Because it is a fact that most prisoners will eventually return to the community, better understanding of prisoner re-entry success and failure is crucial. What does it take for a prisoner to successfully navigate the treacherous waters of re-entry?
The US Attorney's One Community Guam" and "One Community CNMI" Conferences show that if we can build safer communities when we tap into every resource, even using the formerly incarcerated.
As community organizations team up across the country to reduce crime, expand opportunity, and revitalize our neighborhoods, it is increasingly clear that a crucial part of that work is helping people returning from our prisons and jails make a successful transition back home.
According to a recent report on homelessness by J.B. Wogan, while national data indicates that overall homelessness is trending downward, several cities, one county and one state, have declared State of Emergencies due to rising homelessness.
For many of us, this documentary film, which premieres tonight on PBS, hits close to home. The stories of rocky recovery and tenuous returning loved ones are familiar; our own families' highs and lows echo though every scene.
While it is true that some prisons offer "programs" (DOCCS' term for required activities such as, vocational, therapeutic
I'd heard that it's hard for those who have served time to find work, but I was confident because I thought I had the skills I needed to get my life back on track and become a productive member of my community. I had no idea that the job market is barricaded against people like me.
While Hollywood loves a good redemption story, and as a society we say we believe in second chances, our behavior towards ex-offenders tends to be contradictory. Barriers like the criminal felon box on job applications and the inability to get a basic bank loan or a driver's license make a smooth re-entry back into society nearly impossible.
With Re-Entry Resources, Focus and Commitment, I'm Actually Living the Life I Planned For While Incarcerated
After being gone for so long, you need support to transition back into society. You need information. You need a network. You need people around you who actually have access to the services that will help you. And you need those right away if you want to earn money and sustain yourself.
Each year, more than 600,000 individuals return to our neighborhoods after serving time in federal and state prisons, and another 11.4 million individuals cycle through local jails.
I recently had the honor of meeting with Susan Burton in Los Angeles. Susan, who spent 20 years of her life incarcerated, has become one of the great leaders of the social justice movement in America.
Thousands of individuals who were subjected to harsh penalties as children now have the possibility of release. The question now remains of what their future entails.
I remember all too well my experience with this issue when I went for my first job interview upon my release after serving 12 years of a 15-to-life sentence for a non-violent drug crime.
The road following imprisonment is not an easy one. I know because I have walked it. When I was released 17 years ago from the living nightmare of imprisonment, I found that returning to the real world was both frightening and unbelievably difficult.
People released from prison frequently face challenges. To start, people with prison records have a hard time finding a job. If employers won't hire the formerly incarcerated, then the formerly incarcerated can take a different tactic.
Scott Lewis spent 19 years in federal prison. He was recently released after an FBI investigation revealed a dirty cop was part of the cocaine trade and framed Lewis and Stefon Morant, for a double murder they didn't commit. Lewis is now an independent real estate broker.
Teaching yoga in jail isn't just about giving the women exercise, it's about giving them tools to cope. That's why I always start with the hope that Tadasana brings.
If we want to reduce the prison population, ex-offenders need more compassion and understanding from the criminal justice system.