Re-entry programs have been developed nationwide in the form of collaborative public-private partnerships to help criminals and prisoners return to their communities as law-abiding citizens. Although such collaborations were fruitful, they were categorized as demonstrations or pilot programs, which limited their scope in terms of geographic conditions and time. The Second Chance Act (SCA) was passed in 2008 as a comprehensive law focusing on vocational support and training, substance abuse and mental health care, family-based support, and mentoring activities. The SCA has expanded the above experimental initiative with the aim of reducing recidivism across the country.
The Second Chance Act deals with the social issue of recidivism of violent criminals. Before the Second Chance Act was passed, safety was the most pressing concern for citizens. The ability of criminals to properly integrate into society also became a social issue. The study have shown that this program is effective in reducing recurrence and parole revocation, and the report recommends continuing the project and replicating modality (Miller et al., 2019). The re-entry program targets both young and adult criminals who are considered high-risk criminals. This effort educates criminals to successfully reintegrate into society after spending time in safe facilities such as government training centers, schools, juvenile or adult detention facilities, or other safety facilities (Liberman et al., 2021). The process of re-entry or the release of criminals from prison and reintegration into society has become a buzzword for transition programs in different countries, states, and local governments, which, combined with their interest in rehabilitation ideals.
I think that recidivism reduction can best be achieved through two important factors, which are psychological and economic aspects. Firstly, the offenders are required to work with competent psychology and/or psychiatry professionals. That is important because they need to change their perceptions of life values that were formed both before prison and during imprisonment. Besides, different approaches, such as the group-based therapeutic approach, could be used in order to contribute to the changes in ex-prisoners lifestyles (Gideon & Hung-En, 2010). Second, there should be real opportunities for ex-prisoners to have some kind of job that would allow them to set in from the financial perspective. The Second Chance Act covers these two factors by providing psychological support to the prisoners and by helping them to find jobs. That is why I think that the program is reasonable and useful in a way that it facilitates a more smooth adjustment to new conditions by offenders and thus contributes to the recidivism reduction.
In conclusion, the process of reintegrating criminals into society is a chronic and difficult social problem. Once released from prison, criminals are encouraged to reintegrate into the community through a re-entry program. The purpose of the State-wide Adult Recidivism Reduction Strategic Plan Implementation Program of the Second Opportunity Act of 2018 is to provide government agencies with resources and technical assistance to support the implementation of previously developed strategic plans to support recidivism systems. I believe that this program is effective since it covers several essential aspects of rehabilitation.
Gideon, L., & Sung, H. (2010). Rethinking Corrections: Rehabilitation, Reentry, and Reintegration. SAGE Publications, Inc. (US). Web.
Liberman, A., Hussemann, J., & McKeever, B. (2021). Juvenile Second Chance Act Participation in Virginia: Impact on Rearrest, Reconviction, and Reincarceration. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 60(3), 196-214. Web.
Miller, J. M., Miller, H. V., & Barnes, J. C. (2019). Treating co-occurring disorders in jails: Outcome findings from a Second Chance Act offender reentry program. Crime & Delinquency, 65(5), 583-605. Web.