Over 600,000 prisoners are released to their communities each year. Most are low-income minority men, and most return to high-poverty communities. We urge all states to develop comprehensive reentry services aimed at reintegrating former prisoners into their communities with full-time, consistent employment.
Helping current and former prisoners successfully rejoin their communities calls for a fundamental shift in mission and philosophy for many state criminal justice agencies. It calls for new and focused efforts to help former prisoners in the state’s workforce system, and the involvement of health, mental health, substance abuse, child support, human services, and adult and post-secondary education agencies. The business community, faith-based groups, and a range of non-profits have key roles to play. Their reentry-related activities should be encouraged.
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