RECOOP to support The Brookdale Centre for Healthy Aging and The Osbourne Project in New York
RECOOP is pleased to announce that it has been successful, as part of an international funding application, in securing funding to provide some consultancy support in New York over the next year. RECOOP will support The Brookdale Centre for Healthy Aging (City University of New York) and The Osbourne Association - a charity supporting offenders in the community across the state. The project will aim to ‘Build healthy communities through conscious resettlement of older adults recently released from prison’.
RECOOP was initially contacted early in 2016 because of the specialism and expertise the organisation offers in working with older offenders. Few organisations were found to be working exclusively with this population, providing support both pre and post release, in the way that RECOOP is.
Paul Grainge, RECOOP Operations Manager says:
“RECOOP is very excited about the prospect of working with some international partners to share our experience of working with the older offender population in the UK. I am confident that our learning and practices can help shape some innovative new ways of working with recently prison-released older adults in New York. RECOOP recognises the challenges this population faces integrating back into local communities, building links with organisations, new relationships and leading healthier lives. We look forward to helping shape services to meet the needs of this population and build a broader network of partner support to share innovation, research and good practice into the future.”
Older adults who return to the community after release from prison face distinct challenges, including higher rates of chronic illnesses and mortality, poverty, homelessness, unemployment and weakened social ties. The success of the transition depends not solely on individual readiness, but upon the degree of community receptivity.
Our project will support communities to better integrate re-entering older adults. Our innovation will bring together Osborne’s strengths in prison discharge planning, Brookdale’s community-based research and advocacy with older adults and RECOOP’s community strengthening approach. The resulting model will strengthen the community as a whole and foster a culture of health by enhancing social inclusion, re-engaging families and catalysing resilience.
The plan will be to translate elements of RECOOP’s Support Café, which helps recently released older adults re-engage with the community by integrating health and social services. This model builds healthier communities by altering the physical environment, to better accommodate the needs of older ex-offenders; partnering with community members to ease the reintegration; and building social connections by encouraging socialization and fostering mentoring relationships. Further, we will promote health as a shared value by offering physical and mental health education, relaxation and meditation.
The Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging: Founded in 1974, the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College of the City University of New York (“Brookdale”) was one of the nation’s first academic gerontology centers. The mission of Brookdale is to improve the lives of older adults through research, policy and professional development. We are home to a multidisciplinary community of scholars, researchers, and practitioners engaged collaboratively in the promotion and enhancement of health and well-being of older people through education, research, community partnerships, and advocacy. www.Brookdale.org
The Osborne Association: The Osborne Association (“Osborne”) offers opportunities for those who have been in conflict with the law to transform their lives through innovative, effective, and replicable programs that serve the community by reducing crime and its human and economic costs. We offer opportunities for reform and rehabilitation through public education, advocacy, and alternatives to incarceration that respect the dignity of people and honor their capacity to change. Osborne serves more than 8,000 current and formerly incarcerated people and their families across several sites throughout the state, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, Poughkeepsie, Rikers Island, and in 20 state correctional facilities. http://www.osborneny.org/programs.cfm?programID=56
RECOOP (Resettlement and Care for Older ex-Offenders and Prisoners) Bournemouth, United Kingdom. RECOOP’s vision is to promote the care, resettlement and rehabilitation of offenders and ex-offenders, in particular those over the age of 50. RECOOP’s work is accomplished by providing support services, advocacy, financial advice, mentoring on issues such as employment and training, and advice on housing and health that will enable clients to take control of their lives, remain free from offending, and promote social inclusion. Since 2005 RECOOP has been delivering direct services in Her Majesty's Prisons Guys Marsh, Leyhill, Eastwood Park (women), Exeter, Channings Wood, Dartmoor, Manchester, The Verne and Erlestoke. In the last few years, the mission has widened into the community, linking pre and post release work to develop a resettlement pathway. ../../pages/home/index.php
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