Reentry Programs: What They Are and How They Work

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Reentry programs have been put in place across the country to help transition felons out of the prison system and back into normal society.

The United States Department of Justice reports that every year 650,000+ prisoners are released from federal or state prisons and local jails.

In 2006, the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicated that of those released, two-thirds will be rearrested or reincarcerated within three years.

Don’t become another statistic

Please click on the state below that you’d like to see reentry programs for and you’ll be directed to our database for that state.

As with our companies that hire felons database, we do our best to keep this list updated so if you know of a reentry program of high quality that isn’t listed for your state, please let us know so that we can update our records.

Reentry Programs for Felons

Select your state from below to be taken to a page that lists the reentry programs for felons options for that state.

Territories: District of Columbia


Other Helpful Resources for Felons

Once a person completes their state prison sentence for unlawful behavior, they’re free to reenter society and better themselves.

However, it might be challenging for them to find services or assistance to help them return to their lives as a law-abiding citizen. They might not know how to find a job after committing a felony.

Thankfully, there are several resources to help ex-offenders gain essential life skills for making the right choices in life.

There are many components to consider when researching reentry programs and how they play a part in assisting people with criminal records.

These opportunities offer several long-term results that should keep them out of trouble. In some cases, they can share their experiences with others participating in these programs and assist with breaking the cycle of crime. 

This rundown should let you know what these programs are, what’s available, and how each one benefits people return to society and live fulfilled lives. 

What are reentry programs?

Before learning about the ins and outs of these resources, it would be best to describe the basics of what these programs have in store for ex-felons who have a second chance.

Definition

Reentry programs are services dedicated to helping citizens reenter society following their incarceration periods.

This reintegration might vary from person to person, but released prisoners can successfully stay out of trouble through community supervision.

Prevents recidivism 

Recidivism is the tendency of former offenders to repeat or conduct previously convicted crimes. They’re more likely to return to local jails if they don’t receive resources to better themselves post-release.

The main goal of reentry services is to help former felons return to society and eliminate their urge to commit crimes.

The Department of Justice states two out of three people released from a correctional facility get rearrested for other crimes, and half get re-incarcerated within three years.

Other benefits of reentry programs

Some other benefits that come from these prisoner reentry programs include increasing public safety.

By reducing recidivism rates in communities, communities don’t have to worry about encountering crime wherever they turn.

These programs can also benefit taxpayers.

Most prisons qualify as an expensive national institute, and paying less money for these facilities can let them pay for other expenses and cut costs for incoming inmates.

Types of reentry programs available

There are several types of reentry programs available throughout the United States dedicated to giving people who served their time finding opportunities to live stable lives and thrive in their communities.

Government supervision

One type of offender reentry involves community supervision. Examples of these supervision programs include probation or parole.

Typically, the Department of Corrections provides parole supervision for qualified convicts. These factors might differ between states, but follow similar goals.

Service providers are typically present alongside law enforcement representatives on a reentry council as they discuss a release preparation for qualified individuals. 

Typically, they devise responsibilities for an inmate to follow, such as avoiding criminal activity, attending substance recovery meetings, and keeping their residence in top condition in case of surprise inspections.

Violations of these responsibilities result in a return to prison.

Voluntary searches

Some people might decide to find government or community agencies for reliable reentry initiatives.

CARE is a voluntary program where eligible applicants evaluate their reintegration progress and receive insight from a community mentor that takes at least two years to complete.

Who can take advantage of a reentry program?

Most of these programs are beneficial for people who finished their prison sentences and their families. The Second Chance Act of 2007 provides services for adult and juvenile offenders to reenter society. 

By providing resources for financial and personal improvement, these individuals can support themselves and their families while reducing their urge to commit crimes.

Stakeholders, such as parole board members or public defenders, might also thrive from these problems to give reentry candidates life opportunities.

What a reentry program can teach you

Many correctional programs let former criminals have access to community resources for preparing them for life outside of prison.

From substance abuse treatment to giving people the supplies they need, these programs accommodate smooth prisoner reentry to their communities.

Life skills

Prisoners can learn several skills to help them move forward in their lives and overcome challenges that they might face daily. For instance, they can receive advice on social skills to improve their communication with others.

Reentry is an excellent opportunity to start over, so it would be ideal for ex-offenders to learn these social skills to create new connections and gain new interests.

Education can shape an individual’s worldview and gather insight about managing money, building relationships, developing resumes, and other essential tools for success.

Employment opportunities

One reason people might turn to crime is their inability to find stable work. Government agencies following the Second Chance Act typically provide job training or job placement for people released from prisons.

