Prisoner Reentry - Fresh Start

Fresh Start Community ReEntry Program

This innovative, research-based nonresidential model results
in the successful reintegration of formerly-incarcerated persons into their families and communities.  Our holistic approach engages and prepares prisoners prior to release, utilizes succesful ex-offenders as leaders, role models, and mentors, builds collaborations with stakeholders, and creates positive pro-social networks in the community.  The results are: productive, tax-paying citizens, stronger families and communities, increased public safety, reduced costs to taxpayers, and improved quality of life in the region and across the state.  Yale University research has observed that Fresh Start programs have reduced recidivism in Connecticut.  Gender-specific programming is provided for women in collaboration with our partner agency, The Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County.

Fresh Start Enterprise House

This innovative demonstration project creates sustainable community-based opportunities for successful reentry.  Success is achieved by combining entrepreneurial employment and training, supportive services, interagency collaboration, and a community driven to succeed. Enterprise House provides an environment with high expectations for success and standards of behavior, coupled with meaningful support from role models, mentors, and the community.  Enterprise House is a peer-driven, professionally supported, positive, pro-social environment that shifts the formerly incarcerated person from incarceration dependence to community integration and self-sufficiency.

Dana's House Mental Health Residential

Dana’s House is a 15 bed, Department of Correction funded residential program designed to transition med with advanced behavioral health concerns from incarceration to the community. 

Behavioral Health Network

This program, based in Bridgeport and New Haven, serves Connecticut Department of Correction parolees. Licensed and certified professional staff provide the highest quality evidence-based mental and behavioral health and substance abuse interventions to a diverse population of clients with a wide range of needs.  Ensuring psychological and relational health, and adherence to a recovery and relapse prevention plan, both allow previously incarcerated person a real chance to succeed; and improves the quality of life for the clients and their families.

Fresh Start Non-Residential for Women

Fresh Start for Women is a gender-responsive, evidence based program from prison to family and community.  The program is designed to serve women at York CI who are returning to the greater Bridgeport region. The clients undergo valid and reliable assessments and reassessments specifically designed for women. They receive a lengthy pre-release component targeted to specific needs and case management as well as tailored groups focused on substance abuse recovery, trauma, mental health, family and parenting issues. Women are reassessed prior to release to the community and, in planning for a seamless transition, they are involved in services identified in the community reentry plan and possibly the BHN department for clinical services. 

Coming Home For Good

Four Keys to Successful
Prisoner Reentry

  • A pretrial Early and long-term engagement with offenders creates a strong bond
  • Creative employment solutions help find jobs which is essential for survival
  • Mentoring support from successful ex-offenders amplifies success and breaks the cycle
  • Involvement of the entire family heals, inspires, and sustains change

Fresh Start is a Holistic and Comprehensive Approach to Reentry

Our innovative models help soon-to-be released prisoners: before leaving prison, during transition, and after "coming home."  We recognize the need to prepare prisoners to return safely to the community and to assist them with reintegrating as law abiding, productive citizens.  Fresh Start is for men returning home to Bridgeport from a Connecticut prison.


Pre-Release Planning

  • Prepares prisoners 3 to 6 months before release
  • Paves the way for reconnecting with family and securing employment
  • Working with successful ex-offender mentors

Post-Release Services

  • Creative solutions to employment challenges
  • Intensive case management and family support
  • Behavioral health and substance abuse service
  • Supportive community network built by ex-offenders

Continued Support 

  • Offers support from successful ex-offenders
  • Provides drop-in services as needed
  • Shifts responsibility for success to the individual and their supportive network

Community Partners: Fresh Start is operated in partnership with the CT Department of Correction.  Family ReEntry is a founding member of the Bridgeport Reentry Roundtable.

For more information, please contact:
Randy Braren
Senior Director, Reentry Initiatives

Family ReEntry, Inc., 9 Mott Avenue, Suite 104, Norwalk CT 06850 : Phone 203-838-0496 : Fax 203-866-9291 : Site map
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