Helping People Transition from Incarceration to Society During a Pandemic   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Executive Summary: "In the best of times, the reentry process is extraordinarily difficult and emotionally taxing. Returning people are rarely truly free, as they typically must navigate a long list of onerous rules. [...] But these are not normal times. The coronavirus pandemic is drastically compounding the challenges of reentry. With the economy in freefall, some requirements of supervised release-- like obtaining housing and employment--are virtually unattainable. People reentering society are facing increased risk of homelessness, as halfway housing is unavailable and their own families may be reluctant to take them in if they come from facilities with COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] infections. Increased reliance on communication over the phone and the web for health and other services make the digital divide among returning people literally a matter of life and death. The bottom line is that systems designed to assist reentry--crude and insufficient as they were--are no match for these times. Prisons and jails must release more people to reduce the risk of infection behind bars, but this effort must be coupled with major scale-up in reentry services."

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