A Celebration of Achievement
In January, the graduates of the Fall 2004 ReConnect session gathered with family, friends and Correctional Association staff to celebrate the end of the program with a festive certificate ceremony and reception.
ReConnect works with women who have recently been released from prison or jail. Formerly incarcerated women face many challenges—from finding jobs and housing to reuniting with their children. ReConnect’s 12-week curriculum helps women overcome these hurdles and make a successful return to their communities. The workshops teach a variety of skills: how to access resources, expand support networks, and get involved in grassroots advocacy. Another benefit of the program comes from the support and encouragement the participants share.
As I presented the certificates, the women spoke about ReConnect and their goals for the future. Some are settling into new jobs and apartments; others have become advocates with the Coalition for Women Prisoners, a statewide advocacy group coordinated by the CA. All are focusing their skills on building the lives they desire. The graduates talked about how ReConnect gave them a safe place to speak about their problems and to be heard by people who want to help them achieve their goals.
To close the evening, Stacey Thompson, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Women in Prison Project and a ReConnect alumna, sang a song in honor of the graduates. Project Director Tamar Kraft-Stolar noted, “The success of each ReConnect graduate is a success for all of us. Formerly incarcerated women have the right to advocate for themselves and the issues they care about, and ReConnect enables women to exercise that right.” Many thanks to Natalie Abatemarco, Monica Chaves and Sandy Fernandes of Citigroup for their generous support of this event.
CA Applauds Commitment to Raise the Age in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address, Laments No Mention of Racism, Violence, and Abuse in NYS Prisons
(January 9, 2016) New York, NY: The Correctional Association of New York roundly applauds the continued commitment of Governor Andrew Cuomo to raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York, ending the prosecution and incarceration of 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. It is now up to the members of both parties in the NYS Legislature to do their duty to make this a reality. In spite of the Governor’s assertion that the "nation looks to NY to find a way up," we actually fall behind 48 other states, along with North Carolina, by continuing to treat children as adults in the criminal legal system. New York must Raise the Age of criminal responsibility this legislative session. Read More
In New York State, 16 and 17-year-olds arrested or detained can be sent to adult prisons and jails. Despite multiple studies that show a teenager’s brain functions are not fully developed, our state insists on charging young people like adults, creating a generation of over-incarcerated youth in New York. We sat down to speak with [...]Read More
Prison Monitoring Reports
The Correctional Association of NY released a report on March 31, 2016 about Collins Correctional Facility, highlighting the large number of people with mental illness incarcerated at Collins and the lack of support and programs for these and other people incarcerated at the prison. Collins Correctional Facility is a medium security prison in western New [...]Read More