All posts by Lori Rodriguez

CCF Statement in Opposition to the FIRST STEP Act

For Immediate Release: November 14th 2018

New York, NY –Tonight,President Trump publicly voiced support for the First Step Act, a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill intended to lower federal incarceration rates and improve conditions of confinement in federal prisons. This bipartisan bill appears to advance national criminal justice reform efforts through its provisions for reentry programming, sentencing reform, opportunities for some to serve parts of their sentences at home, and ending shackling of pregnant women as they give birth. While CCF supports these efforts to provide immediate and short-term relief to those incarcerated, we believe that the long-terms effects of the First Step Act serve only to expand the power of the carceral state. Through its emphasis on using risk assessments, already proven to be based on racial bias, the bill reinforces racial prejudice and ensures communities of color continue to be disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system. Through its introduction of “e-incarceration” tactics like constant digital monitoring in the community, this bill sets a precedent for an alarming expansion of surveillance in communities already devastated by mass incarceration. Its sentencing reform provisions will prove inadequate, relying on judges’ discretion for the “drug safety valve” and replacing mandatory life sentencing with still-unfair 25-year sentences. CCF supports real reform that addresses root causes of mass incarceration. The First Step Act provides for immediate relief to those suffering in federal facilities, in exchange for long-term control in prisons and in our communities.

Statement from Vivian Nixon, Executive Director of College & Community Fellowship, formerly incarcerated person:

“In our fight for just reform, we must consider the long-term impact of policy. It’s tempting to support this bill on the merits of its effort to improve conditions of confinement. But these improvements mean little if they come at the expense of freedom for this and future generations. The First Step Act threatens our fight for justice by presenting e-incarceration approaches as progressive; in reality, this is an insidious move toward expanded control and surveillance in our homes and communities. Only by addressing the root causes of mass incarceration, based in racially biased policies and procedures, can we make lasting change. Real reform means investing in people and communities, not in for-profit prisons and surveillance.”

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 For more information or to schedule an interview with CCF staff, please contact Melanie Steinhardt at msteinhardt@collegeandcommunity.org or 646-380-7775. 
 
College & Community Fellowship (CCF) is a non-profit dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated women earn their college degrees so that they, their families, and their communities can thrive. CCF mentors students until graduation day, providing academic support, financial coaching, and other opportunities to build social capital. We approach systemic change through our national advocacy and technical assistance programs.

New Senate Legislation Would Increase Access To College For Formerly Incarcerated People

For Immediate Release: September 12, 2018
Contact: Melanie Steinhardt, msteinhardt@collegeandcommunity.org (646) 380-7775

New York, NY – Today, Senator Brian Schatz’s (D-HI) office introduced legislation allowing the Secretary of Education to issue guidance recommending the removal of criminal history screenings on college applications.  The Beyond the Box for Higher Education Act amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 and comes on the heels of the Common Application “banning the box” in August 2018.
Beyond questions on applications regarding previous criminal justice involvement, many schools employ practices that have a “chilling effect” on applicants, like requesting to see legally sealed rap sheets or requiring a letter of recommendation from prison officials before making admissions decisions. And because the criminal justice system disproportionately targets low-income people of color, communities of color are most affected by criminal history screenings on college applications. While higher education institutions typically cite campus safety as the reason for asking the question, a Center for Community Alternatives study showed that there is no correlation between criminal history screenings and campus safety: in fact, most crimes on campuses are first-time offenses. Furthermore, the data that colleges collect are not used in ways that significantly improve campus safety. Less than half of the schools that collect and use criminal justice information have written policies in place regarding what to do with the information, and only 40 percent train staff on how to interpret such information.
The Beyond the Box in Higher Education Act would require the Department of Education to create guidance addressing these oversights in data collection and utilization. The recommendations and guidance would 1) determine whether criminal and juvenile justice questions are necessary in the initial application for admissions process; 2) develop a process to determine in what situations criminal or juvenile justice information can be requested of students for non-admissions purposes, and provide a process for applicants and training for staff on the use of such information; and 3) offer recommendations for colleges and universities that decide to keep criminal and juvenile justice questions. With this guidance in place, colleges could more meaningfully address concerns related to campus safety.

