31 Programs Across the State to Work with Individuals to Change Behavior and Build Skills to Lead Crime-Free Lives and Support Safer Communities
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than $7.6 million in funding will support programs designed to help individuals involved in the criminal justice system build skills, obtain substance abuse and mental health treatment, and connect with services to help them break the cycle of recidivism. A total of 31 local agencies and not-for-profit organizations in eight regions across the state have been awarded funding. The grants continue the Governor's ongoing commitment to ensuring New York remains among the safest states in the nation, while continuing to reduce its reliance on incarceration.
"These programs help individuals re-enter society and break the vicious cycle of recidivism in New York," Governor Cuomo said. "By helping New Yorkers turn their lives around, these programs help strengthen communities, and protect public safety across the Empire State."
Grant awards will support 31 programs that will target approximately 4,300 individuals for services. These programs will assist individuals who have been arrested and potentially subject to pre-trial detention, including those with behavioral health needs who are at moderate- to high-risk of reoffending. Programs will also support those who can be effectively supervised in the community with services, as well as stabilize individuals who have violated probation and are at risk of incarceration.
Some of the programs receiving funding are located in counties where these types of services were previously lacking: Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Columbia, Niagara, Ontario, Rockland, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Washington and Wayne. Programs eligible to apply for funding included pre-trial release programs; defender-based advocacy programs; alternative to incarceration programs that use the Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities model; programs that assist specialized populations, including women; and probation violation residential centers.
Click here to view the complete list of funded programs, which are located in New York City and 16 counties upstate and on Long Island.
Michael C. Green, Executive Deputy Commissioner of the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, said, "New York has made great strides to reduce both crime and incarceration. These programs will build on that work by helping individuals involved with the criminal justice system make changes and gain skills so they can lead crime-free lives. This investment will result in safer communities for all New Yorkers."
Administered by the Division of Criminal Justice Services, the grants will fund the 31 programs for one year with four optional one-year renewals. The contracts will be performance-based with the programs required to achieve several milestone-specific objectives, and DCJS also will implement an evaluation system to ensure program effectiveness. The programs will use risk and needs assessments to match services and supervision at the earliest point in an individual's case, deliver high-quality cognitive behavioral interventions designed to change thinking that contributes to criminal behavior, and provide connections to workforce development programs.
The grants reflect New York State's continued use of smart, cost-effective and evidence-based policy making using the Results First model. The state - one of 20 participating in The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation initiative - used the Results First model to identify and fund programs that are both effective in reducing recidivism and cost-efficient in using taxpayer dollars. The state's work was recognized in a national case study published last year.
Programs funded through these grants complement a variety of re-entry initiatives implemented under Governor Cuomo's leadership. The state's Work for Success program has connected roughly 18,500 individuals with criminal convictions to employment through the Department of Labor, and has launched an online pledge in which companies commit to considering individuals with convictions for employment. To date, close to 100 national, state and local companies have signed the pledge. In addition, New York has instituted 'fair chance hiring' for state agencies, implemented uniform anti-discrimination guidelines in assessing candidates for occupational licenses, and prohibited insurance companies from denying coverage to employers seeking to hire formerly incarcerated New Yorkers.
The Division of Criminal Justice Services (www.criminaljustice.ny.gov) has a variety of responsibilities, including law enforcement training; collection and analysis of statewide crime data; maintenance of criminal history information and fingerprint files; administrative oversight of the state's DNA databank, in partnership with the New York State Police; funding and oversight of probation and community correction programs; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state's Sex Offender Registry.