Basic Challenges to Prisoner Reentry
Article first published online: 11 MAR 2009
© 2009 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 3, Issue 2, pages 183–195, March 2009
How to Cite
Anderson-Facile, D. (2009), Basic Challenges to Prisoner Reentry. Sociology Compass, 3: 183–195. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-9020.2009.00198.x
- Issue published online: 18 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 11 MAR 2009
- Sociology Compass 3/2 (2009): 183–195, 10.1111/j.1751-9020.2009.00198.x
Crime, incarceration and prisoner reintegration are pressing issues facing the United States today. The U.S. prison population has increased from 330,000 in 1980 to over 2.2 million prisoners today. As the prison population grows at record rates so, in turn, does the reentry of prisoners into society. Currently, around 700,000 prisoners are released each year from custody and reenter society – nearly 2,000 inmates per day. The transition from prison to the outside world is often difficult for post-release prisoners, their families, their communities and the larger society. Many formally incarcerated individuals do not have the skills or support to succeed outside prison walls. Unfortunately, when post-release prisoners are not successfully reintegrated, they are returned to prison and begin the cycle of incarceration.
Practitioners and academics agree that the main components for successful reentry include proper housing, viable employment, and family and community support. However, while there is consensus regarding what post-release prisoners need for successful reentry there is debate as to which programs and policies work best. This paper examines the basic challenges to reentry and provides a brief summary of the problems with reentry program evaluation.