Statement from Vivian Nixon, Executive Director of College and Community Fellowship:
“This bill closes a gap left by the Common Application’s removal of the question of prior justice involvement. Currently, higher education institutions do not rely on evidence-based practices when collecting data on prior justice involvement. This makes data collection a tool of intimidation that upholds stigma and does not address real questions of campus safety. Communities of color are disproportionately affected by our criminal justice system. Educational institutions should not magnify the barriers this system puts in place by denying the transformational opportunity education offers. Education is essential to success and we applaud Senator Schatz for introducing this common-sense legislation. CCF’s organizing work led to the State University of New York moving the question off its application; soon after, the Common Application dropped the box as well. This bill maintains the momentum of the movement to make college accessible to all.”

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College & Community Fellowship (CCF) is a non-profit dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated women earn their college degrees as a key strategy to successful reentry. CCF mentors students until graduation day, providing academic support, financial coaching, and other opportunities to build social capital. We approach systemic change through our national advocacy and technical assistance programs.

Common Application Removes Question About Criminal Justice History

College & Community Fellowship
For Immediate Release: August 9, 2018
Contact: Lori Rodriguez,
lrodriguez@collegeandcommunity.org, or (646) 380-7771  

New York, NY – On Tuesday, in an unexpected yet laudable move, the Common Application dropped the question of criminal justice involvement from its application. Used by more than 700 colleges and universities around the world, the Common App is the country’s most widely used college application. This move comes after a more than 10-year campaign to “Ban the Box” led by a coalition of community activists and organizations, and elected officials. The Common Application’s decision to ban the box will have tremendously positive effects for college applicants with justice histories, and for colleges that benefit from those students’ presence.

The criminal history question is not asked in ways that meaningfully improve campus safety, and frequently serves only to deter the justice-involved from seeking higher education upon release. A study conducted by the EIO (Education from the Inside Out) Coalition found that for every student rejected by SUNY admissions committees because of a felony conviction, 15 did not complete their applications due to the unwelcoming experience of facing the checkbox. Banning the box is a good first step, but the institutions that still ask the question have more work to do: most institutions have no set procedure for following up with applicants, resulting in arbitrary admissions practices like requesting access to legally sealed rap sheets and other unpredictable, ineffective criteria. A Center for Community Alternatives study found that less than half of the schools that collect and use criminal justice information have written policies in place, and only 40 percent train staff on how to interpret such information. We hope that this decision by the College Board signals a broad move by colleges to using evidence-based practices for dealing with issues of campus safety.

Statement from Vivian Nixon, formerly incarcerated receiver of college reentry services, Executive Director of College and Community Fellowship:
“Upon my release from the criminal justice system, I found myself forced to constantly explain my mistakes as I faced questions about my criminal history on job, housing, and even college admissions applications. These checkboxes asking me to self-disclose weren’t just an annoyance – they threatened to derail my success and keep me from being the engaged citizen I longed to be. Education is a human right and certain communities in our society do not have access to the same quality of education that I believe every American deserves. We congratulate the College Board for finally implementing Obama-era guidance from the Department of Education and banning the box, and look forward to a future where justice and safety are evidence-based, rather than stigma-driven.”###
College & Community Fellowship (CCF) is a non-profit dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated women earn their college degrees as a key strategy to successful reentry. CCF mentors students until graduation day, providing academic support, financial coaching, and other opportunities to build social capital. We approach systemic change through our national advocacy and technical assistance programs.

