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Engaging the Community in Offender Reentry

NCJ Number
Date Published
32 pages
Highlighting ways to engage the community in offender reentry, this report is a part of a series on reentry initiatives sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Part of a series by the Reentry Partnership Initiative (RPI), this paper, sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs and the U.S. Department of Justice, focuses on ways to engage the community in issues involving offenders who return to their communities after a period of incarceration. After presenting a brief literature review of community justice, reentry partnerships, and public safety, the authors discuss what is meant by "community." Presenting the importance of involving community members in offender reentry because community members are informal agents of control, the authors suggest that community involvement sends offenders the message that the community has a vested interest in their success. Discussing unsupervised, unconditional offender releases, this report argues that involvement of the community is imperative to achieving and preserving public safety. After briefly discussing the reentry process used by RPI model programs, the authors emphasize engaging family members, community representatives, victim advocates, community-based organizations, service providers, clergy, and employers as powerful community representatives who can be effective liaisons in the offender reentry process. After discussing several formal social control agencies such as the police, parole agents, judges, and prosecutors, this report concludes arguing that integrating community members in policing, prosecution, and the criminal courts is the most effective way to guide offenders' reentry into communities. 1 Figure, 35 notes

Date Published: January 1, 2002