On May 11th, Senator Montgomery convened "Connecting the Dots: A Networking Event on Re-Entry" featuring special guest Christina Hernandez, Director of Re-Entry Services for the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCs).
DOCCs operates the Brooklyn Community Supervision Office located in the 25th Senate District. In addition to Ms. Hernandez, Audrey Thompson, Parole Services Program Specialist; Nigel Joseph, Brooklyn Regional Director; and Parole Officers from the Brooklyn Community Supervision office were in attendance to discuss DOCCs existing re-entry programs and services, and potential opportunities for collaboration with community based organizations.
Representatives from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services’ Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives were also on hand to provide an overview of their agency and opportunities for collaboration.
Attendees included faith-based institutions, criminal justice organizations and community stakeholders such as the Bedford Stuyvesant Community Legal Services, Bethany Baptist Church of Brooklyn, Black Veterans for Social Justice, Bridge Street A.M.E. Church, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Children of Promise – NYC, Community Service Society [Next Door Project], Concord Baptist Church, Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, the Doe Fund, Families Fathers & Children, Good Shepherd Services, Groundswell, Katal Center for Health Equity & Justice, Life to Life, Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, National Association of Social Workers – NYC, Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic (NTAC), New York Therapeutic Communities, Inc. (NYTC), Osborne / Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging, Osborne Association, Red Hook Community Justice Center, Refoundry, Releasing Aging Persons from Prison (RAPP), Serendipity I, Serendipity II, The Church of Gethsemane, The Fortune Society, The Hope Program, The Interchurch Center, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and YWCA of Brooklyn
The goal of the meeting was to create a network of support to serve formerly incarcerated individuals and to ensure that the community is prepared to receive them. Strengthening and maintaining these relationships is vital to the success of re-entry and the safety of our communities.