20 formerly incarcerated individuals will receive guaranteed income for a year in New Haven
Twenty formerly incarcerated individuals from New Haven are participating in a guaranteed income pilot program that aims to cut high reincarceration rates.
They will receive a prepaid visa loaded with $500 a month for the next year. They will also receive a city issued ID card, called an Elm City Resident Card.
The 20 recipients are aged between 25-55 and were released from prison in the last year.
The project is sponsored by the city of New Haven, 4-CT and Project M.O.R.E.
4-CT, a nonprofit founded during the COVID-19 pandemic, gives cash assistance to people in need. They are fully funding the project, which will cost $120,000.
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said the program aims to support individuals reentering society after serving prison time.
“It provides people an opportunity to potentially afford housing, to put food on their plate, to have a little bit of room to look for a job, to get job training so that people can land on two feet.”
Around 900 people return to New Haven from correctional institutions each year, according to the Connecticut State Department of Corrections.
Dijonee Talley is the director of Special Projects for the New Haven Department of Community Resilience. She said the people returning from prison struggle with many aspects of reentry.
“Things like housing, securing employment, job training, barriers to education, family reunification, you name it, folks are having trouble when they get home,” Talley said.
Between 26 and 32% of individuals released from Connecticut correctional facilities are reincarcerated within one year, according to the state.
Participants are currently receiving help with their transition from the Project M.O.R.E Reentry Welcome Center. They will participate in quarterly surveys and interviews to gauge the effectiveness of the program.