Pivot Program graduate hugs a supporter

Pivot, PJI receive grant to provide emergency assistance to returning citizens

The Georgetown Prisons and Justice Initiative and the Pivot Program were awarded over $737,000 in grant funding to directly support students experiencing hardship in the transition home from incarceration. 

The 2022 and 2023 grants from the D.C. Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG) channel funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act that allows Georgetown to provide relief to students in our reentry programs for costs that could otherwise derail their education and create further instability. The first grant of $170,000 was awarded in May and ran through September, and the second grant of over $576,000 was awarded for the year starting Oct. 1.

“This grant helps us level up our reentry support in a big way. In addition to our employment work, we can now address another major obstacle to homecoming: housing insecurity,” said Joshua Miller, PJI Director of Education. “We’re grateful to our partners in the DC government or recognizing and supporting returning citizens’ needs so they can focus on their future.”

The goal of OVSJG’s flexible funding is to “assist with reintegration, avoid homelessness and reduce recidivism.” Through the grant, students and recent alumni in the Pivot Program, the MORCA-Georgetown Paralegal Program, and the Prison Scholars Program can receive assistance with costs related to housing, childcare, food, clothing, technology, transportation, and other unforeseen expenses. 

With the reimbursable grant funding, the Pivot Program and PJI are better positioned to respond quickly to the needs of returning citizens and the unique reentry challenges they face. The ability to swiftly step in to cover the costs of a security deposit on an apartment, reliable childcare when a school is closed, or medical expenses not covered by other benefits can make an immense difference in an individual’s success in a Georgetown program and their larger reentry process. 

“Many returning citizens want to invest time and energy into their long-term goals, but with so many reentry challenges, it’s easy to get stuck just trying to make ends meet,” said Tyrone Walker, PJI Director of Reentry Services. “Initiatives like this grant from OVSJG get to the heart of reducing recidivism and helping people find success.”

The grant may also be used to invest in students’ long-term success, providing laptops and professional clothing when graduates enter the workforce full-time. The funds also support indirect costs and salaries for staff who work most closely with returning citizens.

This publication was produced by the Georgetown Prisons and Justice Initiative under 2023-IRAA-3001, awarded by the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants, Executive Office of the Mayor, District of Columbia. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Executive Office of the Mayor.

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