What Is Reentry? How Is It Different From Reintegration?

What Is Reentry? How Is It Different From Reintegration?

Many people who are in prison now will not be there forever. When it is time for your release, it can be a shocking experience. However, when it comes time for reentry, reintegration programs can help you start a new and independent life. Understanding these terms and how to prepare for the processes can help you make a successful transition.

What is reentry?

Reentry is when an incarcerated person leaves prison or jail and goes back into their community. The term describes the process of leaving prison and rejoining society. Sometimes, reintegration programs will be called “reentry programs.” They mean the same thing.

Does reentry affect families too?

Going from being in prison and back into everyday life can be a shocking change. This can be exciting. However, there are a lot of things to prepare for. This is the case for both you, your family and your friends. The most important part of reentry is having a plan in place beforehand on what your life will be like once you are released.

What is reintegration?

Reintegration is the process that helps incarcerated people successfully return to their communities. The term is simply another word for the reentry process. Reintegration includes the programs meant to help lower recidivism rates and make sure you stay out of prison after returning home. Reintegration focuses on things such as employment, health, education and housing. This is different from the release process, which is the process of someone actually leaving jail or prison.

How does the system decide which reintegration programs to use?

The First Step Act requires that the Attorney General’s office look at your case and determine what programs are best for you. They look at your individual traits and recidivism risk. These programs help with reintegration. They provide you with assistance and resources once you are out of prison. These programs and activities start while you are incarcerated. They can even help you be eligible for early release. There are also different resources for every state that you can use once outside of prison.

Image courtesy of Ashton Bingham via Unsplash.

Is reintegration different for adults and minors?

In most cases, yes. Adults and minors have different needs. For example, minor reintegration programs may focus more on family relationships. On the other hand, adult programs typically focus on getting employment, housing and other things after release.

Is reintegration different for men and women?

Generally speaking, no. In some parts of the country, programs may be more tailored to some people more than others. This is actually an issue being brought up by criminal justice reform advocates. Women have different reasons for being in prison and different needs during reentry.

The Takeaway:

Reentry is when you go back into your community after prison. The change can be a big one for you and those you love. But, taking steps to prepare getting into your community can give you a higher chance of success. Reintegration is the programs to better help you adjust to life in your community. Although reintegration looks different for every person, it can be what helps you stay out of prison.

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