While there is evidence to suggest that people returning from incarceration wish to live with kin, there are few programs offering support to family members as they prepare to receive their loved ones.
Osborne’s Kinship Reentry program is one of the country’s first to do this. It offers support to families housing and reuniting with re-entering loved ones through cash grants, counseling, and additional support services. Launched in 2020, Kinship Reentry now serves 100 families over a period of 12 months.
A team from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and Urban Institute, with support from Arnold Ventures, partnered with Osborne to conduct an initial assessment of Kinship Reentry, summarizing the program approach, assessing participant families, and staff perception of Kinship, and determining its readiness for future evaluation.
Key findings from the initial assessment were overwhelmingly positive:
Program coordinators, case managers, and other staff create an open, trusting, and therapeutic environment by going ‘above and beyond’ to meet families where they are.
Participating families (those who completed intake) are racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse. The vast majority (89%) are women and almost 80% report having an annual income of less than $60,000, which is below New York City’s median.
Families unanimously lauded the cash transfer as enabling them to support their returning loved ones (bedding, food, transportation, clothing, recreation) and providing a financial cushion during a difficult time.