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The Top 10 Barriers to Reentry, and How CoreCivic is Helping

CoreCivic | 7/30/20 8:00 AM

CoreCivic offers a variety of programs to help the inmates and residents in our care prepare for reentry. As part of this preparation, our reentry professionals work with each individual to address his or her unique barriers to reentry and help facilitate a successful reintegration into the community.

"Each person is different and will have their own set of challenges after they leave our facilities," said Matt Moore, senior director of Reentry Services. "That being said, there are a number of programs we provide that teach our inmates how to be successful once they reenter their communities."

Our team identified 10 of the most common barriers and concerns for individuals reentering society, and how we are helping those in our care prepare to face those challenges head on.

  1. Identification

A valid ID or driver's license is crucial for former offenders to gain employment, secure housing, and find transportation. Most CoreCivic facilities work with state departments to have representatives visit the facility and provide these documents. In facilities where this isn't an option, our reentry specialists help individuals complete and submit required forms to county, state and federal agencies to expedite the process.

  1. Benefits

While not all offenders qualify for public assistance like disability, food stamps, or housing assistance, reentry specialists work with offenders to identify and sign up for the types of assistance they may be eligible for once they're released.

  1. Transportation

Without consistent transportation, former offenders may have difficulty finding and keeping employment, attending medical appointments, or meeting with their supervision officer. Reentry specialists help inmates and residents get bus passes, plan routes using public transportation, or identify friends and family members who can provide transportation until a permanent solution is found.

  1. Housing

Without adequate living conditions, former offenders are more likely to reoffend. CoreCivic partners with charities that specialize in post-release housing for formerly incarcerated individuals to help find safe public housing or identify relatives who would be willing to provide temporary or long-term shelter.

  1. Health care

Recently-released individuals often need help tending to their health care needs after release, especially those with chronic health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes. CoreCivic discharge planners refer individuals to health care providers and help set up appointments prior to release.

  1. Sobriety

Without professional support, recently released individuals with substance use disorders are at a heightened risk of returning to drugs and alcohol. Our reentry professionals help locate local support groups to provide guidance, assistance, and mentorship to stay sober.

  1. Family

Reuniting with loved ones can be challenging yet exceptionally rewarding, often providing new motivation to find work, avoid destructive behaviors, and develop positive relationships with children. Many CoreCivic facilities offer programs to help the individuals in our care build and maintain relationships with family members, teach role modeling skills, and address communication issues.

  1. Education

Education not only improves a justice-involved person's quality of life, but it also helps them qualify for better work opportunities. CoreCivic facilities offer GED/high-school equivalency courses, career technical certificates in high-demand fields like computer coding and carpentry, and even college degrees through partnerships with local colleges. Gaining these skills can mean the difference between living as a productive member of society and returning to criminal behavior patterns.

  1. Employment

Finding and maintaining a job can make all the difference in keeping a justice-involved individual from returning to prison. Our reentry specialists help them develop critical skills such as resume writing and interviewing, as well as "soft skills" like handling peer relationships and stress on the job. In many facilities, potential employers are invited to job fairs where they can discuss job opportunities directly with those nearing release.

  1. Finances

Upon release and finding employment, former offenders soon find themselves responsible for the cost of housing, utilities, and other various obligations. CoreCivic provides a variety of programs to help prepare individuals for these situations by teaching practical life skills, such as budgeting, how to open a bank account, and how to apply for and manage credit.

CoreCivic-LOGO-ReentryServices-CMYK LARGEWhen these 10 essential needs are addressed prior to release, former offenders experience a smoother transition back to the community, and they are less likely to commit new offenses or violate supervision requirements. By providing the proper tools for success, CoreCivic is paving the way to a brighter future for all those in our care.

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Topics: Reducing Recidivism