There are currently over 2.3 million individuals serving time in America’s federal and state prisons, and millions of people cycling through local jails every year. Ninety-five percent of all offenders incarcerated today will eventually be released and will return to communities. The Reentry Program at the Advocate Program was designed to ensure that the transition individuals make from the Miami-Dade Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to Miami-Dade County is successful and promotes public safety. Through the Advocate’s work and research in reentry, the Program hopes to increase its capacity to serve all offenders and play a major role in making them ex-offenders.
What is reentry? “Reentry” is not a specific program, but rather a research-driven process that starts when an offender is initially incarcerated and ends when the offender has been successfully reintegrated in his or her community as a law-abiding citizen. The reentry process includes the delivery of a variety of evidence-based program services in both pre- and post-release settings to reduce recidivism.
What is recidivism? Recidivism is actually a research term. It can be defined as a new arrest, a new conviction, or even a new period of incarceration within a specified time frame.
What are transitional services? Transitional services assist in the reintegration of offenders into the community. The Advocate Program is committed to delivering transitional services, such as case management, prior to and after release from county jail. These transitional services should improve offender access to housing, education, substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, and job training and readiness. The Advocate Program recognizes that the primary aim of any evidence-based reentry initiative is to target the criminogenic factors that lead to re-offending. Transitional services at the Advocate Program’s Reentry Program will include the targeting and addressing these factors.
The Advocate Program’s Reentry Services provides ex-offenders preemptive support to restructure their lives and achieve success within pro-social parameters. The Program motivates ex-offenders to identify the dangers of antisocial thoughts and associations to learn that crime can no longer be considered an acceptable lifestyle choice; rather a destructive pattern of behavior. Providing ex-offenders with evidence based reentry services has been shown nationwide to be a cost-effective and valuable option for communities victimized by crime. These services help to reduce the likelihood of offender recidivism, improve public safety, and maximize the potential of offenders using an evidence-based system, including risk and need assessments and other tested tools to design a tailored recovery process for a successful and pro-social reintegration into the community.