At the meeting outlined below, Joe Critelli of the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office shared his hand-outs for prospective employers and landlords providing “reasons to hire or rent people with sex offense histories.” Please click here for the landlord hand-out and here for the employer hand-out.
Work Group on Housing People with Sex Offense Histories
September 9, 2013
In attendance: Carl Cignoni, Hampshire House of Corrections/DOC Re-Entry Program, Joe Critelli, Hampden County House of Corrections, Danielle DeBerry, ServiceNet, Laurie Guidry, MATSA, Ellie Harris, ServiceNet, Richard Hendricks, social worker, Madeline Johnson, Hampden House of Corrections, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Sgt. Anne McMahon, Northampton Police Department, Pamela Schwartz, Network coordinator
Legislative update: Thanks to Laurie Guidry for this update. Legislation passed (as an amendment to the budget) that mandates the creation of a special commission to review and adopt a revised protocol for leveling sex offenders so that it is an evidence-based assessment with appropriate distinctions (e.g., between youth/adults, males/females, disabled/not-disabled). The Commission will include representatives from state agencies, SORB and other experts. The Commission will be created shortly (legislated to occur within 2 months of passage but clearly behind on that timeline) and is slated to report out within 120 days. This is very exciting progress!
Also passed in this legislation is the requirement to make public Level 2 offenders. This is now in effect.
Still pending is the more comprehensive legislation that will look at public policy regarding sex offenders across the spectrum. Likely to be refilled this legislative season.
On re-entry challenges: Fred Smith (St. Francis House, Boston) has launched a new initiative to create job opportunities for sex offenders. Laurie will send along press release detailing that announcement.
In terms of local employment opportunities, discussed receptive employers and the need to continue to build that receptivity. Joe Critelli will share his hand-out summarizing positive reasons to hire sex offenders. We agreed the Network can post that on the blog as well.
Outreach to Housing Providers:
Pamela will continue to reach out to Faith Williams of HAP (Richard Hendricks will also advocate individually to the HAP director) to schedule a meeting re: Lorraine House.
Pamela will also check in again with Valley CDC and SMOC to attempt to re-start the conversation on this issue.
Pamela will connect with Steve Conner of Veterans Services to learn more about what is happening in relation to veteran sex offender support.
Pamela will also locate the referral process and criteria we drafted earlier that could be used in housing provider outreach.
Joe Critelli mentioned his Wed. morning meetings with sex offenders to help provide them support around re-entry challenges (job and housing interviews). Agreed it could be useful to have Network partners engage by providing role plays with interviewees. Joe will send hand-out on this Wed. morning group.
Next meeting: Tuesday, 10/22, 1-2:15 pm, will confirm Northampton Senior Center