Studies have shown that more than half of prisoners have been incarcerated more than once. For many people, breaking the cycle of incarceration is extremely difficult. Prison conditions and limited reentry support, both during and after imprisonment, make it challenging to adjust to everyday life. With over 2 million people in the criminal justice system at any given time, the U.S. has the world’s largest prison population, and prisons tend to be overcrowded. Further exacerbating this issue, few resources are available to help formerly incarcerated people find housing, employment, and other social services, and many returns to criminal activity to get by financially.
Why are reentry programs important?
How can reentry programs decrease recidivism?
Reentry programs are specifically designed to deal with recidivism. Their strategies are targeted toward improving the quality of life for the incarcerated and discouraging them from returning to a life of crime.
One of the first needs that reentry programs seek to address is safe and stable housing. The incarcerated find it hard to find stable housing with appropriate supportive services. Without these, homelessness and lack of support can again push the previously imprisoned toward a life of crime. Reentry programs reduce recidivism by assisting clients in finding safe and stable housing.
The second most significant need a released offender has is a way to earn a living. The incarcerated will find it very difficult to find jobs when employers find “offenders” in background checks. Reentry programs help offenders connect with potential employers. Often, reentry case managers must make referrals to third parties for skill enhancement and employment for the offenders and then ensure clients can carry out the jobs. They also offer training and education to improve the employability of the offenders. Reentry case workers sometimes also follow up on clients by tracking their attendance and performance at work.
A source of income and a roof over their heads are fundamental determinants of well-being and are likely to keep offenders from committing further crimes to ensure their survival.
- Physical and mental health
It is important to remember that offenders released from prison are vulnerable and require special assistance. Many of them need targeted mental health services as poor mental health may have pushed them towards criminal acts in the first place. Moreover, life in prison is hardly conducive to better mental health. Caseworkers can assess their client’s physical and psychological health and ensure that reentry plans include assistance by connecting them to healthcare providers, including psychologists, when needed. If attention is not paid to these needs, the individuals are highly susceptible to recidivism.
Reentry Case managers, then, are critical in resolving underlying problems for offenders so that they don’t find themselves drawn to crime again. Case managers work to improve the offender’s motivational factors, assess risks and needs, and incorporate education into incarceration among other strategies.
Caseworkers also need assistance in successfully executing reentry plans as they are trying to gather data from various sources, connecting with numerous stakeholders, and designing strategies that will impact the future lives of offenders. Technology and software can be effective tools in their mission. Reentry case management systems allow many workflows to be automated and data to be centralized, making communication easy.
How can PlanStreet help reentry case managers?
- PlanStreet allows you to connect with potential employers to assist clients in getting jobs. You can then also monitor their attendance and performance at their jobs.
- Reentry Case managers can assess their client’s physical and psychological health using health assessment forms on PlanStreet.
- Use PlanStreet to find safe and stable housing for your clients, thereby reducing recidivism.
- PlanStreet offers reentry case workers the perfect comprehensive platform to bring together several aspects of reentry plans to reintegrate clients into society successfully.
- PlanStreet centralizes data and communication to bring all stakeholders to the same table as they design and execute reentry plans
We can help your case managers with their unique requirements by customizing dashboards, intake forms, and ways of reporting. For more on how PlanStreet can assist reentry case workers, visit our website: https://www.planstreetinc.com/reentry-program/ or schedule an Introductory call with our representative today to learn more.