COMMUNITY LIFESTYLE INSTITUTE
Social Justice Blog
Social Justice Blog
|Posted on May 20, 2014 at 1:15 PM|
Reentry support should include assistance with housing, employment, education,mentoring, substance abuse; and mental health treatments. The concept that, it takes a village to affect change can also be applied to the recidivism dilemma. Governments across the country have formed organizations toaccess the thousands of dollars available through the Second Chance Act. In other words, reentry organizations have been formed by Department of Corrections which offer transitional pre and post release programs.
Collaboration of government and non-profit partners have shown to be effective in several cities across the nation. For example; Minnesota Department of Corrections hasa twelve month pre-release program which includes a six month transition period. Minnesota Department of Corrections works with community agents and community providers to develop a release plan based on risk and needs. Minnesota’s program addresses, pro-social skills development; educational programming mental health and substance abuse; cognitive behavioral treatment interventions job readiness services and motivational interviewing. Oakland,California Comprehensive Community Cross System Reentry Support project partners with community based organizations to assess risk levels and menta lhealth needs. In Oakland, community based case managers rather than correctional organizations provide pre and postrelease. The most successful reentry programs involve community service providers as a component prisoner releaseplans. Michigan has a 13 week training where recently release persons havetraining to prepare for a career in manufacturing. This training also includes soft skills; communication and situational problem-solving. Ohio has three types of community basedorganizations; one to one mentoring, group mentoring and peer mentoring. Theprogram is administered pre and post release. Community mentors act as advocates for their recently released mentees.They communicate with social workers, parole officers, and families on theirbehalf. Responsivity to the program is high with 76 percent maintaining mentoring relationship after the end of the program and their return to the community.
It is evident based on these programs, that community non-profits agencies are instrumental in reducing recidivism and a key component to their success. There are positive results when reentry programs include initiatives that involve pro-social activities, employment, substance abuse treatment and mentoring.
Justice Center: The Council of State Governments. Reentry Matters:Strategies and Successes of Second Chance Act Grantees Across the United States.National Reentry Resource Center. November 2013
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