Target: U.S. Justice Department, Attorney General Loretta Lynch
Goal: Release parolees to areas where they did not reside prior incarceration in order to decrease recidivism.
A recent study demonstrated that parolees who return to the same community are likely to reconnect with old friends–friends who may have been a part of the individual’s criminal past–and these circumstances combine to increase recidivism rates. Parolees who are placed in a new neighborhood have 20% lower recidivism rates. These numbers clearly illustrate the benefits of changing our current policy regarding releasing parolees.
The entire penal system contains flaws which work to increase recidivism rates of former prisoners instead of decreasing them. When parolees are released back into the same community in which they resided when the criminal act occurred, there is a substantial likelihood that the individual will re-form connections that forced them behind bars in the first place.
When releasing a parolee back into the community, our policies should reflect how we want to reintegrate that person back into society and give that person all of the advantages that are within the power of the state. Here, studies prove it is better to relocate parolees to different areas, and as such, our policies should reflect the same.
Please urge Attorney General Loretta Lynch to develop policies and legislation that ensure parolees are release to new neighborhoods once they are released from jail.
Dear Attorney General Lynch,
There are many ways to prevent recidivism within the parolee population. The government needs to fully support these individuals by enacting policies that have proven to be successful. Parolees require reasonable means to obtain housing, job training, substance abuse and mental health services as well as mentoring.
However, new studies demonstrate that another key in increasing the chances that a parolee does not return to jail is to ensure they are placed in new neighborhoods after incarceration. By placing parolees in a new environment, they are prevented from forming ties with previous criminal accomplices.
A new environment will also serve to encourage the parolee to develop new, ideally non-criminal means to support him or herself and thus will decrease rates of recidivism. By not physically being in the presence of old ghosts, old rivalries and old criminality, the individual has a fresh opportunity to create a new identity for him or herself. This new look on life can have an immeasurably positive impact on the parolee.
Please act swiftly to develop a mandatory policy to place all parolees in a new location post-incarceration. This is just another step in fully obtaining a coherent national prison policy.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: TryJimmy