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Offender's Views of Reentry: Implications for Processes, Programs, and Services

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2002
32 pages
Addressing the problem of offenders returning to communities after incarceration, this paper 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 of evaluations by the Reentry Partnership Initiative (RPI), this paper, sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs and the U.S. Department of Justice, focuses on problems faced by offenders who return to communities after a period of incarceration. Citing the economic, psychological, and sociological barriers offenders face upon trying to become members of a community, the authors maintain that 70 percent of offenders return to prison within 3 years. In order to improve community crime reduction efforts, the Department of Justice fostered a new assessment of reentry processes. After discussing the history of releasing prisoners and after presenting the assumptions that offenders can return to places of residence with ease, can make meaningful arrangements in prison, and can make the transition instantaneously, this report presents a table highlighting a conceptual framework related to reentry stages, stages of change, constructs, and offender needs. Focusing on driving factors that affect offenders' behaviors, this report details the pressures offenders face upon reentry by being unsure of how they will be received by friends and family. Presenting societal and institutional factors that affect reintegration, this paper discusses the voting disenfranchisement laws, the housing restrictions in public housing, workplace restrictions, child support payments, notification of return to community, and the public access to criminal histories all of which affect an offender's access to mainstream society and restrict his or her civil liberties. Concluding with institutional treatments, pre-release, post-release, and integration processes which foster offender integration into communities, the authors argue that RPI initiatives minimize risks of offender reentry while achieving community safety. 1 Table, 25 notes

Date Published: March 1, 2002