As the bipartisan movement to improve our criminal justice system continues its push across the country—and presidential candidates discuss the best ways to lower incarceration rates—reforming probation and parole presents an opportunity that should top the list.
Reentry Media Clips
A collaborative effort of Beaver County United and Deliverance Temple Ministries ROOTS Inc., both based in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, reintegrates former prisoners into society by providing help with housing, jobs, and drug and alcohol recovery, along with a duffel bag full of personal care items and informational resources.
Through HOPE for Prisoners, both High Desert State Prison and Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center offer course work through the College of Southern Nevada. By the end of the program, inmates have six credits worth of CSN classes to apply toward a degree after their release.
Wisconsin is one of 13 states where more than one in three people in prison are there for a supervision violation, The Council of State Governments Justice Center found.
Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate law expands criminal record sealing to more types of offenses. Starting June 27, an automated computer process will begin wiping cases from public databases.
Megan Quattlebaum, director of The Council of State Governments Justice Center, said that “many states have made recidivism reduction a public safety priority, but the harsh reality is that supervision fails nearly as often as it succeeds.”
“Probation and parole are meant to help people avoid both crime and incarceration and live successful lives in their communities,” said Megan Quattlebaum, who directs the CSG Justice Center.
A groundbreaking report from The Council of State Governments Justice Center reveals nearly 1 in 4 people on any given day are incarcerated in state prison for violating probation or parole, costing states more than $9.3 billion a year.
With only months remaining on a 10-year sentence for drug trafficking, 38-year-old Justin Mack says he wants something big to come out of his time behind bars.
A five-year study by the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice at Wayne State University’s School of Social Work found that diverting individuals with mental health disorders into treatment programs rather than simply jailing them significantly reduces the jail population and reduces the chances of recidivism.
You just go into the bakery and put your name and contact information on a list. When a job comes open and your name is next, you start work as a paid apprentice.
For many years, New Jersey’s expungement law has been an important source of relief for those who have “paid their debt” to society, distanced themselves from past involvement in the criminal justice system and demonstrated their rehabilitation.
The bills would reform prison education and encourage colleges and universities to keep criminal records out of the admissions process.
Home to Stay is essentially a resource fair with a plethora of reentry services available on the spot to help people in housing, healthcare, driver’s license recovery, expungement, legal issues, child support, restorative justice support, literacy GED programs and employment opportunities.
This focus on an incarcerated person’s overall well-being represents a shift in how reentry programs are modeled, Carrie Pettus-Davis, an associate professor at Florida State University says. It’s based on helping them develop healthy thinking patterns, effective coping strategies, meaningful work trajectories, positive social engagement, and favorable interpersonal relationships.
My story, and others celebrated during April, provide support for a wholesale rethinking of America’s approach to extreme prison sentences. Incarceration must be based on acceptance of responsibility and taking steps to improve your life, not simply to punish.
Erroneous or outdated criminal charges that linger on a person’s record for years—also known as “sticky warrants”—can result either from prosecutors and probation departments refusing to drop minor cases from the distant past, or from outright clerical errors.
The Administrative Office of the Courts identifies eligible cases and notifies the Department of Public Safety to expunge records. The office estimates about 30,000 cases will be eligible each year.
The Just Housing amendment “will provide greater family stability for more than 3,300 people who return to communities in my district each year from prison,” said Commissioner Brandon Johnson, the amendment’s chief sponsor.
Whether working inside a correctional facility or coordinating a transition for an individual on release, understanding the basics around benefits is the first step to ensuring continuity of care for individuals with a serious mental illness or medical impairment.