

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A new Bureau of Justice Statistics report offers another grim view of mental health problems in America’s prisons and jails. Indicators of Mental Health Problems Reported by Prisoners and Jail Inmates 2011-12 is the first government update on the mental health of incarcerated populations since 2006. BJS has made some changes to its data collection, making comparisons to earlier reports difficult, but the takeaway is the same, ten years later: U.S. prisons and jails are filled with people who have a current or past mental health problem, and facilities are still not meeting the demand for treatment.

Read the whole article HERE.

A Hard Look at What Prison Means for the Kids Left Behind

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One in every 14 children in the U.S. has had a parent in prison. For poor families, it’s one in eight. They are the collateral damage of a mass incarceration movement that has made the U.S. the nation with the most prisoners in the world.

For the past nine years, it’s been the job of Aileen Keays Yeager to figure out what that means for children in Connecticut.

She is project manager for the Children with Incarcerated Parents Initiative at the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy at Central Connecticut State University. Since its inception in 2008, she had administered funding for non-profits that serve these children, then studied to see what works.

Read the entire interview HERE.

Career Opportunity for Reentry Women

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Building Pathways CT is seeking Connecticut women who are looking for the skills that pay the bills!

Women Candidates Must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have a High School diploma or GED
  • BE DRUG FREE
  • Be a Connecticut resident
  • Be unemployed or underemployed
  • Be physically able to work in construction
  • Have access to a car

For more information, please click here

Prison Officials Resist Push to Curb Solitary Confinement

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Article from Wall Street Journal, April 27, 2017, Page A3

State lawmakers across the U.S. are facing resistance as they move to curtail the use of solitary confinement in prisons, showing how hard it is to legislate changes in the nation’s chronically understaffed prison system.

Director of the Nevada DOC, James Dzurenda has pushed for more humane, sensible approaches. He said, “Those offenders are going back into our societies with our kids and our families. We can’t just sit back and watch these offenders get worse.”

Jim has had various positions in the CT DOC, eventually becoming the Director. He left in 2014 to become Director of NYC’s Jails System (over $1.2 B budget). He left that position for his current post, Director of the Nevada DOC, April 2016.

Manufacturers Discuss Second-Chance Hires

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Article from CT Post, April 21, 2017

BRIDGEPORT — National statistics have shown that 93 percent of federal prisoners who found jobs during their supervised release period didn’t return to prison, while half of those who couldn’t find jobs did.

“If people understand the problem, we think they’ll come forward and hire ex-offenders,” Nicholas Yanicelli, president of the Malta Justice Initiative, told members and guests at the Southwest Connecticut Manufacturing Consortium’s monthly meeting.

Click here to read more

Malta Discusses Re-entry Survey On-Air with Steve Kotchko

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Radio Interview from Dialogue*, April 19th

Steve Kotchko, radio show host of Dialogue sat down to talk with Ed Quinlan from the Malta Justice Initiative (MJI).  In the show, Quinlan discusses a survey of Connecticut employers on the topic of hiring ex-offenders.  He also talks about the performance record of ex-offenders who do get jobs, and the cost to society if ex-offenders can’t find work.

“Dialogue”* is a public affairs program produced and owned by the Connecticut Radio Network to inform our listeners about important issues facing the state.   This podcast edition is designed for informational purposes only.  Any other use of this material without the express written permission of the Connecticut Radio Network and its parent company, CRN International, is strictly prohibited.

Poll Shows Business Favors Re-entry Hiring

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Business owners overwhelmingly favor the concept of hiring ex-cons, but few have experience with giving second chances to the formerly incarcerated, a new survey shows.

“When individuals coming out of prison get and keep jobs, our whole community benefits,” said John Santa.

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