The Police Role in Offender Reentry Programs




Roberts, Wade D.

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


Since the time that society began incarcerating people for crimes, offenders and the communities to which they return have contended with the issues of rehabilitation, reentry, and reintegration. After incarceration rates exploded in the late part of the 20th century, states found themselves in the position to deal with much higher numbers of released offenders returning to society. Some states have failed to employ programs addressing reentry, and they have experienced stubbornly high recidivism rates they cannot seem to overcome. Others have employed progressive, proactive strategies that have yielded positive results for the public and offenders. These strategies employ a variety of collaborative partnerships between supervision agencies, community members, and resource providers. While these collaborations have been successful, they have not widely included law enforcement. The law enforcement role in reentry has not been clearly defined and there has been very little engagement from the police in a proactive way. Viewing reentry as a community policing strategy designed to enhance public safety, while supporting a newly released member of the community, has significant advantages for police. Discussed here are several examples of the police role and several recommendations that could be implemented within a police department reentry program.



Ex-convicts -- Services for, Prisoners -- Deinstitutionalization