August 14, 2018

                         Advocating for the just and humane treatment of those who are incarcerated.


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INCARCERATION & RE-ENTRY

Acomprehensive approach to re-entry requires the recognition that re-entry is not just about individuals coming home, it is also about the homes and communities to which they return (Forest & Kearns 2001). Few people are completely unchanged or unscathed by the prison experience. At the very least, prison is painful and incarcerated persons often suffer long-term consequences from having been subjected to pain, deprivation andextremely atypical patterns and norms of living and interacting with others. For the transition to home to be successful, changes in prison conditions, policies and procedures along with significant changes in the way prisoners are prepared to re-enter the free-world community must be radically changed.
Every sentence has its end and most inmateswill eventually go home. The treatment they receivewhile incarceratedwill have a definitive impact ontheir adjustmentto the free-world environment. Governor Bush’s Task Force, created in 2005 to focus on prisoner re-entry and its impact on public safety, found an urgent need for the corrections community to adopt re-entry as part of their broader public safety mission. Therefore, many of their recommendations involve steps that should be taken by the Department of Corrections to improve the prospects of prisoners succeeding in living law abiding lives post release. In the state of Florida alone,approximately 30,000offendersare releasedannually. The annual estimate of individuals scheduled for release from state and federal prisons hovers around 600,000.
The mostcritical aspect of post-prison adjustment isgainful employment. Upon return to their communities, ex-offenders have 3 financial choices: find a job; remainunemployed; return to crime. According to the research conducted by the Governor’s Task Force, under the current conditions, most ex-offenders will fail at leading law abiding lives when they return home. Most will be unable to secure stable employment. Our efforts to locate companies willing to hire ex-offenders have been disappointing. However, many of the vocational-basedtemporary services, like Labor Ready, hire those with a felony.Starting withthese companies will allow ex-offenders who want to “make good” to get their foot in the door andput them in a positionto show employers their commitment to a strong work ethic. Through these temporary agencies, many ex-offenders have become permanent and have acquired certifications in equipment operations, hazardous waste and other skill sets.
Re-entry is a time, if managed correctly, when ex-offenders can improve the communities in which they live rather than drain them. Helping offenders obtain the righttovote and supporting their efforts to become full community participants with the ability to obtain loans and buy homes would increase their sense of empowerment and promote a greater sense of belonging.
http://www.pdmiami.com/governors_ex-offender_task_force.pdf
http://aspe.hhs.gov/HSP/prison2home02/rose.htm
 
 
 

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