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Programs designed to reduce crime and change offender behavior get state funding

ALBANY -  Twenty-three programs across New York State will share more than $5 million in grant funding to support alternatives to incarceration (ATI), alternatives to jail detention and programs for individuals incarcerated in local jails, all of which are designed to reduce crime and avoid further victimization. This funding supports Governor Cuomo's commitment to enhance the state's efforts to help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully re-enter and remain in the community and the recently announced Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration.

“Reducing recidivism in communities across the state will not only create safer streets, but will also expand opportunity and improve the lives of all New Yorkers,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “Research has shown that half of felony offenders and three-quarters of misdemeanor offenders who are sentenced to jail will re-enter the system within five years. The grants announced today, along with Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration announced in this week’s State of the State, are common sense steps we can take to change these odds by helping those most at-risk of re-offending modify their behavior, lead crime-free and productive lives, and contribute to our safer communities.”

Governor Cuomo announced the creation of the Council in his 2014 State of the State address to effectively coordinate State resources that are directed towards stopping the revolving door of incarceration for so many New Yorkers. The Council is expected to bring leadership from a wide array of agencies together with key community stakeholders, including non-profits and re-entry service-providers statewide, to ensure that State policies regarding a broad spectrum of issues – housing, health care, education, employment, and veterans’ services, among others – are aligned with both federal and local efforts.

Other innovative criminal justice efforts aimed at reducing incarceration rates, while saving money for New York taxpayers, include the nation’s first state-led Pay for Success project funded by private investors and foundations that will train and employ formerly incarcerated individuals and Work for Success, a program Governor Cuomo launched with community-based organizations to promote and increase the employment of formerly incarcerated individuals.