Q: How is CoreCivic changing its approach to reentry programming?
A: First we know that we need to listen. We’re proud that we beat our goal to increase programming, but there’s more work to do. It’s going to take a community of ideas to find more solutions to recidivism. We’re working with our partners in government, nonprofit, business and the community. We’re also sourcing ideas from inmates. They bring personal experience to the table and know what they need to be successful. That’s why our new goal is to expand the Go Further Reentry Process to additional facilities and encourage curriculum completion. All of this takes a more collaborative approach.
Q: How will Go Further reduce recidivism?
A: It encourages inmates and staff to collaborate. They don’t wait until they’re in a pre-release program to start thinking about reentry. Go Further is the embodiment of how we’re making reentry a day one priority. Together, inmates and staff create a “roadmap” that covers every stage of reentry. They might start with basics like literacy programs, then work up to educational and vocational programs where they get certifications to help find jobs. By the time they get to the pre-release programs, they’re well-equipped to start thinking about housing and job placement. The sooner they get housing and employment when they’re released, the better their chances of success.
Q: What are you hearing from inmates as you take a more collaborative approach?
A: The reality is most of them want to stay out of prison. They want to get back to their families and do something meaningful with their lives. They just don’t have the resources to be successful. That’s why we need to listen. We in corrections are used to telling inmates what they need to do to be successful. It’s equally important to ask them what they would like to accomplish. Then we better understand what matters to them.