HARTFORD – Today, amid National Reentry Week, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), U.S. Congressman John Larson (CT-1), and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin announced that the Housing Authority of the City of Hartford will receive a $100,000 federal grant through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program to help young people involved in the juvenile justice system find employment, secure affordable housing, and reintegrate back into the community. The $100,000 grant with $25,000 matching contribution for the Housing Authority received priority consideration as a result of North Hartford’s Promise Zone designation, and will build on the city’s Promise Zone initiative. Connecticut is one of just 13 states nationwide to receive the funding.
“Each day, young men and women return from the justice system without the resources they need to find a job or a place to live. They face stigmas and barriers that put them at risk of returning to crime and falling into a dangerous, downward spiral,” said Murphy, Blumenthal, and Larson. “It’s time that we reorient the way in which we deal with kids in the court system, and actually give them the help they need to be successful, law-abiding members of our community. Programs like this help bring life-changing opportunities to young people across the city, helping them get back on track.”
“Helping young people who’ve made mistakes and paid for those mistakes get a real second chance is a critical part of making our city safer and stronger,” said Mayor Bronin. “The Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program grant will help us give young people the support they need to rebuild their lives and reintegrate into our community. This is an example of smart, far-sighted policies that recognize that giving people a second chance is far better for our communities than permanent punishment. I¹m grateful to Senator Blumenthal, Senator Murphy, Congressman Larson, and all of our partners at the federal level for their support and advocacy for Hartford."
“We are grateful for this grant. The funds will assist in helping justice-involved youth in the City’s North Hartford Promise Zone to overcome the barriers they face when pursuing higher education, gainful employment and decent and safe housing,” said Annette Sanderson, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the City of Hartford.
Nearly 55,000 individuals under age 21 are currently in juvenile justice facilities across the nation. Having a juvenile or a criminal record can severely limit an individual’s ability to seek higher education, find good employment, or secure affordable housing, creating unnecessary barriers to economic opportunity and productivity.
To help alleviate consequences associated with a juvenile or criminal record, the Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program assists young people up to age 24 residing in public housing, or who would be residing in public housing but for their record, by:
- Expunging, Sealing, and/or Correcting Juvenile or Adult Records; as permitted by State law;
- Assisting targeted youth in mitigating/preventing collateral consequences such as, reinstating revoked or suspended drivers’ licenses;
- Counseling regarding legal rights and obligations in searching for employment;
- Providing guidance for readmission to school; and
- Creating or modifying child support orders and other family law services, and more.