American prisons and jails hold over 2.1 million individuals at any given time and almost every one of these individuals will return to their community once they have been found innocent or complete the sentence imposed for their unlawful conduct. This amounts to 10 million individuals returning home to their communities from state and federal prisons and local jails each year. For our justice system to succeed in achieving its goal of increased public safety, it must take steps to ensure that these individuals are able to become successful and contributing members of their community.
“Reentry” is the term used to describe the process of releasing individuals from prisons and jails back into their community. This process can take three different forms based on the sentence imposed by a judge, the resources of a local community, and the person’s willingness to voluntarily take additional steps to ensure their future success.