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CoreCivic Partners with Our Journey to Supply Reentry Resource Guidebooks

CoreCivic | 6/26/24 10:21 AM

Walking through a season of incarceration is challenging. But what can be more challenging for a justice-involved individual is navigating a new life at release, especially if one has served a lengthy sentence and must face the world as it is today, which will likely be different than the world he or she knew upon entering a facility.

Unless a returning citizen has family or friends waiting to pick them up when they’re released, being free can mean being incredibly vulnerable incredibly fast. For many, getting released from incarceration can present a mountain of obstacles, from accessing food and clothing to securing employment, finding a place to live, and obtaining adequate transportation, to name a few.

It can be daunting to navigate all at once, and Brian Scott is no stranger to the process. Scott, the executive director of a North Carolina-based nonprofit called Our Journey, completed a 20-year prison sentence in 2021 and launched the organization with other formerly incarcerated individuals a year later. Its mission is to help incarcerated individuals transition back to society by connecting them with all the resources they’ll need before they’re left desperately scrambling.

At this time, CoreCivic is utilizing Our Journey’s reentry guidebooks to help residents in its Georgia and Tennessee correctional facilities as they prepare for release, with plans to distribute guidebooks to CoreCivic facilities nationwide.

“The reentry booklet became a component of our reentry kit that’s currently in eight North Carolina prisons,” Scott said. “We wanted something that would give a broad aerial view of reentry and not get into the weeds too much.”

Although the guidebooks are relatively brief (the version being used in Georgia was printed at just 53 pages, for example), they cover everything from getting a cellphone to managing personal finances and finding health care coverage. They’re also written in an understanding, helpful tone by people who have already undergone the reentry process.

For Rodney Quinn, director of Program Development at CoreCivic, both the brevity and relatable nature of the guidebooks are a bonus.

“I think for CoreCivic, the lived-experience perspective was necessary, so when [residents] read it, they would recognize it right away,” Quinn said. “We rolled out [the guidebooks] at the end of last year and have already ordered many more. The case managers who have handed the booklets out and thumbed through them have weighed in, and the feedback and conversations from both staff and residents have been good. The way it’s written is warm, and usually people just get a list of resources. But we wanted it to be a little different.”

The guidebooks are given to residents who have 90 days remaining until release, giving them enough time to think about what they’ll need and find the necessary resources. Readers are directed to the Go Further Connect website, which serves as an additional resource for finding substance abuse support, transportation, job postings, and more.

“We give them bigger ideas as a starting point and then direct them to the website for more resources,” Quinn said.

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Topics: Reducing Recidivism, News