Reentry is frequently associated with getting back on track post incarceration. Clearly this accounts for a large portion of the category bandwidth, but that's not the whole of it. Truth is, reentry covers a lot of situational ground.
Here's how I see it.
Reentry happens when someone rejoins mainstream society and the workforce after being sidelined and off-the-market due to incarceration, treatment, or some similar life altering situation.
I think of reentry as a process focused on one primary objective: successful transition to self-sufficient, independent, citizenship. All too often programs and helpers key on just one or two aspects of the process Vs the whole of reentry. This doesn't work and there's plenty of recidivism data to prove it.
What's more, the process works best when it's individualized. Imagine that, an integrated process tailored to each reentering person. I can hear all the program managers and grant writers moaning and groaning. It hardly matters. Every successful reentry program has found a way to reach outward beyond just one or two process steps and inward to the specifics of the individual. Otherwise it's more of the same, check-the-box mediocrity.
Nevertheless, I get it. Life would be great with a perfectly designed program, an abundance of talented staff, and a big fat budget. No doubt. All the same, too much of the status quo sucks.
Make no mistake, reentry done right is hard work. My hat goes off to all of you exploring ways to make your programs more innovative, responsive, and effective.
I'd like to know what you are doing.
So keep me posted ... really.