Edited by Jeff Grant, JD, M Div, Executive Director of Family ReEntry, serving the CT Criminal Justice Community & Co-Founder of Progressive Prison Ministries, the First Ministry in the U.S. Created to Support Individuals, Families & Organizations with White-Collar and Other Nonviolent Incarceration Issues.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Lorenzo Jones of the Katal Center on Criminal Justice Insider radio with Babz Rawls Ivy & Jeff Grant, Fri. Dec. 15th, 9 am, WNHH 103.5 FM New Haven

Lorenzo Jones, Co-Executive Director 
of the Katal Center for Health, Equity 
and Justice, Joins Us on 
Criminal Justice Insider Radio with
Babz Rawls Ivy & Jeff Grant
Fri., Dec. 15th, 9 am   
Rebroadcast at 5 pm
WNHH 103.5 FM New Haven  
Live-streaming Everywhere

Join us on Criminal Justice Insider as Babz Rawls Ivy and Jeff Grant take things personally First and Third Fridays at 9 am WNHH 103.5 FM New Haven, live-streaming on  
On Nov. 3rd, CT State Legislator Robyn Porter was our guest. On Nov. 17th, CT Commissioner of Correction Scott Semple was with us in the studio. On Dec. 1st, we talked with Amy Smoyer and Jackie Lucibello of the New Haven Women's Resettlement Working Group. Join us on Dec. 15th as we talk with Katal Center Co-Executive Director Lorenzo Jones. Other upcoming guests include U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, Carlah Esdaile-Bragg of Cornell Scott Hill Health, Flikshop CEO Marcus Bullock, Malta Justice Initiative Chairman John Santa, Christopher Llinas, Esq., and many more. 
Sponsored by Family ReEntry - Serving the Justice Community Since 1984™
and the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven - Now More Than Ever 

Article Reprinted from New Haven Independent: 
The airwaves are open to discuss Criminal Justice - from the Inside. A new show, Criminal Justice Insider, co-hosted by WNHH-FM's Babz Rawls-Ivy and Family ReEntry's Executive Director, Jeff Grant, takes a unique perspective on all issues of the justice system, including the effects of incarceration and the challenges faced by ex-offenders.

A major intrigue of the program can be found in the 
personal background stories of the show's co-hosts. Rawls-Ivy and Grant have both served prison sentences. As ex-offenders, they are well aware of the challenges, inside and outside, of the legal system and the prison system. They are also both examples of success and hope for others. 

The show, which debuted last Friday, welcomed a much larger than expected audience, and WNHH immediately doubled its originally scheduled programming. Criminal Justice Insider is now slated for a full hour at 9:00AM on the first and third Fridays of each month.

Rawls-Ivy, who is also the host of WNHH's daily "LoveBabz LoveTalk," and editor of the Inner City News, proclaimed, "Jeff and I have talked about doing something like this for a while. When we pitched the topic to the station, we presented so many aspects that affect so many people, not just in Connecticut but all over the country, the content designed itself." 

As the executive director of Family ReEntry, a social service organization in Bridgeport that works with individuals and their families who have been directly impacted by incarceration, Grant is a perfect complement to the show. "This show is important because we go deep into the personal challenges and successes that individuals, families and whole communities experience. There are not many places that welcome and encourage the authentic, vulnerable side of the criminal justice experience."

Working in affiliation with local news source, The New Haven Independent, a recap of each Criminal Justice Insider show and a preview of upcoming shows will be published. For anyone who hasn't already heard the program, the debut broadcast is now available in its entirety on SoundCloud and to keep up with the topics of discussion, a Facebook page has also been set up at Criminal Justice Insider.
Serving the Justice Community Since 1984: Family ReEntry is a 501c3 nonprofit, which was founded in Bridgeport in 1984. It has since grown to include policy advocacy, and intervention, prevention, in-prison, reentry, fatherhood and youth & family programs. Over the past 33 years, effective advocacy efforts and community-based programs developed by Family ReEntry have significantly reduced the likelihood that clients will re-offend, be re-arrested, or be re-incarcerated. Its programs provide a spectrum of services designed to disrupt the intergenerational cycle of incarceration. Family ReEntry addresses the specific needs of each client and their families through individualized case management and support services. It works to create a positive social network for each client, helping make their transition from prison back into the community a successful, self-sufficient one, while strengthening their families and the community. Family ReEntry operates its programs in strategic locations that encompass eight municipal regions and judicial geographic areas, four parole districts and five prisons. The organization has offices in Bridgeport, Norwalk and New Haven, CT. Programs are also held in Stamford, Waterbury, Derby, New London and Norwich, CT. More information is available at and on its social media including, FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram and 

