City Councilor highlights reentry initiative
OTO’s collaboration, coordination of reentry services has proven success
Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell held a hearing to review the Overcoming the Odds program (OTO), a reentry initiative from Community Resources for Justice. The goal of this initiative is to better engage individuals with existing programs and services and overcome barriers to success that individuals too often face following reentry. The program relies on strong partnerships with the Sheriff’s Department, DOC, BPD, and community groups.
This program is a great example of both an effective coordination of resources and supportive case management and wraparound services. OTO reaches out directly to former offenders who have been identified as being high risk in order to provide transitional assistance prior to, and for six months after, their release. The goals of the program are to reduce violent recidivism, overcome barriers to successful reentry, and increase public safety. The program has served 281 individuals, only 40 of whom subsequently recidivated for a rate of just 14% – well below the state average.
Up until September 2016, Overcoming the Odds had operated on federal grant funding that supported OTO as well as the Boston Reentry Initiative (BRI). The program does not currently receive any federal, state, or local funding, and is unfortunately suspended until new funding is established. The program would need approximately $250,000 annually to provide 100 individuals per year with the necessary case management and support to reenter successfully and make communities safer.
Watch the hearing below.