Monday, December 29, 2008
Jails and Prisons-Libraries and Prisoner Re-Entry and Community Groups. No. 556.
New Guide Helps State Governments and Faith-Based and Community Organizations Improve Prisoner Reentry Collaborations.
New York—The Council of State Governments Justice Center announced today the release of Reentry Partnerships: A Guide for States & Faith-Based and Community Organizations, which was supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, and the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, U.S. Department of Labor. It offers practical recommendations for how state government officials and community-based service providers can better use limited resources to help the more than 700,000 individuals released from U.S. prisons and the nearly 9 million who leave jails each year to successfully and safely rejoin neighborhoods and families. The Justice Center is also developing a companion tool for this guide: a checklist for state officials and community-based providers to track which of the guide’s recommendations have been implemented and which areas need additional work. This tool will be available in early 2009.
According to the guide, reduced recidivism, increased public safety, and better outcomes for people released from prisons and jails are contingent on both the availability of treatment and programming in correctional facilities and services in the community. Faith-based and community organizations provide critical reentry services in prisons and jails and have extensive networks to link people to resources that can help them reenter communities in positive ways. Yet these groups cannot always link with state government agencies that can provide funding, ensure accountability, facilitate statewide efforts, and offer other supports. This first-of-its-kind guide helps facilitate state–local connections by breaking down barriers that have impeded collaboration.
“As the number of people released from prisons and jails grows, state governments must find fiscally sound ways to meet the rising demand for reentry services,” said advisory board member and New York State Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry. “We need these concrete strategies to more effectively leverage community resources.”
The guide provides recommendations for how state governments and faith-based and community organizations can construct and sustain networks, improve state reentry grant programs, reconcile divergent priorities among state agencies and service organizations, tailor responses to local conditions, and ensure accountability for use of state funds. Also included are examples of implementation strategies from across the country.
“Small faith-based groups and grassroots organizations that work with individuals released from prisons and jails have long struggled to connect to and work with government agencies,” said Kevin Gay, project advisor and Operation New Hope President. “It is exciting to bring a new resource to the field on how to address the concerns of both government and community partners in overcoming long-standing barriers to collaboration.”
Reentry Partnerships: A Guide for States & Faith-Based and Community Organizations can be downloaded for free at www.reentrypolicy.org/reentry_partnerships_pubs_tools. It was produced under Grant No. 2006-RE-CX-K005 by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, and Contract No. DOLJ061A20353 with the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, (CFBCI), U.S. Department of Labor. Additional resources can be found at www.reentrypolicy.org. Hard copies can be pre-ordered through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service at www.ncjrs.gov (NCJ 224915.
See also entries at Librarian on library services to people in jail or prison and related issues.
Posted by Librarian at 9:18 AM