Ensure Successful Reintegration After Incarceration
The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that more than two-thirds of the individuals released from prison will be rearrested within three years. This year nearly 700,000 people will leave prison and another 9 million will leave local jails. They return to communities lacking appropriate support services for substance addiction and mental illness, limited job prospects and few affordable housing options. Most have children who will depend on them for support, but these families are often impoverished. The prospects for successful reintegration are further compromised by the many collateral consequences of a criminal conviction--often recently enacted policies that make reentry after incarceration enormously difficult. Persons who are not sentenced to prison are also affected by these legal barriers to reintegration, which are onerous and often permanent.
This section identifies seven obstacles to reentry and makes federal policy recommendations that would promote reintegration and reduce rates of recidivism. Each issue outlined is vitally important to a person's successful reentry because without a comprehensive strategy that incorporates employment, education, housing, civic engagement, treatment and health services, as well as welfare assistance, the chances of success diminish and the likelihood of recidivism grows.
The role the federal government plays in this policy area is critical because it is often federal laws and policies that have created reentry barriers, or that can eliminate them. In an effort to expedite government action, the top three priorities for reformers are listed first. These recommendations are:
|Last Updated on Monday, 10 November 2008 20:25|