SIERRA Center is comprised of two components: a pre-trial program and a post incarceration program with a focus on mental illness, for men involved with the criminal justice system. The program offers clients a positive sense of direction and empowers them to be law-abiding citizens and productive members of society. SIERRA programs are designed to address the characteristics of offenders that can be changed and are associated with the individual’s criminal activities.
Located in New Haven, SIERRA Center provides clients being released from incarceration or those awaiting trial employment and educational opportunities. Of the 30 beds in the post incarceration facility, eight are set aside for offenders with behavioral health issues. The pre-trial program is comprised of 16 beds for individuals with behavioral health needs. Clients in both program components are diagnosed with mental illness — a majority also have a co-occurring substance use diagnosis. By addressing each client’s needs, the program is able to develop a comprehensive plan for each client that is able to address their risk of re-offense. Referrals for the Post-SIERRA program come from the State of Connecticut Department of Correction/Parole. Referrals for the Pre-SIERRA program come from the Court Support Services Division specialized mental health units within Jail Re-Interview and Probation.
Program services include:
Substance use education
Family and peer relations
Attitudes and values