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KDOC Assists Offenders Reintegration into Communities

by KDOC News — last modified Jul 14, 2017 03:32 PM
Reentry Week shines spotlight on programs that help offenders transition successfully
KDOC Assists Offenders Reintegration into Communities

Corrections Secretary Joe Norwood


Every year, more than 5,000 adult men and women who have been incarcerated are released from Kansas prisons and return to our communities. This process, called reentry, is important because we have the opportunity to set these men and women up for a successful transition back into society.

In Kansas, these offenders are assisted through this difficult transition by reentry staff of the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) and partner organizations. I am proud to announce that Gov. Sam Brownback recently designated July 10-14 as Reentry Week in the state of Kansas to celebrate the work of staff, contract providers, mentors and volunteers in this process. As Secretary of KDOC, I observe on a daily basis the essential role these staff play in the security of Kansas communities.

Offenders who don’t have natural supports, job skills, a positive environment or the skills to navigate treatment and service systems are at risk of returning to crime and prison. This return to incarceration is known as “recidivism.” The goal of our reentry programs is to reduce recidivism and ensure successful transitions back into society.

Through evidence-based programs, core effective correctional practices, robust reentry and discharge planning, treatment and services from community providers, and the support of family, friends and mentors, Kansas has cut recidivism from over 55 percent to about 35 percent since 1999. Offenders who participate in KDOC’s Mentoring 4 Success recidivate at just 8.7 percent during their first 12 months after release, a testament to the great work of volunteer mentors who assist in the reentry process.

Today more than ever, offenders are leaving prison with more preparation, job skills, pro-social supports, connection to services, and a continuum of care. This leads more offenders to a law-abiding life, increases their chance of success, increases public safety and results in fewer victims.

Open houses at all Kansas correctional facilities and parole offices are scheduled for July 10-14 to provide the public with more information about the importance of this work. Check the schedule of events and feel free to visit and learn more about reentry programs. And take the opportunity to thank KDOC’s reentry staff, partner organizations and volunteers for making Kansas a safer place to live.

Joe Norwood, Secretary
Kansas Department of Corrections

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