National Reentry Week: Incarceration into Local Community
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April 24th - April 30th is National Reentry Week
National Reentry Week was established to bring attention, support, and awareness to the National “Community” problem of people reentering our communities from incarceration. It is a community problem that requires a community response.
Host Christine Longmore, Burlington Community Justice Center / Vermont Association of Business Industry and Rehabilitation (VABIR), is joined by a panel to discuss National Reentry Week, including Kevin J. Doyle, United States Attorney's Office, District of Vermont, Stuart “Mickey” Wiles, Founder and Managing Member, Working Fields, LLC (Staffing Services), Julia Scheier, Operations Director at Salvation Farms, and Bruce Wilson, Executive Director, Services Rendered, Founder, Straight Talk VT, Chill Out Centers in Burlington, Rutland, Event Promoter, Community Organizer.
Brought to you in part by Burlington CEDO and Phet Keomanyvanh.
National Picture: FACT SHEET: During National Reentry Week, Reducing Barriers to Reentry and Employment for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals
~President Obama Establishes Federal Interagency Reentry Council~
An estimated 70 million or more Americans have some kind of criminal record. Each year, more than 600,000 individuals are released from Federal and State prisons, and millions more are released each year from local jails. Promoting the rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals who have paid their debt to society makes communities safer by reducing recidivism and victimization; assists those who return from prison, jail, or juvenile justice facilities to become productive citizens; and saves taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration.
Providing incarcerated individuals with job and life skills, education programming, and mental health and addiction treatment increases the likelihood that they will be successful when released. Policies that limit opportunities for people with criminal records create barriers to employment, education, housing, health care, and civic participation. All of these are critical to reducing recidivism and strengthening communities.
Vermont Picture: In 2016, 1,750 men and women were incarcerated in the state system and one out of state facility.
About 8000 were under supervision in 2015.
Cost of incarceration varies from state to state but roughly $40-50k for men and more for women (looking at some of the collateral costs for things like care of children that the state often incurs).
In a given year, 1,400 women cycle through CRCF – Chittenden Regional Correctional Facilities.
Root causes of incarceration: Untreated Addiction Issues, Poverty, (lack of quality legal representation), Mental Health Issues, Institutional Racism/Bias Practices by Police, Courts, etc. African Americans make up 1 in 10 prisoners in VT but only represent 1-3 of every 100 VT Residents.
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