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U.S. Federal Interagency Reentry Council Releases Resources For Communities

April 16, 2014

The Reentry Council recently released a set of “Mythbuster” fact sheets that cover a range of important topics. These fact sheets are designed to clarify existing Federal policies that affect formerly incarcerated individuals and their families in areas such as public housing, employment, parental rights, Medicaid suspension/termination, voting rights, and more.

The Reentry Council supports successful reentry from incarceration by reducing recidivism and victimization, assisting those who return from prison and jail to become productive citizens, and saving taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration.

USICH is proud to serve as a member of the Interagency Reentry Council. Stable housing with appropriate supportive services is a key factor in preventing or ending homelessness and reducing recidivism for people coming out of incarceration. 

The Reentry MythBusters are particularly useful for:

  • Prison, jail, probation, community corrections, and parole officials who want to ensure that individuals can access healthcare, behavioral health treatment, and federal benefits, as appropriate, immediately upon release to help stabilize the critical first days and weeks after incarceration. Pre‐release applications and procedures are available for certain federal benefits (veterans, Social Security, food assistance, and student financial aid).
  • Reentry service providers and faith‐based organizations who want to understand the laws and policies related to public housing, employment, VA services, child support options, and parental rights while incarcerated.  
  • Employers and workforce development specialists who are interested in the incentives and protections involved in hiring formerly convicted individuals. The Reentry MythBusters are also helpful to employers who want to better understand the appropriate use of a criminal record in making hiring decisions.   
  • States and local agencies that want to understand, modify, or eliminate certain bans on benefits (TANF, SNAP) for people who have been convicted of drug felonies.  

For those who want to delve deeper, The What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse offers easy access to important research on the effectiveness of a wide variety of reentry programs and practices. It provides a user-friendly, one-stop shop for practitioners and service providers seeking guidance on evidence-based reentry interventions, and serves as a useful resource for researchers and others interested in reentry.