Are Released Incarcerees ‘Set Up to Fail’?

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Government funding for parole and other reentry services is minimal in compared to the roughly $182 billion spent to incarcerate people, and, as a result, the formerly incarcerated are set up to fail as reentry organizations struggle to apply and reapply for the funds they need with almost no guarantees of results, reports PBS. Most states still rely on their parole systems as the primary means to help people return from prison, but the way parole is set up now forces men and women leaving prisons to feel the pressure of intense scrutiny, knowing if they slip up even once, they will be sent back to detention. Much of the costs around probation or parole are often transferred to the formerly incarcerated person, and those costs serve as roadblocks to integration. And while parole officers will often direct people to nonprofit reentry programs, those programs are often largely underfunded by state or federal grants that need to be reapplied for, aren’t consistent and can be cut off after the grant’s contract is over.  As a result, nonprofit organizations often end up competing with each other for the limited pool of funding that exists and has become even shallower in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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