Category Archives: Housing Sex Offenders

Work Group to House People with Sex Offense Histories meeting minutes 1/7/14

Work Group to House People with Sex Offense Histories
January 7, 2013
In attendance:  Carl Cignoni, Hampshire County Corrections/DOC Re-entry Services, Richard Hendrick, social worker, Sgt. Annie McMahon, Angel Recchia, Franklin County Home Care, Pamela Schwartz, Network

Pamela provided an update on meetings with SMOC and Valley CDC regarding discussion of their policies pertaining to housing sex offenders . Waiting to hear back from both regarding continuing the dialogue on this issue.  Pamela will follow-up next week, as well as follow-up with HAPHousing.
Richard Hendricks is continuing his effort to obtain housing for a man who committed a sex offense a very long time ago and is battling two forms of cancer. He has not had any progress with SMOC but is now in conversation with Easthampton Housing Authority.
Angela Recchia of Franklin County Home Care Corp reported on seeing an increase in the number of seniors coming to them with sex offense histories.  The limited options are a real challenge.
Discussed nursing homes and current case law that prevents nursing homes from imposing an absolute ban on sex offenders; instead must consider case-by-case.
We discussed where we should focus our energies as as committee while we continue on the path of pursuing policy change among housing providers.  We agreed that at our next meeting we will discuss future outreach efforts, e.g., to resume outreach to the faith community or reach out to nursing homes or reach out to residential recovery programs and sober houses. Agreed that we need to embark on a new focus while we continue parallel efforts with housing providers.
Next meeting:
Wednesday, February 12
1 – 2:15 pm
Northampton Senior Center

Work Group to House People with Sex Offense Histories – Minutes 12/3/13

Work Group to House People with Sex Offense Histories
Meeting Minutes
December 3, 2013

In attendance:  Carl Cignoni, Hampshire County Corrections/DOC Re-entry; Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Joe Critelli, Hampden County Corrections, Danielle DeBerry, ServiceNet, Ellie Harris, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Laurie Smith, ServiceNet

Update on meeting with Valley CDC:

Pamela reported back on her and Laurie Guidry’s meeting with Valley CDC executive director and one board member on 11/26.  It was a very positive conversation, clearly providing them with new information and insight on the issue.  We clarified our expectation of very small steps, surrounded by clear criteria and support services.  They agreed to bring it back to their board for further consideration at their January meeting (December agenda already full).  Will talk again in January.

They were interested in getting a fuller portrait of current housing supply for sex offenders and number of sex offenders in the area.

Reviewed housing stock available to sex offenders and confirmed that for Hampshire/Franklin Counties, ServiceNet is the only housing provider that allows sex offenders (on a case-by-case basis):

In Northampton:
Florence Inn – permanent housing, 12 units.
Hawley Street –  2 bedrooms, including transitional and permanent (but less likely to have sex offenders because of proximity to day care).

Currently housing 3 sex offenders in Northampton.  Tenancies are totally uneventful.
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Work Group to House People with Sex Offense Histories – Minutes of 10/22/13

Work Group to House People with Sex Offense Histories
October 22, 2013

In attendance: Carl Cignoni, Hampshire Sheriff’s Office and DOC Re-entry Service, Joe Critelli, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Laurie Guidry, Ph.D., MATSA, Ellie Harris, ServiceNet, Richard Hendrick, therapist, Madeline Johnson, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department/AISS, Sgt. Anne McMahon, Northampton Police Department, Wanda Rolon, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, Network coordinator, Bill Winslow, SMOC

Housing outreach update (for meetings re: discussion of housing policy re: sex offenders):

HAPHousing:  Exchanging messages with Faith Williams, HAP property manager director.  Will keep pursuing!

SMOC:   Richard Hendricks working with Becca Small, SMOC, for a particular individual to get housed.  Offense was 20 years ago.  Early 50’s, suffering from 2 different cancers.  Hopeful this will work.  On a more systematic basis, Pamela still waiting to connect with SMOC administrators (Note:  post meeting, I connected with Allison Maynard of SMOC who is trying to facilitate a meeting for us with housing directors in Framingham – will keep  all posted as soon as I hear more).