FIRST STEPS Act lays the first steps for an expanded prison system

For Immediate Release: May 24, 2018

Contact: Lori Rodriguez, lrodriguez@collegeandcommunity.org, or (646) 380-7771

New York, NY – Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the FIRST STEP Act by an overwhelming majority. College & Community Fellowship (CCF) firmly opposes the bill and urges the Senate to review and reject this bill. Though the bill attempts to make reforms to federal prisons, by and large, this bill stands to grow the for-profit prison system.  As JLUSA puts it, this prison system harms people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds and economic classes, and disproportionately harms marginalized people, including black and brown people, queer and trans people, and immigrants. Furthermore, as JLUSA points out, the FIRST STEP Act sets up the potential for long-term damage through its provisions which allow prison wardens to enter into partnerships with private entities, its calls for electronic monitoring as the only home release condition, and its earned credit provisions, all of which set the stage for the expansion of the custody of the Bureau of Prisons. Perhaps most egregiously, the Act requires that all persons incarcerated in federal correctional facilities must be housed no more than 500 miles from their homes; while on the surface this provision sounds like an ideal condition that would help family members visit their loved ones, in actuality the provision is impossible without substantial investment in constructing new federal prisons.

Though the bill includes provisions for evidence-based recidivism reduction programs, the bill’s $250 million allocation over five years is insufficient to successfully fund the programs, and reveals a lack of consultation and input from service providers and the communities they serve. It would serve the nation better to focus on sentencing reform that reduces the prison population on the front end, rather than push forward legislation with a net outcome of expanding the federal prison system through new facilities and surveillance in the community.

Statement from Rev. Vivian D. Nixon, Executive Director of College and Community Fellowship, formerly incarcerated beneficiary of reentry programs:

“As we move into a more progressive bipartisan era of criminal justice policy, we must not relegate those who have been affected by criminal punishment to the economic or policy shaping margins. We must find ways to increase their chances of success by providing reintegration services that offer more than transitional housing, transitional employment, and stopgap medical services. We have the opportunity to embrace a public policy agenda that builds on the successes of programs like CCF, which has a recidivism rate of less than three percent over three years. We attain these low numbers through a focus on a sustainable delivery model that takes into direct account the needs of those directly impacted, and we urge the Senate to carefully consider the long-term implications of passing this bill, which stands to grow the criminal justice system while offering little to no meaningful reforms to help those directly impacted by the bill.”

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College & Community Fellowship (CCF) is a non-profit dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated women earn their college degrees as a key strategy to successful reentry. CCF mentors students until graduation day, providing academic support, financial coaching, and other opportunities to build social capital. We approach systemic change through our national advocacy and technical assistance programs.

Anna Giannicchi, Academic Counselor

Anna Giannicchi is College & Community Fellowship’s newest Academic Counselor. Previously, Anna worked at College Initiative, a project of the Prisoner Reentry Institute’s Educational Initiative department. Prior to her participation at CI, Anna worked at John Jay College’s initiative “From Punishment to Public Health” (P2PH), a consortium of academic, policy, and direct service organizations joined together to reduce incarceration and enhance public health and safety in New York. Anna has worked with the Injection Drug User Health Alliance as well as the Petey Greene Program, where she tutored students ages 16-21 at Rikers Island. She has dedicated her career to serving nonprofit organizations with the mission of making higher education more accessible. Anna holds an MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College and is currently conducting research on wrongful convictions.

Randall Vair, Grants Associate

Randall Vair is the Grants Associate for CCF, responsible for institutional fundraising. He has a long professional commitment to underserved individuals and marginalized communities across New York City. Randall began his professional career as a grass-roots organizer in Albany and NYC, working on clean water, utility reform and economic justice campaigns. He also served with a number of organizations in the elderly services sector, directing a grassroots campaign to secure $2 million in state funding for programs assisting homebound elderly persons and managing a city-wide training program for professional and family caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Randall’s previous development work includes supporting criminal justice-involved young people and adults at CASES and Exodus Transitional Community. He received a B.S. from the State University of New York, and volunteers for a range of community-betterment projects in his home neighborhood of Woodside, Queens.

April Smith, THRIVE Technical Assistance Coordinator

April Smith is our THRIVE Program Coordinator.   April has worked in higher education for the past 12 years. She has a Master of Science in College Student Personnel & Administration and is completing her doctorate in Educational Leadership with a concentration in higher education.  April is a qualitative researcher, who studies the impact higher education has on formerly incarcerated women.  One of April’s favorite quotes is from Nelson Mandela which states, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world (Nelson Mandela).”  She believes this quote inspires her vision to aid in others’ informed success through continued education. 

