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Re-Entry Program for Formerly Incarcerated Launches in Brownsville

The seven-week program helps participants to overcome the barriers they may encounter as they prepare for life outside of prison.
Brownsville Neighborhood Health Action Center. Photo: Google Maps

***Updated 1/22/19

The Brownsville Neighborhood Health Action Center is launching a weekly re-entry workshop series to support formerly incarcerated individuals on their path back into society.

The seven-week program, which will run from Friday, March 1, through April 12, will educate formerly incarcerated New Yorkers about how they can break the barriers they may encounter as they prepare for life outside of prison. Participating community partners leading the workshops include the Center of Treatment Innovation, the New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow and the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office.

The weekly workshop series will launch on Friday, March 1, with "Intro to Re-Entry," an open-floor discussion among the participants about their personal experiences, as well as challenges and stigmas that prevent them from successfully re-entering society.

The following Friday, participants will focus on "Mental Health and Trauma," to help them understand what mental health is and how to maintain it. The session will explore coping strategies and stress reduction activities, and provide information about locally available mental health services.

Week 3 will be dedicated to "Substance Abuse and Awareness." The workshop will examine the availability and effects of common substances, and how they affect a person's re-entering process, as well as provide information about substance dependency resources in the community.

On Friday, March 22, "Employment after Re-Entering Society" will be in the focus. The session will not only identify some of the barriers that formerly incarcerated may face when seeking employment, but also connect participants with local job placement and training programs.

Workshop No. 5, "Maintaining Health after Incarceration" will highlight the importance of maintaining overall physical health. Participants will learn about medical insurance, as well as affordable methods of healthy eating and physical activity to support a healthy lifestyle.

Week 6 will be dedicated to the "Impact of Incarceration on Families," and examine the effects on a family's economic situation, a child's development and relationships between spouses.

The workshop series will conclude with a wrap-up ceremony on Friday, April 12.  After a brief recap of the seven-week program, participants will receive a certificate and celebrate the successful completion of the program. 

The workshop series is free and open to all but gives preference to formerly incarcerated individuals. Participants will meet every Friday, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at the Brownsville Neighborhood Health Action Center, located at 259 Bristol Street.

For more information and to sign up, call Jaydell Howard at 718-312-6137 or email 

***Correction: We previously stated that NYC Business Solution Centers, which are managed by SBS, are involved in the program. However, SBS nor the NYC Business Solution Centers are a partner or involved. The story has since been updated to reflect the correction.