Return to Society from Prison

2887 Words Jun 17th, 2018 12 Pages
Question 1
Parole and reentry are two terms from different ends of the spectrum when describing how prisoners find themselves back in their respective communities after serving a prison sentence behind bars. Reentry is a strategy in which offenders are prepared to return home from prison, and parole is simply a matter of supervision.
Parole as defined by Gideon and Sung (2011, p. 307), refers to individuals who have been released from prison and are being supervised in the community. In general, parole was originally designed as a crime reduction strategy intended to ensure the safety of the community. However, parole has not seemed to reduce the number of offenders who continue to recycle through the criminal justice system,
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The incarceration binge that occurred in the 80s and 90s resulted in a massive increase in the prisoner population, of which nearly 95% will be released after serving a year or more behind bars (Koschman, 2013). These offenders will return to their communities with significant disadvantages.
Challenges to reentry There are many barriers to reentry. The convicted felon is denied the right to vote, they are not granted access to student loans, welfare benefits, public housing, or food stamps (Gideon & Sung, 2011, p. 8). In addition, these released offenders regularly return to communities that are experiencing social decay, are plagued by poverty, and few employment opportunities (Gideon & Sung, 2011, p. 8). They are also denied entry into a number of employment fields due to their status as a felon. Denying them assistance and a social safety net often hinders their reentry abilities and their transformation to a law-abiding citizen (Gideon & Sung, 2011, p. 8). As mentioned prior, the added burden of intensive supervision can also be problematic to successful reentry.
Effective reentry programs Gideon and Sung (2011, p. 9) suggest that prisoners who have extensive criminal histories, abuse drugs and or alcohol, and who are unemployed are more likely to reoffend and have reentry problems. With that in mind, a successful reentry program should target for change those who are considered a high risk, should involve
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