Jordyn Rosenthal, Senior Associate of Policy & Advocacy

Jordyn Rosenthal, Senior Associate of Policy & Advocacy

Jordyn Rosenthal is the Senior Associate of Policy & Advocacy at College & Community Fellowship. She received her Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Policy and Administration from the University of Washington and has previously worked in a variety of policy advocacy settings including; United Way of King County, the New York based think tank the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness, and the BOOM!Health harm reduction center in the South Bronx. Jordyn loves connecting with people and believes that everyone has a story that the world needs to hear. At CCF, she is dedicated to supporting and empowering women to use their voice to advocate for the changes they want to see in their communities.

Senator Schatz Reintroduces Bill to Reverse Clinton-Era “Mistake”

Press Release

February 14, 2018

Today, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) reintroduced a criminal justice reform bill, which would restore higher educational opportunities to incarcerated individuals. The Restoring Education and Learning (REAL) Act of 2018 proposes the reversal of a Clinton-era “tough on crime” initiative which barred incarcerated individuals from receiving Pell Grants in 1994. In 2015, Pres. Bill Clinton stated that the 1994 bill was a mistake and that it “worsened the nation’s criminal justice system.”
 
In 2016, the Obama administration launched the Second Chance Pell Program which restored Pell Grant funding to a portion of incarcerated individuals. Under this pilot program, 67 schools across the country worked with more than 100 correctional facilities to enroll approximately 12,000 students in federal and state prisons. Each site boasts its own curriculum, with courses leading to a certificate or associate’s degree from a community college or a bachelor’s degree from a public or private four-year school.
 
Like previous Pell Grant funding, the $30 million invested in the pilot program has not taken away funds from other Pell Grant recipients. In fact, this portion comes to less than 1 percent of the $28 billion annual Pell spending. If passed, the REAL Act would officially restore Pell Grant eligibility to all incarcerated individuals, providing the funding universities need to reinstate educational programs within every facility.
 
Providing incarcerated individuals with access to higher education has several common-sense rewards, such as decreased reliance on public assistance, increased employment rates, elevated quality of life for children and communities, and a significant drop in recidivism. Children are at a higher risk of living in poverty if their parents are incarcerated; however, when parents participate in postsecondary education, there is an increased likelihood that their children will attend college.
 
 A 2012 report from the RAND Corporation found that incarcerated individuals who participated in correctional education were 43 percent less likely to recidivate than those who did not. Furthermore, the researchers noted that for every dollar invested in correctional educational programming yielded a $4-$5 return from savings produced by reduced re-incarceration costs.
 
“If passed, the REAL Act would permanently reinstate Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated students across the country, and provide fair access to an education for all incarcerated individuals,” said Vivian Nixon, Executive Director of College & Community Fellowship.  “Given the fact that 95 percent of those in prison will one day be released, it makes sense that we want returning citizens to be as equipped as possible for the often tumultuous, and stigmatized road of reentry.”
 
“When we give people in prison an opportunity to earn an education, our communities are safer, our taxpayers save money, and we can end the cycle of recidivism,” said Senator Schatz. “The REAL Act would restore a program we know already works and give people a real chance to rebuild their lives.”
 
“The importance of the REAL Act lies in the opportunities that it will open for formerly and currently incarcerated individuals, a population that faces enormous constraints and constant barriers to social mobility,” said Ivelisse Gilestra, Policy Assistant for CCF. “By providing access to education for people with criminal justice involvement we are reversing the socio-economic imbalance that keeps them stagnant in a system currently designed to exclude.”
 
For more information or to schedule an interview with CCF staff, please contact Blaire Perel at bperel@collegeandcommunity.org or 646-380-7783.
 
College & Community Fellowship (CCF) is a non-profit dedicated to helping women with criminal convictions earn college degrees so that they, their families, and their communities can thrive. CCF supports students until graduation day and beyond, providing academic support, career coaching, financial development, and much more. We approach systemic change through our national advocacy and technical assistance programs. 

