LISC Institute

Spotlight

Spotlight on Supporting Returning Citizens

During the past thirty years, incarceration rates in the United States have increased more than sevenfold, and in 2019 2.3 million people were incarcerated, with strong associations between the rise of mass incarceration, institutional racism, and disenfranchisement.  Returning citizens face many barriers to achieving employment and housing upon leaving incarceration, making it difficult for them to reclaim their lives and independence, and often resulting in high re-arrest rates. To reduce recidivism, policymakers and nonprofits are devoting resources to ease the transition away from jail or prison, and are applying a holistic lens to program offerings to mitigate the factors that can cause someone to be re-arrested, including homelessness, joblessness and mental health.  

Read the Letter from the Editor for additional insight into why we're highlighting this topic.
 

Letter from the Editor
 

 

In Practice

This brief from the CSG Justice Center highlights five ways in which state and local governments’ approaches to reentry and recidivism reduction are fundamentally different today than they were a decade and a half ago.

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The Rosenberg Foundation provides an overview of significant policy wins to restore employment rights for formerly incarcerated individuals and identifies policy priorities moving forward in this brief.

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What we're reading and watching

This report presents findings from a feasibility evaluation of the Bridges to Pathways (Bridges) program, which is for young men in Chicago who were involved with the criminal or juvenile justice system and lacked a high school credential.

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The findings of this study suggest that family ties have implications for both recidivism and job attainment. Read the report to learn more about why good quality social ties may be particularly important for men with histories of frequent unemployment.

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Read this piece from Shelterforce to learn more about legislation passed by the Housing Authority of New Orleans, which ensure that a criminal conviction won't automatically disqualify a person from receiving public housing or voucher assistance.

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This documentary follows incarcerated men and women in New York State who have been admitted to the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI), one of the most rigorous college programs in America.

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In this report, the Prison Policy Initiative provides the first estimate of homelessness among the 5 million formerly incarcerated people living in the United States, finding that formerly incarcerated people are almost 10 times more likely to be homeless than the general public.

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This blog post explores the different needs of justice-involved women as compared to their male counterparts. While some prison systems have begun to implement gender-responsive policies and programs, little has been done to modify programs after they are released.

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Resources, trainings and webinars

The Fortune Society’s mission is to support successful reentry from incarceration and promote alternatives to incarceration, thus strengthening the fabric of our communities.

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The Vera Institute of Justice works to drive change, and to urgently build and improve justice systems that ensure fairness, promote safety, and strengthen communities.

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The National Reentry Resource Center can help weave the numerous threads of successful reentry together to promote safety, collaboration, and second chances.

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