Corrections alone cannot succeed in the reintegration process. Community stakeholders need to be involved and made aware of the difficulty offenders face once released. Many people are not aware that most of those that are incarcerated today are eventually returning to the communities. When an offender returns to the community, he/she faces the stigma of incarceration making the offender feel uncertain, sometimes fearful as they return home. The community contributes to these feelings by maintaining a distance from the offender. As a result, the offender experiences difficulty finding meaningful employment and suitable housing.
Service providers in the communities need to understand the public safety value of helping ensure that offenders’ needs are met. The importance of making a good fit between what the offender needs and what the community needs looks like the way to do business.
While the Department clearly has a primary role in managing offender reentry, the process cannot be carried out successfully without the involvement of other state agencies, community organizations, faith-based groups, crime victims, and the friends and families of offenders. Therefore, creating and strengthening community partnerships is a central piece of the process. Volunteers are an extremely vital part of the offender’s transition back to their community.
Community volunteers are needed for a variety of services including mentoring, transportation, job search and employment, and family reunification. For additional reentry information, volunteer inquiries or to provide community transition services, including employment opportunities for releasing offenders, please direct calls to the Office of Offender Reentry, (225) 342-0206, toll free 1-888-332-2673, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.