Improve Aftercare and Reentry

Policy Position 11: Improve Aftercare and Reentry

The best reentry programs begin while a youth is still confined. Nearly 100,000 youth are released from juvenile justice institutions each year.[1] Many are returned to families struggling with poverty in blighted neighborhoods with high crime rates, few programs, and poorly performing schools. Key to success is connecting youth to people, programs, and services that reinforce their rehabilitation and help them become successful and productive adults.

Successful aftercare and reentry programs require coordination between multiple government agencies, private and nonprofit providers, not only to develop new services, but to help youth better access existing services. Workforce development—helping youth attain job skills and earn money—is a key motivator for adolescents increasing their commitment to and enthusiasm for learning. Youth must have quick access to mental health and substance abuse services as needed, and they must receive strong support from family and other caring adults.

1 H. Synder. An Empirical Portrait of The Youth Reentry Population. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice 2, 1, 39‐55.

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