Growing national movement emerges, hopes to expand access to resources for parolees returning to their communities
A bipartisan group of members of Congress is proposing legislation to make it easier for the formerly incarcerated to reenter society.
“This bipartisan legislation would help reduce the chance that people transitioning from incarceration will re-offend by creating re- source centers to coordinate access to job training, medical and mental health services, and financial counseling,” said sponsoring Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., a former prosecutor in her home state.
Similar legislation passed the House in the previous session but died in the Senate.
“Newly released offenders often aren’t aware of the resources available to them and struggle to find jobs, housing and mental health services,” said another sponsor, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a former Texas state attorney general.
The sponsors believe that every newly released person from prison faces additional challenges to obtain work, food, and shelter, NPR reported May 20. Those challenges make them more likely to re-offend — just to survive.
Statistics reveal that 85% of incarcerated individuals will be released back into society. “The expectation that individuals are successful and won’t re-offend after being given $10 and a bus ticket is absolutely ridiculous,” Bass noted.
Justice Department grants to open reentry facilities would help formerly incarcerated people to reestablish themselves in the community, the story said.
The national recidivism rate, which is the average rate of crime after leaving incarceration, is 49.3% over an eight-year period, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
The One Stop Shop Community Reentry Program Act would help organizations open programs that assist people released from prison to obtain their Social Security card, receive job training, life skills, and other skills needed to break the cycle of recidivism.