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Principles of Community-Based Re-Entry

Re-entry services are provided in the community
We should not confuse prison programming and pre-release services with re-entry services. There are certainly connections between re-entry service planning, the types of programs that a client has participated in, and the preparations a prison facility has made for release; however, lasting re-entry services cannot occur while the client is behind bars.
Resources, both public and private, should flow primarily to the groups providing core services
The current funding model for re-entry services is broken. It must be abolished and redrawn where funding is provided to groups actually providing services. Community-based re-entry warns against staffing offices that simply oversee re-entry coordination without input or buy-in from the community-based service providers.
Whenever possible, inter-agency collaboration is encouraged
No single group, no matter how effective, can individually address offender re-entry in an urban center. A collaborative forum should be established locally and clients should be allowed to access services from different providers without disrupting the availability of those services.
Points of entry into service must be clear, equitable, and available without restrictions
A potential client seeking help must be able to ask for it. If an individual is denied services, it should be understood why this occurred. Any group receiving public funding for re-entry services must be held accountable to following this principle.
Needs assessments should be holistic in nature and created with the input of the client
Any needs assessment must consider the core service needs – housing, employment, and counseling. The client must be allowed to have input into the details of the assessment and should have the opportunity to accept it, make changes to it, or have it thrown out.

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