Current Initiatives



The New York City Justice Corps:

Press Release

The Prisoner Reentry Institute (PRI) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in partnership with the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity and the Mayor's Young Men's Initiative, is expanding the New York City Justice Corps reentry initiative to serve 300 young adults annually in the South Bronx, Jamaica, East New York and Harlem.

The goals of the NYC Justice Corps are to reduce poverty and recidivism among young men and women, ages 18-24, who reside in communities with high rates of poverty and criminal justice involvement.

The program brings young adults who have been involved in the justice system together with their communities to identify and address unmet community needs through meaningful and reparative service. Following three months of service, Justice Corps members are placed in internships and then in jobs. Corps members also participate in educational services and job training programs to develop their academic and employment skills.

Since 2008, NYC Justice Corps members have completed more than 70 projects. Beautiful murals, renovated early child centers, and weatherized low-income housing in target communities across the city provide remarkable evidence of the Corps members' work in their communities.

As of October 2012, NYC Justice Corps will serve four communities:

Bronx Justice Corps
Serving the South Bronx
Contact: Angela Mayo
Phipps CDC
Turning Point
1409 Fulton Avenue
Bronx, NY 10456
Phone: 347.329.4004 ext.*5050
Program partner: Youth Represent

Harlem Justice Corps
Serving Central and East Harlem
Contact: Tai Merey Alex
Project Manager
Harlem Community Justice Center
Dempsey Center, 127 West 127th Street,
New York, New York 10027
Phone: (347) 709-6127
Email: (for partners) (for participants/referrals)
Program partners: Center for Employment Opportunities, Literacy Partners, The College Initiative

East New York Justice Corps
Serving East New York, Brownsville, Bushwick
Contact Name: Katherine Leptokaropoulos
Title: Director of Young Adult Services
Center for Community Alternatives
80 Jamaica Avenue, 1stFloor
Brooklyn, NY 11207 (October 2012)
Phone: 212-691-1911, ext. 226
(O); 917-605-0629
Program partners: Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, Youth Represent

Queens Justice Corps
Serving Jamaica
Michael Rieger
Director, Queens Justice Corps
89-31 161st Street
Jamaica NY 11432
Program partners: Safe Space, Youth Represent

NYS Prison to College Pipeline:

In partnership with the New York State Department of Correctional Services, this initiative will engage public higher education as a partner in facilitating successful reentry for individuals leaving state prison. John Jay College will offer college-level courses at Otisville Correctional Facility to individuals within three to four years of release.



Community-Based Organization Jail Reentry Guide:

In partnership with The Urban Institute, PRI developed a guide oriented for community-based organizations on establishing and sustaining meaningful and effective partnerships with their local jails. The guide includes background information about the criminal justice system and an understanding of the importance of collaborating with local jails. It features profiles of partnerships from around the country that demonstrate success in improving service delivery and improved outcomes for individuals returning home. To access the guide, click here.

Online Reentry Certificate Course and Community-Based Town Hall Collaborative:

PRI is collaborating with the Fortune Society, a New York City-based community-based organization that provides reentry services, to develop an online professional reentry certificate course and toolkits to better equip practitioners in their efforts to promote successful reentry. The online certificate course will draw from evidence-based practices from the field. In addition, PRI and the Fortune Society convened four meetings among stakeholders in Harlem to address a range of issues related to serving people returning home from prison and jail. The online certificate course and toolkits will be available Spring 2011.

Development of a "What Works" Reentry Research Clearinghouse:

In collaboration with The Urban Institute and the National Reentry Resource Center, PRI is developing a clearinghouse that catalogs and classifies existing reentry research. The purpose is to inform practitioners about the strength of interventions as they develop their own programs.

Jail Reentry Collaborative:

In partnership with The Urban Institute and the Montgomery County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, we formed a Jail Reentry Collaborative, convened a roundtable on jail reentry issues in June 2006, and drafted the monograph, Life after Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community, and The Jail Administrator's Toolkit for Reentry. For a link to roundtable papers and summary of the Roundtable, click here. For a link to The Toolkit and Life After Lockup, click here.

Occasional Series on Reentry Research:

The Prisoner Reentry Institute coordinates monthly lectures to advance the knowledge base and facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue between and among practitioners, policymakers and researchers in the New York City metropolitan area. For a list of past lectures, including copies of reports and journal articles, biographies, PowerPoint presentations, and selected bibliographies, see the Occasional Series Events page.



Reentry Roundtable on Education:

In partnership with The Urban Institute, the PRI sponsored a national roundtable on education and reentry in Spring 2008. The meeting, made possible by funding support from the United States Departments of Education and Justice, the Achelis-Bodman Foundation, and other private funders, focused on the intersections of education, incarceration and reentry. The two days of discussion explored the need for and current state of correctional education and identified promising programmatic and policy directions. We examined the broad continuum of education programs – including ABE, GED, vocational, and post-secondary – serving individuals with criminal records in prisons and jails and after release.

In preparation for the Roundtable, we commissioned seven academic papers focused on specific topics related to the intersection of education, incarceration, and reentry. Papers and a two-hour DVD of the Roundtable discussion are available. A monograph highlighting the Roundtable findings entitled From the Classroom to the Community: Exploring the Role of Education during Incarceration and Reentry is also available. To view copies of the commissioned papers, the two-hour DVD and the full report, click here.

Reentry Resource Guide on Education Planning:

We authored Back to School: A Guide for Continuing Your Education after Prison, a resource guide for individuals leaving state prison interested in furthering their education upon release (funded by the U.S. Department of Education). The guide is available here.



Entrepreneurship and Reentry:

While our nation's policymakers are starting to comprehend the importance of employment in the reintegration of people with criminal records, little attention is being paid to the opportunity entrepreneurship represents to promote self-determination and empowerment. To explore the viability of entrepreneurship as a reentry strategy, we conducted a year-long project (funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation) culminating in a newly released monograph. Venturing beyond the Gates: Facilitating Successful Reentry with Entrepreneurship includes overviews of the fields of criminal justice, reentry, entrepreneurship, and microenterprise; opportunities represented by bridging these fields; funding opportunities; and profiles of microenterprise programs working with currently and formerly incarcerated individuals. It finds that, for some formerly incarcerated individuals, entrepreneurial training provides an opportunity to capitalize on their talents and skills, become agents of change in their lives and families, and contribute to the vibrancy and health of our communities. To read the monograph, click here.



Institute Spotlights

Coming Soon...

Prisoner Reentry Institute
555 W. 57th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10019