U.S. Attorney Statement: Reentry Week -- Beyond the Prison Gates
By Tom Beall, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas
Each year, more than 600,000 individuals return to our neighborhoods after serving time in federal and state prisons, and another 11.4 million people cycle through local jails. Nearly a quarter of Americans have had some sort of encounter with the criminal justice system – mostly for relatively minor, non-violent offenses.
In law enforcement, we have a duty to make our criminal justice system fairer, more efficient, and more effective at reducing recidivism and helping formerly incarcerated individuals contribute to their community. That is why I am joining U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch in inviting Kansans to observe National Reentry Week during April 24 through April 30.
The U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services offices in Kansas work to assist people who have struggled with the laws and legal system. Any person convicted of a felony understands that nearly every aspect of life will be more difficult than before. Probation officers work with people on probation or supervised release, offering substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, assistance finding housing or employment or both, educational opportunities or other life-changing programs. For anyone willing to make the effort, probation officers and staff are ready and willing to help. Likewise the federal Bureau of Prisons in Kansas works to provide drug treatment, vocational training and other programs aimed at reducing recidivism.
At the Department of Justice, supporting successful reentry is an essential part of our mission to promote public safety. By helping individuals return to productive, law-abiding lives, we can reduce crime across the country and make our neighborhoods better places to live. I am proud of the strides we have made and I will continue to support and advance reentry programs that promote opportunity and give formerly incarcerated individuals a better chance to rejoin our communities.
Tom Beall is the Acting United States Attorney for the District of Kansas.