Mayor Joseph P. Ganim
For Immediate Release For More Information:
February 7, 2017 Louis Reed (203) 337-2341
Ganim Touts Accomplishments of First Six Months of Mayor’s Initiative on
Re-entry Affairs (MIRA)
Dozens of Returning Citizens Placed in Jobs Post Incarceration; New Partnerships Launched between Area Businesses, Service Organizations, and Connecticut State Government to Create Real 2nd Chances
Bridgeport, CT – Mayor Joe Ganim today is touting the substantive accomplishments of the Mayor’s Initiative on Re-entry Affairs (MIRA), a comprehensive city government program launched by Mayor Ganim in August 2016 to help formerly incarcerated individuals in Bridgeport advance their careers and establish new lives. When the program launched, city officials managing the MIRA program estimated they would reach 50 returning citizens in the first few months. Instead, MIRA has engaged with more than 155 returning citizens from Bridgeport more than doubling this prediction by engaging with 139 returning citizens from the City of Bridgeport, and enrolling more than 120 into the program. MIRA has successfully referred nearly 70 returning citizens for employment, and successfully placed more than 55 individuals in jobs with bona fide employers. In addition, MIRA – under the leadership of program director Louis Reed – has entered into new partnerships with Bridgeport area employers, non profit organizations, and Connecticut state government agencies to provide comprehensive levels of service for returning citizens to put them on the path of permanent employment post-incarceration and provide treatment for any challenges faced such as mental health and/or substance abuse.
“Bridgeport is a second chance city – no one knows that better than I do,” said Mayor Ganim, who is also a successful returned citizen post-incarceration. “What my own story represents is that even if you have made mistakes in your past, it does not have to tar you forever. There are things government can do to connect employers with good, hard working individuals who may have done time but are eager for a second chance and ready to contribute to economic development here in Bridgeport. I am so proud of what this program has accomplished thus far, and I am excited to see where this leads. Bridgeport can be a national model for how to re-integrate the formerly incarcerated back into the workforce. This is a true partnership between the individual who steps forward and wants to put their life back on track, organizations that believe in second chances, and Bridgeport area businesses who are willing to take a chance on those vetted through the MIRA program.”
The Connecticut Department of Corrections is also providing key information to the MIRA effort, entering an agreement with the city to provide a list of incarcerated citizens returning to Bridgeport and when they are scheduled to be released. This allows MIRA to reach out to Bridgeport returning citizens and engage them pre-release.
MIRA program manager Louis Reed, himself a one-time returning citizen, said, “There are thousands of Bridgeport residents who are formerly incarcerated individuals that are ready and willing to get back into the workforce and move forward with their careers, become productive and taxpaying members of our community. The Mayor’s Initiative on Re-Entry Affairs firmly places the city forward as just as much of a stakeholder - if not leading the way - as our community partners, ensuring that our residents who are part of more than 70,000,000 people across the country living with convictions have a fair chance to recalibrate their lives.”
Anyone interested in finding out more information about the MIRA program should contact Louis Reed at 475-225-4499 or Louis.firstname.lastname@example.org
Key Accomplishments of MIRA Program since August 2016: