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Reentry

 

Reentry programs and reentry courts are designed to help returning citizens successfully "reenter" society following their incarceration, thereby reducing recidivism, improving public safety, and saving money.

A primary focus of our reentry efforts is to remove or reduce barriers to successful reentry, so that motivated individuals - who have served their time and paid their debt to society - are able to compete for a job, attain stable housing, support their children and their families, and contribute to their communities. 

 

 

On any given day in Alabama, about 100,000 people with criminal convictions are incarcerated or under supervision within the community. Nationwide, 2.3 million Americans are imprisoned. The vast majority of inmates -- 98 percent -- will eventually leave prison and return to our communities. Society must decide whether those individuals will leave prison no better equipped for a successful life than when they entered, or if they should receive training, rehabilitation, support and guidance that could help them become productive members of their communities.

Reentry programs and reentry courts are designed to help returning citizens successfully "reenter" society following their incarceration, thereby reducing recidivism, improving public safety, and saving money.

A primary focus of our reentry efforts is to remove or reduce barriers to successful reentry, so that motivated individuals - who have served their time and paid their debt to society - are able to compete for a job, attain stable housing, support their children and their families, and contribute to their communities.

On any given day in Alabama, about 100,000 people with criminal convictions are incarcerated or under supervision within the community. Nationwide, 2.3 million Americans are imprisoned. The vast majority of inmates -- 98 percent -- will eventually leave prison and return to our communities. Society must decide whether those individuals will leave prison no better equipped for a successful life than when they entered, or if they should receive training, rehabilitation, support and guidance that could help them become productive members of their communities.

Through the North Alabama Reentry Council, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama works with federal, state, and community partners to identify and remove barriers to reentry that many ex-offenders encounter upon their release from prison. If you or your organization provides services to ex-offenders and would like to know more about the Reentry Council and its resources, please contact Jeremy Sherer at Jeremy.Sherer@usdoj.gov.

 

Reentry Issues

Public SafetyPublic Safety
Reentry improves public safety.  Approximately two million adults are incarcerated in state prisons and local jails. Nationally, two out of every three people released from state prisons are rearrested for a new offense and about half are reincarcerated within three years. Reducing recidivism is critical for increasing long-term public safety and lowering corrections costs.

 

employmentEmployment
Individuals who have been incarcerated can expect their future earnings to be reduced by about 40 percent after they return to their communities.   Reentry efforts seek to reduce barriers to employment so that people with past criminal involvement – after they have been held accountable and paid their dues – can compete for work opportunities.

 

healthHealth
There is often a lack of continuity in care from inside the prison to the community.  Reentry efforts can help ensure that the Affordable Care Act and other reforms will significantly increase access to appropriate physical and behavioral health interventions after release from incarceration. Substance abuse can be a significant impediment to successful reentry and a major health concern. Addressing the root causes of substance abuse leads to improved public safety.

 

educationEducation
Education is a core resource for release preparation, and is an evidence-based tool for reducing recidivism among adults and juveniles. Participation in education programming was associated with a 16 percent reduction in recidivism in one study. Education is also a critical building block for increasing employment opportunities.

 

housingHousing
Stable housing with appropriate supportive services is a key factor in preventing homelessness and reducing recidivism.  The goal is to reduce barriers to public and subsidized housing, and advance promising models that improve outcomes for people who repeatedly use corrections and homeless services.

 

 

Project Hope Reentry Resource Database

The Project HOPE (Helping Our Partners Excel) Reentry Resource Database is a 31-county directory of services that is available to people with criminal convictions. Employment, housing, education, drug rehabilitation and legal services are among those compiled. To connect with the reentry resource database, please visit – Project HOPE.

National Reentry Resource Center

The National Reentry Resource Center was established by the Second Chance Act (Public Law 110-199). Signed into law in 2008, the Second Chance Act authorizes federal grants to government agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide reentry services—including employment assistance, substance use treatment, housing, family programming, mentoring, victims support, and other services—and to support corrections and supervision practices that aim to reduce recidivism. For More Information: National Reentry Resource Center

Reentry Mythbusters

Reentry MythBusters are fact sheets designed to clarify existing federal policies that affect formerly incarcerated individuals and their families in areas such as public housing, employment, parental rights, Medicaid suspension/termination, voting rights and more. Please visit – Reentry MythBusters

 

Children of Incarcerated Parent Mythbusters

On a typical day in the United States, nearly two million children under 18 have a parent in prison – and many more have had an incarcerated parent at some point during their childhood. Children of incarcerated parents often face financial instability, changes in family structure, and social stigma from their community. This series is designed to help these children, their caregivers, and the service providers who work with them. Please visit - Children of Incarcerated Parents Series

 

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) - Employers can save money on their federal income taxes from a tax credit through the WOTC by hiring ex-felons. For each new exfelon hired, the WOTC provides a credit of 25 percent of qualified firstyear wages for those employed at least 120 hours, or $1,500; and 40 percent for those employed 400 hours or more, or $2,400. For More Information: Work Opportunity Tax Credit Coordinator – Alabama Department of Industrial Relations – (334) 242-8037 - Alabama Department of Labor
 

On-the-Job Training Program (OJT) - The OJT program gives individuals an opportunity to learn job skills and allows employers to train new employees while saving money on training costs. An OJT Service Representative and the employer will create a training plan that defines training objectives and goals for the trainee(s). Employers may receive up to a fifty percent reimbursement of hourly wages paid to a trainee. For More Information: Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs or Alabama Workforce Centers.

The Federal Bonding Program was established in 1966 by the U.S. Department of Labor in order to guarantee employers do not suffer any economic loss by giving at-risk job seekers a chance for meaningful employment. The bonds cover the first six months of employment. There is no cost to the job applicant or the employer.

• Employers receive bonded employees free-of charge which serves as an incentive to hire hard-to-place job applicants.

• The FBP bond insurance is designed to reimburse the employer for any loss due to employee theft of money or property with no employer deductible.

• This tool has proven to be extremely successful with only 1 percent of the bonds issued ever resulting in a claim.

For More Information: Federal Bonding Program Homepage .

Federal Bonding Services Coordinator— Alabama Employment Services—(334) 242-8039

Reentry Assistance Services

Tuscaloosa Reentry Assistance Clinic – University of Alabama School of Law students conduct intake at a walk-in clinic held at the Tuscaloosa Office of Probation and Parole to determine what issues supervisees are facing that may prevent them from successfully reentering their communities. Students provide clients with basic information on legal issues as well as referrals to other agencies. For More Information: Tuscaloosa Reentry Assistance Clinic
 

If you have any questions about reentry or the United States Attorney’s Office’s actions to improve reentry in Alabama, please contact Jeremy Sherer at Jeremy.Sherer@usdoj.gov or 205.244.2001.

Prisoner Re-entry

If you believe your organization has expertise or resources that could improve outcomes for ex-offenders re-entering society, please e-mail our Reentry Coordinator at Jeremy.Sherer@usdoj.gov or call 205-244-2019.

 

 

Updated May 3, 2017

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