Beyond Second Chances: Returning Citizens’ Re-entry
Struggles and Successes in the District of Columbia
Report finds D.C. returning citizens face “complex” re-entry path
Council for Court Excellence identifies obstacles, offers solutions
D.C. citizens returning to their communities from prison face an “incredibly complex” path to re-entry, according to a new report from the Council for Court Excellence (CCE).
Through a review of previously unreleased data and a series of in-depth interviews with returning citizens and service providers, this report, Beyond Second Chances: Returning Citizens’ Re-entry Struggles and Successes in the District of Columbia, provides the most complete picture to date of the challenges that returning citizens face in D.C. and offers recommendations to help them succeed when reintegrating into their communities.
“In a city where 1 in 22 adults is under some form of correctional control on any given day, easing the path home will benefit thousands of D.C. residents, their families, and the entire city by helping returning citizens move beyond second chances to fulfill their potential,” said June Kress, CCE executive director.
According to the report, D.C.’s returning citizens face a variety of challenges, including:
- Different standards and procedures among various D.C. and federal criminal justice agencies.
- Isolation from necessary local support systems due to being held in federal prisons around the country, sometimes as far away as the West Coast.
- Lack of access to stable and affordable housing, health care, and child care.
- Unemployment and lack of training or education for jobs in D.C.
- Poorly managed halfway houses for returning citizens.
- Few services designed for specific populations, including women, youth, and LGBTQ people.
“D.C. has the opportunity to become a model for the rest of the nation, taking commonsense steps to make the re-entry process easier for returning citizens," said CCE policy analyst Emily Tatro. “When returning citizens are able to come back to their communities and succeed, it’s good for them and it’s good for the entire city.”
Beyond Second Chances in the media:
NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt
(December 13, 2016)