RAWNY's goal is to implement a Reentry Continuum of Care (RCC) model in Monroe County.
The Reentry Association of Western NY (RAWNY), a 501c3 organization, has been in existence since 2005, originally known as the Safer Monroe Area Reentry Team (SMART) until 2021. It started as a volunteer grassroots member organization providing a platform for members to share information and news on reentry topics and advocate for better reentry policies. Our members include more than 50 local organizations that provide direct services to people who are reentering the community after incarceration.
Over the years the reentry landscape has changed. Government at county, state and federal levels recognized the need to fund services for men and women returning to the community after incarceration—both as a cost-saving measure and to enhance public safety. Monroe County now has countless programs in a variety of agencies that provide some type of reentry service. But those services have grown into a haphazard patchwork with little coordination, significant service gaps, and no central hub. For any individual coming home, finding help can be a long and frustrating scavenger hunt where they struggle to get even basic needs met.
The RCC model would not be in competition with agencies providing direct services. It would serve as an umbrella organization to obtain funding and coordinate services for women and men returning from local jails, state prisons, federal detention, through the following activities:
• Increase funding to community reentry organizations through grant writing at local, state, and federal levels, and through legislative education and advocacy, to support programs serving women and men in reentry, with the ultimate goal of incorporating Reentry services as a permanent part of the existing the criminal justice system that begins in Pre-Trial Services.
• Provide stipends to agencies that participate in creating and implementing a standard model for capturing data in each program.
• Provide stipends to agencies that participate in creating and adopting an agreed upon standard of care, and who participate in training on topics including:
o Case management practices
o Trauma-informed care
o De-escalation techniques
o Motivational interviewing
o Understanding how to effectively advocate for clients in areas like landlord/tenant law, the Dept. of Human Services, Parole, and Probation
• Provide funds to be allocated to agencies to fill existing gaps in service, i.e., security deposits, emergency stabilization needs, and pro-social activities which are proven effective in keeping clients engaged.
• Provide technical and operational assistance to small neighborhood and faith-based programs.
• Ensure that formerly incarcerated women and men have a voice in reentry practices.
• Provide a platform to share best practices across agencies and programs.
• Provide public education through media, conferences, and special events.
• Participate in the United Way’s Integrated Systems project.
• Ask the Governor to create an upstate reentry policy group or appoint a Monroe County representative to the existing group that is centered in New York City.