Incarceration is intended to withdraw convicted criminals from society and to strip them of all the privileges and freedom they would normally enjoy as law abiding citizens. The ultimate goal however is for them to be rehabilitated and to be welcomed back into society.
Preparing the incarcerated for successful reentry will certainly not occur simply by keeping them locked up and out of sight. Intentional, effective multi-sectoral, multi-facetted interventions are essential to help the inmates change their attitudes and behavior sufficiently to ensure that their “reentry” into society will be mutually beneficial. A wide variety of resources are available to assist inmates and their dependents during and after their incarceration.
Statistics, however, show that reentry despite all good work and good intentions failed miserable… the recidivism rate in the United States of America (USA) is 70%, i.e. 7 out of every 10 inmates will return to prison within 3 years. According to a report released in February 2008, for the first time in history more than 1 in every 100 adults in America were in jail or prison…2,319,258 adults were incarcerated
- States spent more than $50billion per year on corrections, up to $12billion twenty years earlier
- Over 2.2million children in the USA has a parent incarcerated
- The average age of children with an incarcerated parent is 8years old. Twenty two % of the children are under age 5 years of age
- According to the US Department of Justice, children of incarcerated parents are 7 times more likely to be incarcerated themselves
- Parental incarceration creates additional challenges to families, including
- Financial instability
- Fractured marriages
- School behavior and performance problems
- Shame, Social stigmatization
These facts should however not paralyze us as Reentry still offers a unique opportunity for government agencies and communities to collaborate to achieve these goals and turn a loose-loose scenario into a win-win scenario… after all; it is tax payer’s hard-earned money that is spent to maintain the correctional sector.
County Corrections Gospel Mission is committed to Reentry and has been at the forefront of the battle since Pastor Jack Crans was appointed Chaplain. Decades of hands-on involvement in the very lives, homes and hearts of inmates, their mothers, wives, children and other affected have culminated in an exciting initiative to unite the efforts of Christians and government agencies to put the word “Family” at the center of the Reentry process. Read more about Malachi Dads, a program that is offered to male inmates at the Chester County Prison to help them improve their fathering skills.
Mentors and current inmates recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of Malachi Dads at Chester County Prison.