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Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration

Cross-Sector Collaboration in Reentry: Building an Infrastructure for Change

  • Organization: The Bronx Defenders
  • Author: McGregor Smyth
  • Document Type: Article/News
  • Date Created: Tuesday, September 04, 2007
  • Submitted: Tuesday, September 04, 2007
  • Attachment(s): PDF
(Click on "PDF" above for the document.)

McGregor Smyth, Cross-Sector Collaboration in Reentry: Building an Infrastructure for Change, 41 CLEARINGHOUSE REV. 245 (July-Aug. 2007)

The New York experience with Reentry Net offers a model for a state-based, locally-controlled support network and information clearinghouse on reentry that serves as a structure for change and improves advocacy in measurable ways.

Investment in an infrastructure for cross-sector collaboration is key to breaking the vicious cycle of poverty and crime. The criminal justice system is the institution with the single most pervasive impact on communities of poverty and of color, where interaction with the police and courts, as well as incarceration, has become commonplace. The more than 71 million people in the United States with histories of criminal justice involvement face tremendous legal and social barriers that often prevent them from securing jobs, finding stable housing, participating in civic life, and reuniting with their families. Indeed, the magnitude of this problem demands the attention of any organization claiming a social justice mission.

The real solutions to these problems will only come with extensive systemic change through alleviation of poverty and racism, which are the true repeat offenders in our communities. Until we accomplish those goals, building an infrastructure to improve service delivery to the reentry community will reduce recidivism and government spending on incarceration, and fundamentally improve outcomes for everyone involved.

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