Joan Petersilia

in When Prisoners Come Home

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780195160864
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199943395 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Crime and Public Policy


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This chapter presents concluding remarks, reflecting on the political and practical challenges, as well as the potential payoffs, of enhancing reentry strategies. For most offenders, corrections does not correct. Indeed, the conditions in the United States under which many inmates are handled are detrimental to successful reintegration, and many of the restrictions placed on returning prisoners prove deeply counterproductive. One of the most distinguishing characteristics of U.S. crime policy since the 1980s has been the gradual chipping away of individualized decision making and its replacement with one-size-fits-all laws and policies. Parole and reentry services of the future must focus on linking offenders with community institutions. This means reaching outside the criminal justice system to other units of government and the community: churches, ex-prisoner self-help groups, families, and nonprofit programs.

Keywords: reentry strategies; United States; corrections; returning prisoners; U.S. crime policy; parole; criminal justice

Chapter.  10765 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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