802-886-4500

Justice Reinvestment Pilot Project Grant

“The Sparrow Project”
HCRS, in collaboration with the Windsor District Court, the Windsor County State’s Attorneys office, Griffin, Marsicovetere & Wilkes, PC (Public Defenders), Probation & Parole for the Springfield and Hartford Districts, and the Field Service Division of the Agency of Human Services for the Springfield and Hartford Districts, was recently awarded a two-year grant in the amount of $380,532. Named the Sparrow Project, this collaboration will address a critical need in our community to meet the challenges facing individuals with substance abuse and/or mental health issues who come into contact with the criminal justice system.

The Sparrow Project will offer effective alternatives to incarceration by providing a viable community based treatment plan to address some of the root causes bringing individuals in contact with the criminal justice system. This will be accomplished through clinical case management services focused on increasing the availability of therapeutic services to defendants with substance abuse and/or mental health needs and veterans charged with non-violent property and drug felony and other charges in Windsor County. The Sparrow Project will help improve the quality of life for these individuals by decreasing recidivism, help them develop the skills they need to make healthy decisions, and move towards recovery, in order to become successful participants in our community.

The Sparrow Project was so named based on the inspirational speech given by Judge Learned Hand on May 21, 1994 at a naturalization ceremony in Central Park, New York City on “I Am An American Day.” In his speech, Judge Hand stated, “…the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded.” The project partners felt that naming this program “The Sparrow Project” highlighted the importance of providing alternatives to incarceration for those individuals caught up in the cycle of recidivism with the criminal justice system based on unmet social service needs.