More About The Community Foundation of Greater New Haven - Now More Than Ever: The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven is a philanthropic institution that was established in 1928 as the community's permanent charitable endowment. For more than three generations, thousands of donors have built our community endowment by establishing permanent funds or making gifts to existing funds that distribute grants to a broad variety of issues and organizations. These donors, past and present, make their gifts to ensure that programs and causes that matter most to them will be supported today and forever.
The Community Foundation is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the United States and remains the largest grantmaker in a twenty-town region located in the heart of central Connecticut. The Community Foundation is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)3 organization, and as such is exempt from federal income tax; donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Family ReEntry’s mission is to develop, implement, and share sustainable, cost-effective solutions for the unprecedented numbers of people involved in the criminal justice system, which empower individuals, strengthen families, and build communities.

For more info please visit our website at and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter. All proceeds go to supporting these valuable programs.
Family ReEntry, Inc. | | 501(c)3 Organization | 203-290-0865

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Greenwich Time: Nonprofits adjust to austere reality


Reprinted from Greenwich Time, Nov. 27, 2017

Facing an austere state budget, nonprofit social-service providers are tightening their belts and doing more with less.

They’re cutting programs, reducing staff and seeking more private donations. When the next session of the General Assembly meets in February, service providers will be asking state lawmakers to let them handle more programs, in exchange for more funding, because they are less-expensive than state-employee-run treatment centers, day programs and residences.

Gian-Carl Casa, president and chief executive officer of the CT Community Nonprofit Alliance, said the current budget, which lawmakers crafted during a contentious year that finally eliminated a $5 billion deficit, culminates a decade of underfunding for the state’s private social-service providers, and sharp reductions in state aid in more recent years.

“It’s really a cumulative effect on a lot of places,” Casa said during a recent interview, adding that between July and October, when state services were sharply curtailed under Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s executive order, years of stress were added on nonprofits.

“While some providers eventually received the state funding they had counted on, across the board, folks are having a hard time,” said Casa, whose umbrella group represents dozens of nonprofits that focus on developmental disabilities, arts, children, adult behavioral health and community justice.

Executive-order hardships

Robert Francis, executive director of the Bridgeport-based Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership, said the new two-year, $41 billion state budget restored money for the organization’s Street Safe, program, which offers alternatives for teens and young adults who are at risk of joining gangs or are already gang members.

“I think we’ll get about $233,000, which will enable us to run the program in full force,” said Francis, who had to lay off two employees when the new fiscal year began on July 1 without a budget and Malloy’s executive order sharply cut social-service funding. “It’ll enable us to run the program full-force and get everyone back who we let go.”

Still, Francis is worried about other funding he usually gets from the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. He said that state officials want to merge the 14 regional action councils such as RYASAP with regional mental health boards.

Overall, RYASAP provides direct services for about 2,000 people a year and trains as many as another 5,000 in its juvenile-justice initiatives, youth development, public service and parent education, Francis said.

Kelly Donnelly, Malloy’s communications director, said changes in nonprofit funding reflect hard economic reality.

“Nonprofit social-service providers are an integral part of the system,” Donnelly said. “Regrettably, they, like other important entities that receive state support, have been affected by our state’s present budget constraints. We continue to work with them to explore options to mitigate the impact of cuts in funding.”

Looking for outside support

Jeff Grant, CEO of Family ReEntry, which concentrates on helping inmates transition back into their communities, said that the contracts his nonprofit has with the state Judicial Branch have not been affected.

“Thus far, the only reduction that we have received is a 4.5 percent, across-the-board cut by the Department of Correction,” said Grant, a former white-collar offender. 

“After losing approximately $2 million in behavioral health contracts on July 1, 2016, we have grown and made back almost half of that.”

Family ReEntry serves about 3,500 individuals and families in eight cities.

“I think our biggest problem is that as of 18 months ago, the state dismantled nonresidential mental health programming. So there are no mandated services,” Grant said. “There are some very progressive programs going on inside the prisons.”

Grant said state officials believe that inmates leaving prison who need mental health services will find them through Medicaid and other programs.

