Why Should I Care?
You might be asking yourself, “Why should I care?” when it comes to championing positive change within our prison system. This is a question that frequently arises among individuals in our local and national communities, particularly if they don’t have a personal connection to someone who is incarcerated.
Why you should care
Each year, more than 600,000 inmates are reintegrated into communities across the United States. The existing prison system often fails to provide these individuals with the necessary education, resources, and support to lead fulfilling lives. Consequently, the justice system continues to impose hardships on those who have already served their sentences, making it challenging for them to secure housing, access loans, and earn a stable income.
Regrettably, recidivism rates in the United States reveal that nearly 67.8% of released prisoners are rearrested within three years of their release, while around 76.6% face rearrest within five years. This significant issue cannot be effectively addressed without the presence of community-based support systems that offer mentorship, guidance, and assistance to individuals reintegrating into society.
Your Next Neighbor
It’s essential to recognize that 95% of those incarcerated will eventually return to our communities. Upon re-entry, a large number of these individuals will confront challenges and discrimination. However, with appropriate support, your future neighbor can become a valuable contributor to society and a productive member of your community.
Community Support & Recidivism are Inversely Related
There is no question we all want to have safer communities. Recidivism rates drastically reduce when inmates re-entering society are felt welcomed, supported, and mentored. Organizations, like Men of Valor, have a 15% recidivism rate (compared to the average of 70%) with inmates who go through their structured one year program.
- 3Become a Mentor
Your Mentorship & Support Matters
Mentorship and community support play a vital role in helping inmates successfully reintegrate into society. They provide guidance, encouragement, resources, and a sense of belonging, which enables ex-offenders to overcome challenges such as finding employment and housing. By assisting them in making better choices, these support systems contribute to reducing recidivism rates.
Furthermore, mentorship and community support promote connections to positive social networks, replacing negative influences that may have contributed to past criminal behaviors. By fostering acceptance and inclusivity, these support systems help break the stigma associated with incarceration, empowering returning inmates to become productive members of society. Ultimately, strong mentorship and community support contribute to safer and more cohesive communities.