Although incarceration and release of the criminal are typically viewed as the exact opposite of each other, the stress that the person in question goes through is basically the same. In fact, the similarities between the situation that offenders face when returning to the community and that of being incarcerated are shockingly numerous (Fox, 2012). Indeed, much like a solitary confinement, the life of a has-been criminal in the community is characterized by social isolation.
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In some cases, has-been criminals prefer to reduce the number of social interactions to a minimum; however, typically, the society ostracizes the specified tier of its population fit, therefore, leaving former prisoners without any chance for redemption. The specified scenario, in fact, is much more brutal and damaging to an individual, as it involves a choice that is most likely to turn out to be a failure. Unlike incarceration, during which a criminal has no other choice but to be alone, the failure at a community reentry shatters the remnants of the former prisoner’s ability to communicate successfully and use their social skills in the process (Fields & Abrams, 2010). As a result, the has-been criminal may become ostracize, and his situation will become similar to that one of a person being incarcerated, yet its effects are going to be reinforced, as the social isolation will no longer depend on the prison authorities (Rajah, Kramer, & Sung, 2014). Failing to convince people that they have been reformed, the people, who have served their time in prison, may jeopardize their chances of ever becoming a member of the community. Although the person in question will be entitled to the same set of rights as the rest of the citizens of the United States, they are unlikely to feel welcome in the society that they used to be a part of, mostly because of the fear factor. Particularly, the members of the specified community will feel unsafe once the person in question starts living in the vicinity (Taxman, 2004).
Apart from being reinforced by the former criminal’s guilt and, therefore, being enhanced several times, the similarity between incarceration and the reentry to the community can be viewed from the legal perspective. First and most obvious, the fact that the person under analysis will have to inform the authorities, as well as the employee, the neighbors, etc., that they are a convicted felon, deserves to be mentioned. In the specified scenario, it is also the law that draws a very thick line between the former criminal and the rest of the members of the society in question (Hatcher, 2010).
It should be noted, though, that the problem in question can and should be addressed by suggesting the members of the community to participate in the process of the former criminal’s reentry. Particularly, the need to bust the myths about the danger of the criminals, who have been released or served the time deserves to be mentioned as the first step towards assisting the specified denizens of the population in becoming the members of the community. It should be noted that the active use of modern information technology, particularly, social networks, is crucial to address the goal of the successful reentry, since modern IT tools offer a plethora of opportunities for getting the message across successfully (Miller, 2014).
Fields, D., & Abrams, L. S. (2010).Gender differences in the perceived needs and barriers of youth offenders preparing for community reentry. Child & Youth Care Forum, 39(4), 253–269. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Fox, K. J. (2012). Redeeming communities: Restorative offender reentry in a risk-centric society. Victims & Offenders, 7(1), 97–120. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Hatcher, S. (2010). Recognizing perspectives on community reentry from offenders with mental illness: Using the Afrocentric framework and concept mapping with adult detainees. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 49(8), 536–550. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Miller, J. (2014). Identifying collateral effects of offender reentry programming through evaluative fieldwork. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 39(1), 41–58. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Rajah, V., Kramer, R., & Sung, H.-E. (2014). Changing narrative accounts: How young men tell different stories when arrested, enduring jail time and navigating community reentry. Punishment & Society, 16(3), 285–304. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Taxman, F. S. (2004). The offender and reentry: Supporting active participation in reintegration. Federal Probation, 68(2), 31–35. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.