Project New Opportunity (PNO) is a Washington D. C – based project of the Center for Community Alternatives (CCA), a New York nonprofit organization serving diverse populations in New York State and widely recognized as a national leader in the field of community-based and client-centered alternatives to incarceration. Malcolm C. Young, an attorney experienced in criminal justice sentencing and reentry programs and policies and Marsha Weissman, CCA’s former Executive Director and currently serving as CCA’s Senior Policy Advisor conceived, developed and launched PNO.
MISSION: WHO WE SERVE
PNO’s mission is to ensure the successful return of men and women whom the Federal Bureau of Prisons will release ahead of their original sentence date because of:
(1) a grant of Presidential clemency or sentence commutation;
(2) a “Drugs Minus Two” sentence modification; or,
(3) shortening of an enhanced sentence imposed under provisions of the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) that the United States Supreme Court found unconstitutional in United States v. Johnson (2015) and cases which apply Johnson.
Generally, PNO assists individuals returning only to certain geographical areas. At this time, PNO primarily assists individuals whom the Federal Bureau of Prisons will release to eastern Virginia, DC, Maryland, northern Illinois (Chicago) and eastern Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). We will try to assist individuals returning to other locations only if we are able to provide meaningful assistance. We expect to serve additional locations in the future.
PNO’s method is to help individuals prepare early for their release, while they are still incarcerated. Whenever time permits, PNO assigns Reentry Consultants to returning federal prisoners as much as a year in advance of their release six months in advance of a transfer to a halfway house. The Reentry Consultant, advise on steps to take to prepare such as obtain identification, and make every effort to connect each individual with supporting family, social and community members in the location in which the individual expects to be living. The Reentry Consultant will introduce the individual to agencies and organizations which provide services to meet needs and address specific problems build on strengths and assets. The Reentry Consultant will help build a support network in his or her future community.
Project New Opportunity is a team effort, a partnership among individuals, agencies and organizations committed to the successful return of previously incarcerated individuals. Project New Opportunity and the arrangements that it facilitates supplement the reentry programming and assistance provided by the Bureau of Prison (BOP) staff or BOP’s risk assessment and assignment processes including assignments to half way houses. PNO collaborates with Federal Probation Officers, Reentry Courts and local and state reentry coordinators dedicated to assisting individuals who have been incarcerated.
PNO REPORTS AND FACT SHEETS
THE PNO TEAM
Malcolm C. Young serves as Project Director.
Norman Brown is Deputy Project Director coordinating a team of individual Reentry Consultants located in the areas in which PNO provides most of its services.
Lucinda Greene provides essential administrative and technical support for Reentry Consultants and clients.
PNO’s Reentry Consultants know the joys and the challenges of being released from prison after having been incarcerated for years or decades, either as formerly incarcerated individuals who have successfully returned or as social workers and service providers. PNO’s Reentry Consultants are knowledgeable about federal courts and corrections, family reunification and post-incarceration stress and strategies for finding and gaining access to appropriate community-based resources.
Under the direction of Executive Director David Condliffe, CCA’s New York-based staff provide additional administrative and financial services in support of PNO and its clients and are assisting in program design and evaluation.