Did you know each year approximately 600,000 individuals are released from prison in the United States?
How do they reintegrate into society after their release? Are there any programs to help prepare inmates for reintegration during incarceration, and which of these programs are effective? What are the differences between the people who manage to break the cycle of release and rearrest and those who return to prison, despite their efforts at a successful reintegration?
These are some of the challenges that individuals face after being released from prison or jail. In Returning Home: Reintegration after Prison or Jail, the author presents results of his interviews with dozens of parolees who shared their life experiences about being released from prison and managing reintegration. Bahr explains the challenges faced by former inmates after they are released; including finding living arrangements, dealing with mental health and substance use issues, and avoiding relapse and re-arrest. He also explores how race, gender, and social context affect outcomes. Although there are existing resources, Bahr provides a more comprehensive look at the process of reintegration using both qualitative and quantitative data to address these major concerns. Returning Home will serve as an excellent resource for practitioners, researchers, students, and individuals who have friends and family members that have been in jail or prison, and are attempting to reintegrate.
Each year in the United States, more than 600,000 inmates are released from prison. Unfortunately, a large number of these inmates return to a life of crime and usually reenter the correctional system. However, there is hope. In Returning Home, Professor Stephen Bahr provides a thorough description of what works and what doesn't work for these former inmates. Through a meticulous review of previous studies and analyses of the best data on prisoner reentry, Professor Bahr shows that providing housing and employment assistance, support from families, and substance abuse and mental health treatment go a long way toward preventing recidivism and encouraging crime-free lives. Meanwhile, the "get tough on prisoners" approach and the frequent lack of care on their release lead only to a revolving door of recidivism. Social workers, penologists, policymakers, and anyone else interested in creating a better society would be wise to heed Professor Bahr's evidence-based prescriptions.
—John P. Hoffmann
Professor, Department of Sociology, Brigham Young University