Valley CDC:  waiting to hear back from board after their board meeting where they will discuss their readiness to meet with us.  Pamela will follow-up with Joanne.

Update on State Commission on Sex Offender Recidivism:   Laurie Guidry has been nominated to serve on Commission (which among other things will review leveling process – very promising for statewide reform on this issue).  Now at stage of “background criminal check” – a good sign!  Will keep us posted.

Other discussion:

Richard Hendrick working with people with sex offense histories as therapist and housing support; working regularly with Friends of the Homeless and ServiceNet, as well as Rosa in Springfield.

Rosa has been experiencing some challenges with some tenants who are without sufficient support services (probation/parole).  Underscores critical need for this support.  Discussed the need to enlist the “Circles of Support” model which relies on community based support for those who are not on probation.  MATSA/MASOC’s Spring conference (Laurie will keep us posted on dates/offerings) will offer trainings on this model.

Carl Cignoni:  monthly round table that meets to address housing needs of offenders.  Last month, of 22 men, 8 had sex offense histories, but the number went down this month so presumably it was an unusual month in terms of this statistic.

Next meeting:  Tuesday, 12/3, 1-2:15, check Northampton senior center

Housing People with Sex Offense Histories Minutes and Materials – 9/9/13

At the meeting outlined below, Joe Critelli of the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office shared his hand-outs for prospective employers and landlords providing “reasons to hire or rent people with sex offense histories.”  Please click here for the landlord hand-out and here for the employer hand-out.

Work Group on Housing People with Sex Offense Histories

Meeting Minutes
September 9, 2013

In attendance:  Carl Cignoni, Hampshire House of Corrections/DOC Re-Entry Program, Joe Critelli, Hampden County House of Corrections, Danielle DeBerry, ServiceNet, Laurie Guidry, MATSA,  Ellie Harris, ServiceNet, Richard Hendricks, social worker, Madeline Johnson, Hampden House of Corrections, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Sgt. Anne McMahon, Northampton Police Department, Pamela Schwartz, Network coordinator

Legislative update:   Thanks to Laurie Guidry for this update.   Legislation passed (as an amendment to the budget) that mandates the creation of a special commission to review and adopt a revised protocol for leveling sex offenders so that it is an evidence-based assessment with appropriate distinctions (e.g., between youth/adults, males/females, disabled/not-disabled).  The Commission will include representatives from state agencies, SORB and other experts.  The Commission will be created shortly  (legislated to occur within 2 months of passage but clearly behind on that timeline) and is slated to report out within 120 days.  This is very exciting progress!

Also passed in this legislation is the requirement to make public Level 2 offenders.  This is now in effect.

Still pending is the more comprehensive legislation that will look at public policy regarding sex offenders across the spectrum.  Likely to be refilled this legislative season.

On re-entry challenges:  Fred Smith (St. Francis House, Boston) has launched a new initiative to create job opportunities for sex offenders.  Laurie will send along press release detailing that announcement.

In terms of local employment opportunities, discussed receptive employers and the need to continue to build that receptivity.  Joe Critelli will share his hand-out summarizing positive reasons to hire sex offenders.  We agreed the Network can post that on the blog as well.

Outreach to Housing Providers:

Pamela will continue to reach out to Faith Williams of HAP (Richard Hendricks will also advocate individually to the HAP director) to schedule a meeting re: Lorraine House.

Pamela will also check in again with Valley CDC and SMOC to attempt to re-start the conversation on this issue.

Pamela will connect with Steve Conner of Veterans Services to learn more about what is happening in relation to veteran sex offender support.

Pamela will also locate the referral process and criteria we drafted earlier that could be used in housing provider outreach.

Joe Critelli mentioned his Wed. morning meetings with sex offenders to help provide them support around re-entry challenges (job and housing interviews).  Agreed it could be useful to have Network partners engage by providing role plays with interviewees.  Joe will send hand-out on this Wed. morning group.

Next meeting:  Tuesday, 10/22, 1-2:15 pm, will confirm Northampton Senior Center