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Jacqueline Thompson, Recruitment/Intake/Support Coordinator

Jacqueline Thompson is the Recruitment, Intake, and Support Coordinator at College & Community Fellowship. She is CCF’s initial point of contact for potential students. As the initial contact, Jacqueline’s responsibilities include developing a good rapport with incoming Fellows, fostering partnerships, and maintaining strong ties with other organizations and agencies in the community. She has a BA in Psychology from The College of New Rochelle that influences her encouraging and empowering approach to advocacy. Jacqueline’s many years of experience as a transitional services worker has afforded her the insight needed to work with disadvantaged populations that are vulnerable to social, economic, and civil barriers. 

Wendy Romano, Program Support & Event Coordinator

Wendy Romano is the Program Support and Event Coordinator at College & Community Fellowship. She provides support to the Academic Support Program staff, works closely with all CCF students to ensure they remain informed of all programs and activities offered, and is responsible for all basic operations. Wendy has a strong managerial and customer service background. She became attracted to CCF’s work while attending its annual graduation, where she was moved by a powerful student speech. 

Lettisha Boyd, Associate Director of Technical Assistance

Lettisha Boyd is the Associate Director of Technical Assistance (THRIVE) at College & Community Fellowship. Previously, she was the Academic Counselor at CCF for four years where she supported students through their application and enrollment process, and built strong relationships with various college faculty throughout the New York Metropolitan area. Additionally, she served as CCF’s Community Organizer where she kept students, community partners, and affiliates informed and involved with the organization’s policy campaign to increase access to higher education for criminal justice-involved populations. Her passion for social and criminal justice is fueled by the routine denials of discretionary release to people convicted of first-time violent crimes by the New York State Parole Board. Lettisha is known for her business networking skills; she holds a B.A. from CUNY School of Professional Studies in Communications and Culture, as well as certifications in Human Relations, Paralegal Studies, and Business Management. She is a quasi-credit/debt repair counselor and a trained evidenced-based practitioner.  

Ivelisse Gilestra, Community Organizer

Ivelisse Gilestra, Community Organizer

Ivelisse Gilestra is the Community Organizer at College & Community Fellowship. She holds a BA in Social Work and Sociology from Rutgers University, and received outstanding academic achievement awards. She actively participates as a panelist in discussions related to mass incarceration and criminal justice reform. Ivelisse is an outspoken advocate, highlighting the issues of accessibility to education for criminal justice-involved individuals. She participated in a dialogue with then-U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King, at the Second Chance Pell Convening in 2016. Ivelisse spoke at John Jay College in NYC on the racial policing practices of “stop-and-frisk,” underlining the intersectionality of race, class, and gender. She is committed to ending the normalization of prisons in communities of color, advocating for children at risk of entering prison, and envisioning effective and humane forms of justice.

Maria Santangelo, Director of Programs

Maria Santangelo, Director of Programs

Maria Santangelo is the Director of Programs at College & Community Fellowship. Maria is deeply committed to helping adult learners reach their potential. In 2004, Maria and her husband Richard became Peace Corps Volunteers and taught English and Environmental Education to university students in Sichuan, China. After completing her Peace Corps service, Maria became a GED instructor and trainer at the Brevard Correctional Institution in Cocoa, Florida where she prepared her students for their GED examination and trained other instructors. As CCF’s Director of Programs, Maria oversees programs that support women who have been impacted by the criminal justice system from college transition through degree attainment. Maria received her M.A. in Adult Learning and Leadership in May 2012 from Teachers College, Columbia University. Maria’s graduate work focused on the impact of for-profit and noncompetitive not-for-profit institutions and student loan debt on formerly incarcerated college students.

