Capital Community College (CCC) is forming a task force focused on education and training leading to sustainable employment for formerly incarcerated individuals as they re-enter the community, CCC Chief Executive Officer G. Duncan Harris announced.
The task force, working with the City of Hartford’s Re-entry Welcome Center and other stakeholders and individuals, will set goals to improve the employment outcomes for members of the re-entry population who enroll and earn a credential in one of the College’s workforce classes and programs of study.
“The acquisition of a college degree or a workforce certificate is a key asset for re-entry and justice involved individuals in their pursuit of financial security after their involvement with the justice system, said Harris. “As Hartford’s community college, we have the obligation and opportunity to meet this need through the wide variety of programs we offer.”
CCC has 60 programs of study in technical, business and health care fields leading to associate degrees, certificates and transfer. Its School of Workforce and Continuing Education provides short-term training for skilled jobs in demand in the regional economy.
Harris has appointed Eddie Miranda, the College’s Associate Dean of Campus Operations, to lead the task force. Miranda, a Hartford native, has extensive experience in education at the K-12 and college levels having served as a behavioral technician and operations manager for Hartford Public Schools and as Bursar at Manchester Community College before joining CCC in 2019.
Miranda serves on the boards of Community Health Resources (CHR) and CT Association for Latinos In Higher Education (CALAHE). He is a member of the alumni chapter of Lambda Theta Phi, Fraternity, Inc a group engaged in community service in Hartford. He is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University and earned an M.B.A. form the University of Phoenix.
“I look forward to mobilizing the college’s resources with our community partners to open educational and career doors for individuals returning to their community.” said Miranda. “Accessible training and education leading to a good job are essential to reducing recidivism and making second chances possible.”
CCC through its Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Center is already engaged with the City of Hartford’s Welcome Center for Re-Entry to link clients with college programs. It partners with the Urban League of Greater Hartford and other organizations that serve the re-entry population. For a number of years the College’s Conrad L Mallett Gallery on Main Street has been the site For Community Partners In Action’s highly-regarded Prison Arts Program.
David McCluskey, Legislative Liaison for the CT Department of Correction and Chairperson of the Capital Community College Foundation, said Capital offers both short term training and academic opportunities that formerly incarcerated persons need for financial stability and employment.
“The College is well situated to do more on re-entry efforts,” said McCluskey. “The recent change in federal law enabling persons who have been in the correction system to qualify for federal student aid will make a major difference in the College’s ability to provide opportunities before and after re-entry,” McCluskey stated. “Having the financial support to get a credential and employment will enable more individuals to get back to their families and community.”
McCluskey cited the decision by the Congress last December eliminating the ban on Pell grants for incarcerated individuals that had been in effect since 1994. “Second Chance Pell Grants” will expand college opportunities as part of prison reforms that include a greater emphasis on rehabilitation and reducing the prison populations.
College officials said the Re-Entry task force will be finalizing its membership this month and will convene in April.