More than 6,000 individuals will return to Maryland communities after serving time behind bars in Maryland prisons each year, and thousands more will be in and out of jail. With the recidivism rate at 30%, more than 2,000 of those returning citizens will return to prison within 3 years – often due to an inability to become financially stable.
No matter how hard people work to overcome their past, public opinion, laws and policy-driven barriers often make it difficult to obtain the financial security necessary for successful reentry and reintegration as valued and productive members of their community.
Women with children are often the most effected. We spent several years assisting, interviewing, surveying, and documenting women in various stages of transition – from pre-release to 25 years post release – and found that the collateral consequences associated with incarceration never really go away.
This site is designed to be a self-help resource to empower those in reentry, those continuing to struggle with reintegration, their families, and those who work with them to navigate the many legal and policy-driven barriers that are the collateral consequences of incarceration. It is meant to provide a resource where information can be found easily, in one place and written in laymen’s terms. You will find step by step instructions on how to address the many barriers to reentry, as well as the forms often necessary to take action to correct or remove the barrier.
Although it is designed for self-advocacy – you are not alone in this journey. We have provided a phone number, contact email information, “water cooler” discussion board, and online chat where you can seek help or just find some encouragement. If legal assistance is needed to complete an action, we have a civil rights attorney who can help.
This site is by no means exhaustive. It is now and always will remain a WORK IN PROGRESS. Laws and policies change rapidly. We will be monitoring those and updating regularly. Watch the REENTRY NEWS at the top of the website to find links to the latest information.
And give us feedback on what YOU need. This is YOUR site – and only you can tell us what you need.
And . . .WELCOME HOME!