Helping people released from jail or prison transition back into their communities and avoid future contact with the criminal justice system is crucial to building safer neighborhoods.
Our Harlem Parole Reentry Court, for example, makes use of a wide-range of community-based services such as drug and mental health treatment and job training, as well as strict judicial supervision, to help parolees navigate the return to life at home. We also mobilize family members and the local faith community to support program participants. A recent evaluation of the Reentry Court found it had reduced recidivism by almost 20 percent and significantly improved employment outcomes.
Highlights from a public screening and panel discussion of Bill Moyers's 'Rikers: An American Jail,' moderated by New Thinking host, Matt Watkins. Commenting on the film and the future of criminal justice reform are Tina Luongo of the Legal Aid Society, Jill Harris of the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, and two of the people formerly held on Rikers featured in the film: Barry Campbell of the Fortune Society, and Johnny Perez of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reintegration Program provides intensive case management and reentry services to tribal members returning to the community from incarceration. The program provides financial assistance for basic needs such as housing, clothing, and groceries, and offers long-term support through educational, vocational, and legal services.
We talk of “second chances,” but rarely do we recognize that many of the millions of people returning from jail and prison each year never got a first one. This policy brief outlines a new vision for reentry focused on the social integration due to returning citizens. That starts with two priorities: immediate access to housing and to trauma-informed therapy.