As law enforcement agencies and community organizations team up across the country to reduce crime, expand opportunity and revitalize our neighborhoods, it is increasingly clear that a crucial part of that work is helping people returning from our prisons and jails make a successful transition back to their families and communities.
With more than 600,000 individuals leaving state and federal prisons each year and more than 11 million cycling through local jails, reentry is a process with enormous implications for communities across the United States and for all of us who care about making sure that we create opportunity for everyone who is able to contribute. If handled the right way, reentry policy can lead to lower crime, stronger families and more prosperous communities. If handled poorly – or if ignored altogether – a failure to ensure successful reentry can deepen the cycles of poverty, criminality and incarceration that prevent too many of our neighborhoods from reaching their full potential.
This administration has been dedicated to improving reentry outcomes since President Obama took office in 2009.
In the years since, the White House, the Department of Justice and agencies across the federal government have worked tirelessly to strengthen our reentry infrastructure in a number of ways. For example, the president’s criminal justice reform agenda includes a number of reentry initiatives, some of which were highlighted in the department’s National Reentry Week in April. And the Departments of Justice and Labor are funding innovative projects that support hundreds of adult and youth reentry programs across the country.