U.S. Attorney’s Office Participates in Reentry Simulation at FCI Fort Worth
Justice Department Designates April 24-30, 2016, as National Reentry Week
FORT WORTH, Texas — As part of events sponsored by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas during National Reentry Week, staff members from the U.S. Attorney’s Office joined Bureau of Prisons (BOP) staff at Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) Fort Worth today to participate in a Reentry Simulation that provided FCI inmates an opportunity to experience, first-hand, one month in the life of a newly-released offender, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
The Department of Justice has taken major steps toward reducing recidivism and helping formerly-incarcerated individuals contribute to their communities. An important part of that commitment is preparing those who have paid their debt to society for substantive opportunities beyond the prison gates, and addressing obstacles to successful reentry that too many returning citizens encounter.
“Regardless of how motivated they may be, formerly incarcerated individuals face serious and complex obstacles to successful reentry,” said U.S. Attorney Parker. “This reentry simulation was invaluable in highlighting and addressing those obstacles and offering real-life ways to overcome them.”
In addition to participating in the simulation, U.S. Attorney Office staff members provided a training session to the reentering population regarding firearm laws and potential criminal liabilities so they may make wise choices after their release from prison.
Inmates participating in the simulation were given a packet containing mock information about an imaginary individual who was just released from incarceration, whose identity they would assume for the exercise. The packet contained information about that imaginary individual’s criminal background, education level as well as their financial, housing and employment situation. Then, during four 15-minute sessions, with each session representing one week of the month, participants engaged in various scenarios with staff from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and BOP who role-played representatives from community organizations, such as financial institutions, health clinics, social services, court services and law enforcement.
The Department of Justice designated the week of April 24-30, 2016, as National Reentry Week. During this week, U.S. Attorney Offices are coordinating reentry events designed to raise awareness about the importance of reentry work. With more than 600,000 individuals each year returning to neighborhoods after serving time in federal and state prisons, and another 11.4 million individuals cycling through local jails, addressing the challenges they face is a fundamental and vital task.
Yesterday, the Department of Justice announced new reforms to strengthen the Bureau of Prisons, including the “Roadmap to Reentry,” the Department’s comprehensive vision to reduce recidivism through reentry reforms at the BOP.
The principles outlined in the “Roadmap to Reentry” are aligned with the work of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, which has been to reduce policy barriers to successful reentry, opening up opportunities in education, job placement, housing, healthcare, and a host of other areas critical to successful reintegration. The Department is also raising awareness of the importance of reentry strategies that both increase public safety and fulfill our nation’s commitment to the promise of individual redemption.
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