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  • Writer's pictureMark Johnson

Inmate Re-Entry Programs Reduce Recitivism Rates

Updated: May 10

Inmate re-entry programs assist incarcerated individuals with transitioning back into their communities after release. Reentry is both a public safety and public health issue. The most critical time for inmates is the few hours and days following their release back into society. The same road that led them to the prison whether it was lack of education, jobs, coping mechanisms, drugs, or bad company, is left waiting for them to walk once they get out.

High rates of recidivism mean more crime, more victims, and more pressure on an already overburdened criminal justice system Statistics show that forty-four percent of released prisoners were arrested during the first year following release, while 24% were arrested during year 9.

Cessanie Sapp, Case Worker/Manager, FCC Coleman Medium understands the need to be pro-active and not just release inmates hoping they will not return. After all these same inmates, can be your neighbor or mine.  True rehabilitative programming focusing on healing and change is important for Returning Citizens.

I currently work as a Career Development Specialist at the Sumter Correctional Institution in Bushnell, Florida. Having spent over 20 years in the correctional (military and Department of Justice) setting I know this is currently my life’s purpose. Every man and woman should have a purpose, their reason for existing, doing the one thing they can do better than anyone else. Thereby, blessing others they connect or interact with. I don’t judge an inmate for the crime he has been sentenced to by a judge.

Therefore, I embrace the belief that positive “paradigm” shifts can take place if the right content is presented in a manner of passion capable of empowering, impacting, motivating, and transforming those incarcerated within the belly of the beast (prison). I am realist and understand every man and youthful offender cannot be changed. Therefore, an attitude of “if only one is transformed” we have done what we are supposed to do works well for me and the others who purposefully plow ahead within this perceived environment of broken, unmentored, and hopeless lot of men, women, and juveniles.

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