Referred directly from defense counsel, the target population for The Liberty Fund services will be low-income individuals, charged with misdemeanor crimes who: 1) cannot afford their bail when set at $2,000 or less; or 2) are released on their own recognizance (ROR).
This target population suffers from various barriers to a life away from the justice system including homelessness and unemployment; mental/physical health needs, alcohol/substance use; system mistrust.
The primary goals of the program include:
- To build trust and rapport with clients.
- To support clients in other aspects of their lives through voluntary services.
- To better ensure clients’ personal success and prevent further recidivism.
The main strategy of our programming has a simple, proactive and practical design with 4 key elements as follows:
- Pretrial – Interventions are initiated at the most critical touchpoint for success.
- Voluntary – Non-mandated services ensure no additional sanctions or restrictions are placed on our clients.
- Person-Centered – Services are determined by the participant in order to better meet their individual needs and to promote their buy-in to the interventions.
- Court-based – Client engagement will be leveraged during court appointments for effective time usage.
For each client, the program team will provide the following services during the pendency of the case (typically 3 months):
- Case Management – To provide intake, needs assessments, and individual action plans with social service referrals. All staff members are New York State certified case managers which includes risk need responsivity principles and trauma-informed care.
- Critical Court Needs – To provide client court-reminders as needed, emergency needs upon release from DOC custody, such as MetroCards, food vouchers and other basics, and rap sheet counseling to prepare for the world of work.
- Direct Workforce Development and Homelessness Interventions – To provide homelessness and workforce development referrals as needed to place clients in best-fit housing and job training programs using an extensive citywide resource guide.