What is Reentry? More people are leaving prisons across the country to return to their families and communities than at any other time in our history. Nationally, over 1,700 a day are released from state and federal prisons. From a number of perspectives, the issue of how people fare after they exit the prison gates has received renewed attention. Not only are more prisoners returning home than ever before, but they are also returning less prepared for life on the outside. Many will experience difficulty managing the most basic ingredients of successful reintegration—reconnecting with jobs, housing and their families, and accessing needed substance abuse and health care treatment.
Most will be rearrested within three years, and many will be returned to prison for new crimes or parole violations. The cycle of incarceration and reentry into society carries the potential for profound adverse consequences for prisoners, their families and communities. But just as the potential costs are great, so too are the opportunities for interventions that could enhance the public safety, health and cohesion of the communities at the center of this cycle.
Prisoner Reentry Defined: Prisoner reentry is the process of leaving prison or jail and returning to society. Most prisoners experience reentry irrespective of their method of release or form of supervision. If the reentry process is successful, there are benefits in terms of improved public safety and the long-term reintegration of the former prisoner. Public safety gains are typically measured in terms of reduced recidivism. Reintegration outcomes would include increased participation in social institutions such as the labor force, families, communities, schools, and religious organizations. Successful reentry produces benefits for individual prisoners, their families, the communities to which they return, and the broader society.
Description: Reentry is a vital component of Palm Beach County's criminal justice strategy. Florida offender reentry efforts seek to promote offender success in the community and reduce the recidivism rate of offenders released from prison. Florida has embraced statewide and county-specific initiatives to address this important public safety issue.
Vision: To define a standard of excellence for offender transition that encourages correctional practitioners and community-based organizations to implement its various elements.
Mission: To reduce crime by implementing a seamless plan of services and supervision developed with each ex-offender, delivered through state and local collaboration, from the time of their entry into prison through their transition, reintegration and aftercare in the community.