“But since there is no enforcement, most are not going to go,” he said.

Grant said that with state agencies withdrawing support, the main strategy he and other private nonprofit providers are taking is outside support.

“We’re looking at more private funding, foundation funding, and to be considerably less (reliant) on the [government] to fund solutions to social problems,” Grant said. 

“We need to get a real private-public partnership that’s innovative and supportive. Unfortunately, it means we have to make do with less and find ways to seek and get support.” Twitter: @KenDixonCT

CT Mirror: CT nonprofits fear GOP tax overhaul will reduce charitable giving

CT Mirror: CT nonprofits fear GOP tax overhaul will reduce charitable giving

But to Grant, it’s the private donations that give his criminal justice programs flexibility. Family Re-entry has offices in Bridgeport, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford, Waterbury, Derby, Norwich and New London. “We believe that’s the way we can have the most impact and create the most creative programs,” he said of the individual donations. Also, as state and federal grants become more scarce, private donations are becoming more important, Grant said.

Reprinted from CT Mirror, Nov. 28, 2017

Washington – Both the tax bill the Senate hopes to vote on this week and a House-passed tax overhaul would keep the popular charitable deduction, but non-profits say the legislation still would shrink American help to those in need.

CT Community Nonprofit Alliance President Gian-Carl Casa says the bills would “devastate” the state’s community based non-profits.

“This is a significant problem for non-profits,” Casa said of the GOP tax bills.

The main reason?

The tax bills in both the House and Senate would eliminate most individual deductions, and nearly double the standard deduction. That means taxpayers  may stop itemizing their deductions – and have less of an incentive to give to charity.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, more than 720,000 Connecticut taxpayers itemized deductions in 2015. Most of them, 603,420, claimed a charitable deduction. That’s nearly 35 percent of the state’s income tax filers.

But by simplifying tax brackets and doubling the standard deduction, the number of taxpayers who choose to itemize – and use the charitable tax deduction – is expected to drop to 5 percent, according to the CT Community Nonprofit Alliance and analyses by national non-profit groups.

A study commissioned this year by Leadership 18 and the Independent Sector, an alliance of the CEOs of the nation’s largest non-profits, found that these changes could decrease charitable giving by an estimated $13.1 billion annually. (Full disclosure: The Connecticut Mirror is published by the nonprofit Connecticut News Project.)

The heads of the nation’s largest nonprofits, including the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Association, the Boy Scouts and the YMCA, want Congress to allow all tax filers to be able to take the deduction, not just those who itemize. But the GOP writers of the House and Senate tax bills have yet to make that change.

The issue is of concern to smaller nonprofits, too.

Jeff Grant, executive director of Family ReEntry, a criminal justice non-profit, said he’s concerned there’s less incentive for people to donate to his organization under the GOP tax bills, universally opposed by Democrats.

Grant said about half of $700,000 a year his group receives from private donors comes from individuals. The bulk of the group’s income, about $4 million, comes from state and federal grants.

But to Grant, it’s the private donations that give his criminal justice programs flexibility. Family Re-entry has offices in Bridgeport, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford, Waterbury, Derby, Norwich and New London.

“We believe that’s the way we can have the most impact and create the most creative programs,” he said of the individual donations.

Also, as state and federal grants become more scarce, private donations are becoming more important, Grant said.

Both the House and Senate tax bills would lower the top corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and lower rates for individuals, too. But they would eliminate many popular individual deductions, including the ones for state and local taxes and for interest on student loans.

Even as GOP crafters of the tax bill were careful to keep the charitable contribution deduction, which turns 100 years old this month, the worry about the disincentive to itemize in the tax plans has spread in the nonprofit community.

“It’s a scary proposition for us,” said Alice Forrester, CEO of Clifford Beers Clinic, which provides mental health care for thousands of children and their parents in the New Haven area.

Forrester said she’s concerned that some loyal donors who contribute less than $1,000 a year may stop giving or donating less. She’s also worried the disincentive to itemize will hurt efforts to attract Millennial donors and start them down the philanthropic path.

Politicizing nonprofits
There are other concerns, too, said Casa of the CT Community Non-Profit Alliance.

One is that the House tax bill would repeal the Johnson Amendment, a provision in the U.S. tax code that since 1954 has prohibited certain non-profit groups from endorsing or opposing political candidates or donating to candidates for public office. The prohibition applies to Section 501(c)(3) organizations, the most common type of nonprofit in the United States, ranging from charitable foundations to universities and churches.

