On March 21, the Department of Justice designated the week of April 24-30 as National Reentry Week.
According to Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, “Supporting successful reentry is an essential part of our mission to promote public safety—because by helping individuals return to productive, law-abiding lives, we can reduce crime across the country and make our neighborhoods better places to live.”
Each year, more than 600,000 individuals return to their communities after serving time in federal and state prisons. The long term impact of a criminal record makes it extremely difficult for individuals who have served time to successfully reenter society. Common obstacles include obtaining employment, housing, education, and financial planning. More often than not, these obstacles can become barriers that contribute to the cycle of incarceration for many individuals.
What’s Happening Nationally
The goal of the National Reentry Week events is to assist in connecting individuals who are transitioning out of correctional facilities to resources and programs that focus on addressing criminogenic risk factors, or causes that lead individuals to reoffending and ending up back in jail. These risk factors can either be static factors that cannot be changed, such as age, gender, and criminal history, or dynamic factors that can be changed through successful interventions, such as substance use and education deficiencies.
During this week, the Department of Justice asked the Federal Bureau of Prisons and each U.S. Attorney’s Office to coordinate reentry events designed to help inmates prepare for release, like job fairs, practice interviews, mentorship programs, and events for children of incarcerated parents.
How We Support Reentry at Telecare
Telecare’s AB109 and collaborative court programs help formerly incarcerated members, or members who are on probation, transition back into their communities every single day. Our programs do this in a number of ways: case management, psychiatric services, employment and housing assistance, family support, and education. Additionally, Telecare’s AB109 programs use Critical Time Intervention (CTI), which aims to prevent recurrent homelessness and adverse outcomes during the period following placement into the community.
How are we doing at reentry support? We think the easiest way to understand this is to hear from staff and clients at
CORE LA and Downtown LA, two programs at Telecare that serve people with a history in the criminal justice system. These programs take a collaborative approach to recovery, and use the special talents of staff members who have experienced mental illness and incarceration themselves to provide support, guidance, and hope along the way.