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  • Cohort 2023

    Just Communities Arizona

    Measuring Innovative Community Interventions and Reentry Services

    Pima County, AZ

    Research has consistently demonstrated that communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the punishment system and the trauma and harms that ensue after incarceration. Further, housing needs are particularly important for system-involved people as a conviction history makes it extremely difficult to secure safe and affordable housing and can result in homelessness and recidivism. In Pima County, Arizona, which has the fifth-highest arrest rate in the state and ranks seventh on the Social Vulnerability Index, Just Communities Arizona (JCA) found that belonging and connection to community, as well as affordable housing and community-centered alternatives to incarceration, were frequently cited by residents as related to their feelings of safety and well-being. In response to this, Just Communities Arizona seeks to identify and elevate community organizations that are addressing those gaps in the community and providing people who have been incarcerated with the opportunity to access resources (housing, case management, counseling, etc.).

    With Catalyst Grant funding, Just Communities Arizona will partner with the Earnest House LLC to evaluate the effectiveness of the latter’s transitional housing program and jail diversion services. In addition to housing, counseling, and case management, the Earnest House employs several creative approaches that appear effective in helping people who have been touched by the criminal legal system. These approaches align with the responses to Just Communities Arizona’s Reimagining Community Safety survey, on which respondents emphasized the importance of treating people with dignity and respect, providing opportunities for interaction with the natural world, and community engagement. Their project is intended to develop means to measure the impacts of these less traditional and more social/emotional program components to show that they produce superior outcomes and can be replicated in other community interventions. This work will include surveys of Earnest House residents, analysis of available program data, and connections with the local community to better understand how these approaches correlate with more positive individual social/emotional outcomes, such as feelings of safety, belonging and connection, prosocial skills, and reduced feelings of shame, stigma, and isolation. This work will help other organizations find ways to quantitatively demonstrate impact by measuring less “tangible” elements of community-centered programs in addition to traditional outcomes like later recidivism, obtaining employment, securing housing, and education. 


    2023 Grantees

    Beyond the Bars
    Miami Gardens, FL

    Black Voters Matter
    Fulton County, GA

    Center for Policing Equity
    St. Louis, MO

    Chicago Appleseed
    Cook County, IL

    Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking
    Los Angeles, CA

    DC Fiscal Policy Institute
    Washington, DC

    Forward Through Ferguson
    St. Louis City and County, MO

    Freedom Community Center
    St. Louis, MO

    Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association
    Cuyahoga County, OH

    Homeward Bound
    Dallas County, TX

    Sacramento, CA

    Innovate Memphis
    Memphis, TN

    Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice
    Washtenaw County, MI

    Just Communities Arizona
    Pima County, AZ

    Justice Management Institute
    New Orleans, LA

    Mediation and Restorative Services
    Anoka County, MN

    People of Progression
    Outagamie County, WI

    Phoenix Youth and Family Services
    Ashley County, Bradley County, Chicot County, Desha County, and Drew County, AR

    Project Curate
    Harris County, TX

    Pillars of the Community
    San Diego, CA

    Safer Foundation
    Cook County, IL

    San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project
    San Francisco, CA

    Starting Over, Inc.
    Riverside County, CA

    Denver, CO

    United Way of South Central Michigan
    Jackson County, MI