202127 Coming Home And No Place To Live: Understanding perceptions among public housing residents about the reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals to these locations

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mary Nerney, CND, PD , STEPS To End Family Violence, New York, NY
Eric Canales , Policy Work Group, Harlem Community & Academic Partnership, New York, NY
Ingrid Gonzalez, LMSW , Policy Work Group, Harlem Community & Academic Partnership, New York, NY
Monique Kusick , Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies, New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY
Alyson Davis, MSW , Harlem Community & Academic Partnership, Policy Work Group, New York, NY
Ann-Gel S. Palermo, MPH , Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Tahirah Abdul Rashid, PhD , Dar-Us-Salafiyyah Tauhid Wa Aqidah, New York, NY
David Vlahov, PhD , Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies, New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY
Building on earlier work of reintegration of drug users after incarceration in Harlem, the Policy Work Group (PWG) of the Harlem Community & Academic Partnership identified access to housing as a major underlying barrier to reentry as it is an important factor for reintegration. According to the NYC Department of Corrections, approximately 100,000 people were released from city jails in 2005. Of the individuals that were released from NY State prisons, 60 percent returned to New York City. More than 80 percent of NYS prisoners originally come from low-income NYC neighborhoods, such as East and Central Harlem. With many individuals returning to these communities, the PWG utilized a community-based participatory research approach and conducted a qualitative study using focus groups to understand the perceptions about community reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals among public housing residents in northern Manhattan. Thirty-three public housing residents participated in the focus groups. All of the participants were either Latino or Black with an even mix of women and men ranging in ages from 19 to 61 years. This study suggests the need for more efficient and coordinated support and transitional services for formerly incarcerated individuals. Analysis of findings further suggest that residents are generally accepting and tolerant of formerly incarcerated individuals returning to live in their community depending on the crime and that having a place to stay is a critical factor for effective reintegration into society. Innovative housing solutions were also identified.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the CBPR approach in policy-based research 2. Describe how the role of housing is an important factor for successful reintegration 3. Identify innovative community based support methods for individuals returning from jail/prison through housing acquisition, vocational training and education, and health care support.

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Housing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have participated as a presenter in previous APHA meetings and CEI sessions
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.