Melanie Steinhardt, Director of Development & Communications

Melanie Steinhardt, Director of Development & Communications

As a lifelong student of language and communication, Melanie Steinhardt builds bridges by focusing on shared values across ideological divides. A love for collaboration and an appreciation of reason guide her efforts. Melanie has worked with the homeless and HIV+ clients enrolled in the Harm Reduction services at Housing Works, Inc., incarcerated men and women participating in the GreenHouse horticultural therapy program on Riker’s Island, and formerly incarcerated community leaders forming the 2015 “Leading with Conviction” cohort at JustLeadershipUSA. At College & Community Fellowship, Melanie oversees all development and communications work, including foundation grants, government grants, individual giving, and fundraising events.

Contact Melanie at msteinhardt@collegeandcommunity.org for media requests.

Angela Diaz, Academic Counselor

Angela Diaz is College & Community Fellowship’s Academic Counselor. She has a background in Taxation and Accounting, and previously worked in operations for a transportation services company that provided service for children with special needs. Angela holds a BA in Psychology from Herbert Lehman College, and is passionate about helping students become successful in their career of choice. She enjoys the responsibility of providing educational guidance and assistance to students by creating pathways through college and helping them in choosing appropriate education programs. Angela is currently a Rape Crisis Volunteer Advocate for Bellevue Hospital at NYU Medical Center.

Vivian D. Nixon, Executive Director

Vivian D. Nixon, Executive Director

Vivian D. Nixon is the Executive Director of College & Community Fellowship (CCF), a nonprofit committed to helping formerly incarcerated women earn their college degrees. An alumna of CCF’s program, Nixon advocates nationally for the return of college-level education to our nation’s prisons and is an advocate for formerly incarcerated individuals impacted by mass incarceration. She is a Columbia University Community Scholar and a recipient of the John Jay Medal for Justice, the Ascend Fellowship at the Aspen Institute, and the Soros Justice Fellowship. Nixon received her B.S. from SUNY and is currently a creative non-fiction MFA candidate at Columbia University.

Vivian Nixon has written articles for VICE, HuffPost, and Boston Globe among others. She has appeared on several MSNBC news shows and is a regular speaker on criminal justice reform panels.

 

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The Justice Department Continues to Roll Back Progress

Press Release

November 30, 2017

In a Supreme Court brief filed last month, the Justice Department openly stated that certain incarcerated individuals do not have the right to challenge their sentences in court, in cases where the length of their sentences are now longer than our current laws would allow. College & Community Fellowship (CCF), founded soon after the “tough on crime” mentality took hold of the country, urges policymakers to continue working on commonsense reform instead of reverting back to the antiquated laws that led to our current system of mass incarceration.

In a bold move, the Justice Department forcefully urged the Supreme Court to refuse to hear an appeal from Dan C. McCarthan, a man from Florida who argues he was sentenced to seven more years than the law allowed. If the department’s new position is adopted, people like McCarthan won’t be able to appeal their sentences. The policy would mean condemning incarcerated individuals to serve out unlawful sentences. CCF is extremely dismayed by the recent deterioration of the department’s criminal justice policy, and views this change in the context of the broader landscape of reform efforts that seek to reduce the far-reaching impacts of unjust laws.

“The appeals process is a fight for one’s life,” said Vivian Nixon, Executive Director of College & Community Fellowship. “You formulate the best argument that will result in a reduced or vacated sentence so that you can be released. This notion of ‘what is right’ isn’t taken into consideration.”

Relying on flawed logic, the Justice Department’s deficient argument has broader moral repercussions. One of its essential points states that McCarthan is ineligible for habeas relief because he ”filed his challenge too late under a federal law that places strict limits on habeas corpus petitions.” McCarthan filed his challenge in 2009, six years into his incarceration, immediately following the release of a Supreme Court decision that diminished the severity of his crime. The brief argues that McCarthan could have argued his crime was nonviolent in his previous appeals, despite the fact that it was several years before this reclassification, and that “the argument was contrary to then-prevailing circuit law.”

Through our policy work, CCF knows that if the department’s position were to be accepted by the Court, it would come at the cost of human dignity and commonsense policy. At its core, our court system is supposed to be built upon the idea of justice. Barring individuals from the opportunity to appeal their sentences after significant changes in the law have occurred isn’t just, and this policy appears malicious toward those who would appeal their sentences based on the laws the Justice Department itself is meant to uphold.

