How We’re Making A Difference
To address Boulder County’s reentry challenge, The Reentry Initiative has developed a phased approach for the Longmont area to provide a holistic solution to this longstanding problem. The Reentry Initiative will focus specifically on addressing the issues of women who are reentering. Men represent a much larger group, and while we will help them, we have an intentional and strategic concentration on women.
In Phase 1, in both the Boulder County Jail and Denver Women’s Correctional Facility, The Reentry Initiative (TRI) will provide consolidated, evidence-based, planning prior to a women’s release. Upon release, TRI will provide comprehensive reentry services through our office at the Our Center in Longmont, in partnership with agencies providing both mental health and employment services.
In Phase 2, TRI will provide supportive transitional housing to a segment of the homeless population in Boulder County that no one else is serving, while at the same time, achieve a reduction in recidivism and the associated costs. We will provide supportive transitional housing to homeless, reentering women from Boulder County who have served at least one sentence of incarceration, and through stringent assessment, demonstrate readiness to change to avoid returning to addiction and incarceration. By focusing on this population, TRI solves part of an additional problem, that of overcrowding in the Boulder County jail. When we are fully funded with both our reentry and housing services in place, TRI will reduce per-person costs of homelessness and incarceration from $43,300 to $17,000 using proven, evidence-based models and curriculum.
Though the Longmont area represents only a subset of Boulder County, because of the socio-economic characteristics of the Longmont area, it tends to receive a disproportionate share of the reentering citizens in the County. The County has recognized the unmet need to serve this community. In the Boulder County 10-Year Plan to Address Homelessness, it specifically cites the great need of returning offenders. The study states quite clearly:
“A final area for focusing prevention efforts relates to issues that confront individuals who are transitioning back into the community. These populations are at greater risk of homelessness given their need to establish an economic base and secure housing resources within the community…While coordination efforts in these areas do exist, they are not optimally and systematically organized and therefore, require additional structure so that individuals are better able to transition into a successful and stable living situation.”
We have initiated programs for re-entry offenders, since some 500,000 to 600,000 offenders will come out of prison each year for the next three or four years. We want to have positive alternatives when they come back to the community.