An Earnest Look At The Success Reentry Support Groups Can Provide.
by Earnell Brown
Taking an earnest look at what reentry support groups are and the honest and open communication that is necessary to make them effective tools for returning citizens is absolutely necessary.
There are three key tools that can reach the returning citizen that we are missing in the current reentry support industry.
One, Experience, the key that tells the returning citizen that they are (a) not alone and someone has been there before, (b) that change is possible and is within their grasp if they want it and are willing to work for it.
Two, Strength, the key that tells the returning citizen (a) that they too can succeed in spite of the odds or their perception it can be done by them and (b) that there is support and the support is real honest and trustworthy.
Three, Hope, the key that (a) has awaken the spirit of success and possibility in the returning citizen and (b) keeps the returning citizen thriving once the possibility awakes in them and they realize that they can succeed and never have to be a prisoner or subjected to the punitive control of another ever again.
The experience based success, freedom and relief reentry support groups can provide.
The experience based opportunities for success and freedom reentry support groups can provide is invaluable in the successful transition of a person from prison to society. Many individuals returning to society after incarceration are very fearful of returning to prison, failing at being a productive member of society or doing it all for nothing.
Many of these individuals have had very traumatic life experiences or have very poor self esteem regardless of their confidence in their criminal behavior and methods and cannot make it without the strength and support of another person who has.
There is no substitute for a reintegration success story like one that shows and asks the participant by the walk of another to “Look where I was, where I am, and asks how I can help you get through to here.” This is the Common experience based support that then gives the opportunity to provide the second of the three key tools.
The strength that safe and productive environments and reentry support groups provide.
The Strength that safe and productive environments with an atmosphere of honesty open-mindedness willingness and success that has a familiar story and face is also an invaluable tool that cannot be substituted because it provides strength.
Society for someone coming from a prison or jail in a seemingly endless and vicious cycle of prison or jail, failures, disappointments, disillusionment and disenchantment can be very scary.
Potentially facing now that very same seemingly hostile society whose underbelly the person is intimately familiar with cannot be faced alone with any expectation of success from the individual or society itself.
Insecurity, previous personal attempts at meaningful and successful reintegration and the collectively insurmountable seemingly singular actual barriers and odds are all a person who has no real connection to a positive and productive face or feature of society can see. With the support of others who have overcome all of this the returning citizen can now put together and see how it can be done.
The hope and resources re-entry support groups provide.
Reentry support groups through the open and honest conversations, tools and rectification of intrinsic and extrinsic negative influences provide hope.
The actual existence of real and working resources for educational opportunities, meaningful employment opportunities, and housing opportunities are critical resources. Development through group resources, activities and support, in personal areas such as the development of familial acceptance, support and positively motivated respect are high value intrinsic motivators that the returning citizen gain back through participation in reentry support group activities. Community involvement and inclusion is important.
Opportunities with the hope that they will work provides earnest and honest desires for the participant based on new and positive intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Thus true hope for a better and brighter future is born for the participant.
Potential impact of reentry support groups.
Reentry support groups are invaluable and underutilized tools that can actually be the difference in crime reduction efforts and the corresponding statistics, lower recidivism rates, lower numbers in new offenses among recidivists, safer communities and more effective uses of human and financial resources in the reentry industry.
Giving returning citizens a reason to care is critical to the development of a better and safer tomorrow.