NYC Event to Examine New Research Regarding Consequences of Incarceration on Individuals & Families

NYC EVENT TO EXAMINE NEW RESEARCH REGARDING CONSEQUENCES OF INCARCERATION ON INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES

 NEW YORK – October 12, 2016 – New findings on the consequences of the criminal justice system will be discussed at an event hosted by the J.C. Flowers Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at the Harvard Club of New York on October 18.

The forum, “Returning Home, Rebuilding Lives” will highlight new research on New York and Boston from sociologist Bruce Western, the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice Policy at Harvard University. Distinguished criminal justice experts will also consider the challenges faced by formerly incarcerated individuals when they return home, as well as how New York City neighborhoods can provide support to formerly incarcerated individuals and their families, who often also face significant emotional, physical, and financial burdens.

Each year, 600,000 men and women nationwide return from prison to low-income, inner-city communities. Harlem, in particular, has a high number of individuals who have either experienced incarceration themselves or know someone who has, according to recent data.

The panel, which will be moderated by Vikrant Reddy, a senior research fellow with the Charles Koch Institute, includes:

  • Thomas Edwards, community engagement manager, Circles of Support Harlem
  • Howard Husock, vice president of research and publications, Manhattan Institute
  • Chanta Parker, program team leader, Essie Justice Group
  • Bruce Western, Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice Policy, Harvard University

“It is critical that we have conversations like this to highlight the toll of collateral consequences on people and families in New York and in cities nationwide,” said Reddy. “Not only does incarceration impact the lives of offenders and their families, but the fines and related fees associated with it create heavy and often crippling financial burdens. Rather than sending the formerly incarcerated back into their communities without support or guidance, we should instead involve their families in the re-integration process and assist with job training and readiness in order to reduce recidivism and create a more effective environment for behavioral change.”

“We have learned that strong families, including young children, are very important to those coming home. We believe that our focus on strengthening families has been effective, and it certainly has been personally rewarding” said Chris Flowers of the J.C. Flowers Foundation, who will also be making opening remarks at the event.

According to statistics gathered by the J.C. Flowers Foundation and Circle of Support’s Harlem Re-Entry Initiative:

  • In Harlem alone, 2,500 individuals return from New York state prisons each year.
  • Of those released on parole, 22 percent are re-incarcerated within a year of release, while 40 percent are re-incarcerated within three years.
  • 60 percent of those incarcerated have at least one child, and 11.3 percent report having more than four.

 Additionally, according to the New York City Department of Correction (NYC DOC):

  • Women represent nearly 7 percent of the daily New York City jail population.
  • More than 75 percent of all individuals discharged from NYC DOC custody are released directly into their communities.

The J.C. Flowers Foundation addresses critical health and social problems affecting vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations often overlooked by traditional donors. The Foundation works closely with other funding organizations, governments and local grassroots organizations in “last mile” communities to eliminate malaria in sub-Saharan Africa and support recent parolees in Harlem, New York, with returning to their communities.

The Charles Koch Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Arlington, Va., that helps people improve their lives by advancing an understanding of the benefits of free societies and supporting education and research that facilitates dialogue, sparks innovation, and creates opportunities for people to thrive.

Media interested in attending the event may contact:

Susan Lassen, executive director, J.C. Flowers Foundation (slassen@jcfco.com / 631-241-2034)

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