The Promise and Challenge of Local Initiatives That Support Reentry and Reintegration

AuthorJohnna Christian
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1177/00027162221115380
Published date01 May 2022
Date01 May 2022
Subject MatterPromoting Social Integration: Health, Housing, and Community
ANNALS, AAPSS, 701, May 2022 191
DOI: 10.1177/00027162221115380
The Promise
and Challenge
of Local
Initiatives That
Support
Reentry and
Reintegration
By
JOHNNA CHRISTIAN
1115380ANN THE ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMYLOCAL INITIATIVES SUPPORTING REENTRY AND REINTEGRATION
research-article2022
Scholars and policy-makers are increasingly recogniz-
ing the limitations of bureaucracies to deliver the ser-
vices and interventions that are most needed by people
who have been impacted by the justice system. We are
also seeing the ways in which supervision practices can
exacerbate the challenges that formerly incarcerated
people face in terms of meaningful reintegration with
family and community after imprisonment. Local reen-
try initiatives are showing potential as a mechanism to
advance the individual and collective well-being of
justice-involved people. This article examines the strat-
egies and initiatives of community-directed organiza-
tions that provide for people who have been incarcerated
and considers lessons for future practice. Among our
key findings are that services need to include people
with histories of justice involvement in leadership at all
levels of their organizations and that the outcome
measures for success in service provision should not be
limited to recidivism.
Keywords: reentry initiatives; reintegration; advo-
cacy; community-based programs
Introduction
As the reach of the correctional system, includ-
ing community supervision, has expanded,
scholars and policy-makers have recognized the
limitations of bureaucracies and formal systems
of control to meet the multilayered needs of
those under penal control (Flores 2018; Mellow
and Barnes-Ceeney 2017; Payne, Brown, and
Wright 2019). Incarceration has long-lasting
effects on the physical and psychological well-
being of people who have been confined, and
Johnna Christian is an associate professor at the School
of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University–Newark. Her
work has examined the familial ties of incarcerated and
formerly incarcerated men and reentry and reintegra-
tion after incarceration. She is coeditor of Beyond
Recidivism: New Approaches to Research on Prisoner
Reentry and Reintegration (New York University Press
2020).
Correspondence: johnnac@scj.rutgers.edu

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