Some might find this process challenging because they would have to state on their job applications about their crime history, which might affect their eligibility for the positions they want. 

Another strategy they might include is presenting test job fairs to simulate the job search process and practice their interviewing skills. 

Mentoring

Transitioning from prison life to community life might be challenging while alone. Thankfully, many programs provide reentry mentors to provide support before and after their release. 

Encouraging words can go a long way for people secluded from the outside world, so it would be an excellent opportunity to formulate plans for managing stress or building self-esteem.

Substance abuse

Halfway houses are essential facilities for helping people dealing with substance abuse. Treatment programs are necessary for helping offenders overcome drug use to improve their general health and well-being. 

The BOP can provide treatments to help inmates who struggle with overcoming their experiences or crimes involving drugs.

Through these sessions, inmates can avoid relapse and learn how to improve their health and mentality without using illicit substances.

Health 

Prisons typically don’t offer consistent health coverage for offenders, and many might struggle with finding a secure foundation for their physical and mental health. 

Half of the incarcerated individuals report having chronic conditions, and nearly 20% experience infectious diseases.

Another half has to deal with long-term psychological struggles. Depending on how long a sentence they served, they might become overwhelmed with what to do next.

Housing

Although some offenders might have a home to return to, others might not have the same privileges.

People living in neighborhoods with high crime rates or experiencing homelessness might be more prone to recommitting crimes and becoming re-incarcerated. 

Organizations such as Cornerstone in Texas provide stable housing opportunities for individuals and their families while conquering homelessness and developing new values.

Finding an affordable home allows people to develop healthier lifestyles and avoid incarceration or recidivism.

How to find a reentry program

Many online outlets provide lists of organizations involved with the reentry process.

Examples typically list the specialties each one prioritizes. Depending on the needs someone has, they can typically find what they’re looking for after doing research.

Some prison facilities might offer these program services for peep they deem as qualified to participate in them. Some might focus on a specific task, while others might provide resources for every key factor for reentering society.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to prepare a plan?

The Federal Bureau of Prisons typically prepares a reentry plan 18 months before someone completes their sentence. 

Why is it important to start this process early for offenders during their sentence?

Some believe that starting this process earlier might have a more significant effect on how offenders view their actions.

Changing their attitudes about the crimes they committed can give them more time to focus on developing their skills needed for getting jobs, managing a budget, and other abilities necessary for living a stable life. 

This factor is essential for juvenile offenders because it encourages good behavior and makes it less likely for them to commit crimes after their release. 

How is this process cost-effective?

Many might consider reentry solutions ideal for prison budgets is the reduction of felons committing crimes again.

By learning the skills necessary for surviving in communities, they don’t have to conduct disruptive or unlawful behaviors or actions.

Many of these benefits are effective after a short time; typically a minimum of two years can be enough to reform a felon’s point of view and make it less likely to commit another crime. If they struggle with this process for a long time, they might be more likely to commit crimes again.

By enacting these programs on low-risk offenders, prisons can focus on placing high-risk offenders in their place and not spending extra money for reentry services. 

What jobs can former offenders find and apply for despite their criminal background?

Although a felony record might restrict some people from pursuing specific career paths, such as medical positions, there are several jobs they can look into, regardless of their background. 

Some examples of jobs they can pursue include positions as electricians, carpenters, technicians, or other specialists in the repair services industry.

They can also consider freelance work in specific industries, such as sales, writing, or marketing. As they gain experience, they may also consider starting their own business based on the skill sets they possess and build connections to further their success.

By focusing on a career they enjoy, former inmates can prioritize their aspirations and not focus on committing crimes.

Are there any programs exclusive for women inmates?

There are many reentry resources dedicated to women released from prison, such as Woman at the Well-Broward Inc. that assist with encouraging women to develop self-efficiency when becoming law-abiding citizens and focusing on careers or education. 

Conclusion

When a person completes their prison sentence and gets released back into their communities, they might have to face obstacles that might send them back if they can’t overcome them.

Many of these cost-effective reentry programs exist to help former offenders become productive in their lives and give back to their communities. Incorporating these programs, in the long run, can help reduce the rates of recidivism in every state.

Reentry programs provide inmates the necessary resources to secure a stable job, find affordable housing, improve their overall health, substance abuse recovery, and build connections with a mentor to prepare them for the outside world.

Most inmates receive eligibility for these programs by reaching out to them voluntarily or get assigned to one through government supervision based on the severity of their crimes or overall behavior while incarcerated. 

Getting the chance to reenter society with support is an ideal opportunity for eager to start over. Once you learn what to expect, you can determine a plan for the programs that suit your needs best.