Casa said the end of the Johnson Amendment would pressure many non-profits to give to political candidates, siphoning off money now spent on helping people.

To Forrester, having charities become political players, forcing them to choose one candidate over another, would hurt them in other ways as well.

“It’s very important for us to stay neutral,” she said. “We depend on government to support us, no matter who is in charge.”

She also said her clinic has a politically diverse staff, and politically diverse patients, “so it would be horrible to be affiliated with a political party.”

Another problem nonprofits have with the tax bills is that they would boost the deficit by at least $1.5 trillion, forcing future cuts in government spending on social and health programs that help fund many nonprofits, Casa said.

“It’s hitting nonprofits from all angles,” Casa said of the tax bills.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said GOP leaders plan to vote on the Senate version of the tax bill this week, then work out the differences between that bill and one passed by the House earlier this month.

But the White House this week indicated the House may be persuaded to vote on a Senate-approved bill so that a final bill can become law before Christmas.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Please Help Family ReEntry Win the Newman’s Own Foundation $500k Holiday Challenge.

It’s #GivingTuesday and Family ReEntry is involved in the 
Newman’s Own Foundation $500k Holiday Challenge. 
We need your help to win an extra $50k today. 

Please click this link to donate today, 
thank you for your support:

Dear Friends:
Family ReEntry is super excited to let you know that we're part of an amazing campaign called the Newman's Own Foundation $500k Holiday Challenge, a friendly fundraising competition where organizations compete to raise the most money for their cause throughout the holiday season. 
We're kicking off our Challenge this year on #GivingTuesday on November 28th from 12am to 11:59pm (EST) and ask you to help us help more Connecticut children and families thrive. Your donation would not only help us win this Holiday Challenge, but it will ensure that families across the state of Connecticut have access to essential prevention, intervention, and reentry support services they need to live healthy, safe lives. Please click here to donate.
Thank you for supporting Connecticut families.
Jeff Grant, JD, M Div, Executive Director
Family ReEntry, Inc.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving Wishes from the Board of Directors, Executive Council and Staff of Family ReEntry!

The Board of Directors, 
Executive Council and Staff of 
Family ReEntry 
Wish You and Yours a 
Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving! 
Board of Directors 
 Christian Morris 
Bill Galvin
Everett Schenk
Phil Lochner
Carlah Esdaile Bragg
Diego Chiarandini
Emily Hart
David Light
Eric Mertz
Ronda Muir
Susan Ness
Preston Tisdale 
Don Young

Executive Council  
Tim Askew
Amar Chopra Bakshi
Marcus Bullock
Gregg Clark
Khalil Cumberbatch
Icy Frantz
Steve Grant
John Hamilton
Babz Rawls Ivy
Lorenzo Jones
J. Christopher Llinas
William Nix
Gabriel Sayegh
James Schaeffer
Tom Scott
James Segelstein
Lexy Tanner

   Staff Directors  
Jeff Grant
Angela Medina
Tina Banas
Randy Braren
Bill Brezovsky
Anthony Corso
Fred Hodges
Rich Martorella

Elizabeth Aliaga
Elizabeth Aponte
Lori Brennan
Kathy Browne
Jahaira Cacares
Maria Cambareri
Charmaine Campbell-Blake
Jenna Cappellieri
Rosanne Esposito
John Filip
Erin Galipeau
James Ghant
Doug Gruber
Christine Hall-Day
Terry Hardy
Jay Hill
Gloria Huerta
Mary-Megan Marshall
Rebecca Martorella
Daee McKnight
John Mele
Charles Milton
Tiana Mosely
Janet Nazzaro
Nancy Ochoa
Sally Parker
Greg Richarsdon
Monica Roland
Laura Sheehan
Jackie Suarez
Raquel Virgo
Jason Wernick
Paul Weston
Diana Whitney
Ginger Wilk
Taurus Wright
Joseph Zannella
Thank you for your support!  

Family ReEntry’s mission is to develop, implement, and share sustainable, cost-effective solutions for the unprecedented numbers of people involved in the criminal justice system, which empower individuals, strengthen families, and build communities.

For more info please visit our website at and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter. All proceeds go to supporting these valuable programs.
Family ReEntry, Inc. | 
501(c)3 Organization | 203-290-0865