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Mental Health Policy: Reentry Program for Ex-Offenders

Mental Health Policy: Reentry Program for Ex-Offenders


In criminal justice, one of the most heated debates in the past few decades is to figure out ways through which ex-offenders can avoid returning to prison. It is a topic that is debated world wide as it has implications that affect the entire nation at one point or another, and it is estimated that at least 600,000 inmates successfully do their time and are able to return to their communities. But the problem arises when these offenders are not provided with opportunities to pursue a clean living, as there is a lack of employment and most employers are skeptical about hiring on an ex-convict. This becomes a major issue which often leads to ex-offenders committing other crimes that lead them back to prison. In this paper, I will be analyzing the different policies that have been set up to help offenders lead a life that directs them away from making the same mistakes that landed them in prison in the first place. I will also analyze the effectiveness of said policies, and techniques, and will attempt to examine the mental health activities that form a mindset in ex-offenders so they live a successful life, rather than one that is harmful to them. State prisons have started experimenting with various techniques that are based around the belief that ex-offenders should be able to make a living for themselves and return to the work-force if they are allowed some forms of social service programs, designed especially to help them cope and for employers to realize their potential that isn't focused on their past.


It has been analyzed by various programs that inmates are able to abstain from a life of crime during the first three years of their release. They are able to live a clean life and even form a social circle that holds them in high regard. But after the prolonged exposure to society and freedom, they no longer see the incentive to positively modify their behavior to please others. In fact, mental health research suggests that inmates who serve a longer sentence often become desensitized to societal attitudes and when they are released, are even more dangerous to those around them than before. As an individual enters a prison, they are more driven towards behaving in a subdued manner so that they are not in the spotlight, as this can also lead authorities to reduce their sentence on good behavior alone. But inmates who serve a prolonged sentence often forget that. This means that when inmates who have served a long sentence are released, they pose a serious threat to their societies.

There have been several approaches and policies set underway that are based solely around the purpose of reducing an ex-offenders re-entry into prison. These ranges from federal approaches that have formed a “Serious and Violent Offender Re-entry Initiative” This policy dictates that authorities must remain closely linked to high-risk juvenile as well as adult offenders ...
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