Reentry@Lehman aims to create a welcoming, supportive, and respectful learning environment for all Lehman students impacted by the criminal justice system, including those who have experienced incarceration and those who have family members who are currently or were formerly incarcerated. We seek to address the unique challenges faced by formerly incarcerated students by educating the campus community about these challenges, while also providing support for the students’ academic enrollment, registration, financial aid and referrals to campus and community-based resources and partners that address specific needs such as housing, employment, legal services, personal finances, and scholarship information.
Our vision is to ensure that as Lehman moves into its second half century, the College continues to commit itself to thoughtful conversation among students, faculty, and staff about emerging issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion that are faced by the formerly incarcerated and their families, working together alongside our students to identify challenges and create solutions.
In 2017, a group of Lehman College faculty, students, and staff created a Reentry@Lehman Committee out of concern for the welfare of an extremely marginalized population: students entering the world of higher education after incarceration. We were aware that Lehman had always accepted students affected in some way by the criminal justice system, but since no special provisions were made for them and many of them preferred not to identify themselves as formerly incarcerated, they navigated the challenges of college on their own. Our objective was to make these students feel welcome, to educate ourselves—the staff, administration, faculty, and students—so that we would be supportive and knowledgeable and could truly assist them with all their needs.
Since 2017, the committee has grown to over 45 members representing all schools and departments within Lehman as well as formerly criminal-justice-impacted (CJI) students. Thanks to a 2018 grant from the College and Community Fellowship, we received specialized training in addressing the needs of these students which could affect success in education, such as housing and financial challenges, legal information on fair practices, the effects of trauma, licensing and certification limitations and myths, and more. In June 2019, Provost Nwosu appointed a Reentry Task Force to delineate concrete goals to target this year and over the next five years.
For more information about Reentry@Lehman contact Reentry@Lehman Committee Chair Penny Prince at email@example.com.