For Former Offenders, A New Job Opportunity

Newton reentry
Ernie Newton addresses crowd at reentry jobs fair. CT Post photo Brian Pounds.

On a day the city announced the Mayor’s Initiative on Re-Entry Affairs was praised by the United States Conference of Mayors, a jobs fair organized by former State Senator Ernie Newton on behalf of his employer Career Resources at the Margaret Morton Government Center attracted a steady stream of former offenders seeking a second chance at employment.

From CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart:

“I asked the companies if they would just hire one person,” Newton said.

Frank Borres, a city activist and local businessman, is the community representative for the developer behind the ongoing harbor front Steel Point project. He took about 40 applications to share with contractors.

“Unfortunately a lot of my neighbors have had a (criminal) history,” Borres said. “But you know what? A good worker is a good worker.”

Another second-chance celebrity–Mayor Joe Ganim–also stopped by the job fair. Like Newton, Ganim is another infamous fallen Bridgeport politician. His comeback, however, was successful and as of December 2015 Ganim is again running Connecticut’s largest city.

Full story here.

mayor reentry initiative
Mayor and city officials receive Livable Cities award.

News release from mayor’s office:

The City of Bridgeport today announced it was a recipient of The Honorable Mention Large City 2017 Livability Award by the United States Conference of Mayor’s. The 2017 City Livability Awards, in its 38th year, recognizes and honors mayors for exemplary leadership in developing initiatives that enhance the quality of life in municipalities. Bridgeport was recognized for The Mayor’s Initiative on Re-entry Affairs (MIRA). This comprehensive city government program, launched by Mayor Ganim in August 2016, helps formerly incarcerated individuals to advance their education and careers to establish new lives.

“I am so proud of MIRA for how it has positively impacted the lives of those individuals with prior convictions and their families,” said Mayor Ganim. “Being recognized across the country among the nation’s largest cities is a testament to the efforts of many who believe in second chances and change.”

Since his return, Mayor Ganim has made it his mission to unite Bridgeport’s businesses and non-profits to provide ex-offenders community resources and employment. MIRA was created to connect returning citizens to wraparound services, employment and educational opportunities utilizing a comprehensive holistic community-based approach. The approximately 8,500 ex-offenders living in the city of Bridgeport represent 19% of the total population in the city in need of employment. Before an ex-offender can get or hold a job, however, sometimes that person needs mental health services, education assistance and housing services. MIRA plays a vital role in creating a strong framework to decrease recidivism by supporting collaborative partnerships for citizens returning to the Bridgeport community.



  1. Congratulations to Ernie Newton. I am happy that you were able to take your life experience and tun it into a positive force that will impact the lives of others. Best of Luck. Congratulations also to our Mayor for receiving accolades supporting these initiatives.

    It is important to understand that when people go to jail, the point is to rehabilitate them so that they can re-enter society , work and make a contribution.

    Good work Ernie.

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