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    (9/2/2009) NEW HAVEN- Amy Meek, a recent graduate of Yale Law School, began work this week as the City’s new coordinator for the Mayor’s Prison Re-Entry Initiative. Meek, whose position is funded for two years through a $350,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), will continue the work previously managed by Deborah Marcuse.

    Meek has worked as an intern at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., the Jerome Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School and a number of other legal and social service agencies.

    The DOJ grant that funds Meek’s work will also allow the Mayor to hire a Community Organizer and will help support the first year of the Mayor's Community Empowerment Program (CEP). The CEP will provide technical assistance and financial support to community-based groups to help them engage in programming around prisoner re-entry issues but also to apply for grants from other funding sources.

    “I look forward to advancing the Mayor’s initiatives in his commitment to providing a smooth transition back in to our neighborhoods for individuals being released from prison,” said Meek. “Issues such as ex-offender access to housing, food, mental health services and employment are top priorities. It’s important that we work with partners at local, state and federal levels to expand services to this population, prepare them for employment and create jobs.”

    “I am pleased to have someone of Amy’s background and dedication on the team to help us provide positive options and necessary services for our re-entry population,” said DeStefano. “If we are able to direct these individuals to the right interventions early-on we can, in most cases, keep them from going back to the lifestyles that got them in trouble to begin with. This makes our community safer and helps former offenders make better life decisions.”


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