“Parsing language until you can bend the law to fit your agenda is not how the system was intended to function,” said Ivelisse Gilestra, Policy Assistant at CCF. “Our system should always seek fairness and anticipate all contingencies.”

With this brief, the Department of Justice is continuing its efforts to roll back Smart on Crime policies spearheaded by the Obama Administration, while dangerously skirting its boundaries in what could be perceived as an attempt to control the Supreme Court. College & Community Fellowship urges the public to pay close attention to these policy changes and, where possible, take action to ensure that our justice system upholds fair policies.

For more information or to schedule an interview with CCF staff, please contact Blaire Perel at bperel@collegeandcommunity.org or 646-380-7783.

College & Community Fellowship (CCF) is a non-profit dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated women earn their college degrees as a key strategy to successful reentry. CCF mentors students until graduation day, providing academic support, financial coaching, and other opportunities to build social capital. We approach systemic change through our national advocacy and technical assistance programs.

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College Achievement in Reentry Technical Assistance Program (CARTAP) Letter Of Intent

College Achievement in Reentry Technical Assistance Program (CARTAP)

College & Community Fellowship (CCF), a nonprofit in New York City, has been helping formerly incarcerated women earn their college degrees since 2000. In our 16 years of service, our women have earned 314 degrees (Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, one J.D., and one Ph.D) with graduation rates as high as 93% and a cumulative recidivism rate <2%.

With CARTAP, College & Community Fellowship will teach other institutions to support criminal justice-involved students as they pursue postsecondary education.

CARTAP will be available to:

  • Nonprofit organizations working with a large number of criminal justice-involved clients
  • Colleges and universities seeking to provide effective support services for their students with criminal justice histories
  • Parole and probation offices committed to the societal engagement of their parolees and probationers

CARTAP will include:

  • Hands-on training for practitioners nationwide, led by CCF staff through in-person interactive meetings and webinars
  • Training materials including handbooks, mythbusting fact sheets, and CCF’s proprietary service delivery forms for client evaluation
  • Individual consulting to ensure that TA recipients are effectively customizing CCF’s model to work for their target populations (i.e. first-generation students, young adults, older adults, co-ed, gender-responsive, etc.)
  • Cohort-based assistance in which TA recipients network with each other to share resources and successes through annual meetings in New York City
  • Ongoing technical assistance from CCF staff throughout the implementation of college-oriented programming

CCF launched CARTAP as a pilot program in 2016 and will release a Request for Proposals to select TA recipients for this first year. Given adequate funding, CCF will sustain CARTAP for at least 5 years.

Please do NOT submit full proposals at this time. We are only requesting Letter of Intent, which should be submitted by October 19th 2016 to the Associate Director of Technical Assistance, Lettisha Boyd via email at lboyd@collegeandcommunity.org. See below for LOI requirements.

College Achievement in Reentry Technical Assistance Program (CARTAP)

LETTER OF INTENT

[AGENCY NAME]

 

Contact Person

            Title

            Email

            Phone Number

 

 

Mission Statement:

 

 

 

Primary Activities (100 words)

 

 

 

 

Population Served (100 words)

 

 

 

 

What programming do you already have for criminal justice-involved individuals, if any? (200 words)

 

 

 

 

How does your program or agency manage and track data regarding your participants? (100 words)

 

 

 

 

 

Why do you want technical assistance from CCF? What are your goals for implementing the information provided to your programming or agency? (300 words)

 

Academic Counselor

Angela Diaz is CCF’s Academic Counselor. She comes to CCF from a Taxation and Accounting background and was previously working in the field of logistics for transportation services of children with special needs. She is currently attending Herbert Lehman College pursuing a BA in Psychology.  Angela holds a passion for promulgation/awareness of Mental Health issues as deterrent for individuals to attain quality of life (professionally, academically and personally). Only by being able to understand and assess their mental health needs, she will be able to provide tools and resources which may be available.