Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Federal prison reentry programs failing inmates

Three federal prisons in California and others nationwide appear to be falling short in preparing inmates for safe release into society, investigators are warning, reported McClatchy Newspapers.
Most inmates don’t complete the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ formal pre-release program, investigators found. Individual prisons show “widely inconsistent curricula, content and quality” for the programs. Federal agency coordination is said to be poor.
“We found that the program’s overall effectiveness remains largely unknown,” the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General said in a report released Wednesday.
The findings rely in part on investigators’ evaluations of the Release Preparation Program at federal facilities in Victorville, San Pedro and Los Angeles, which are among 10 Federal Bureau of Prisons institutions in California.
The 48-page report also helps illuminate the prospects for nearly 125,000 federal prisoners released over the last three years. These ex-convicts are released directly into communities, home confinement or residential re-entry centers like those managed by a federal field office in Sacramento.
The California re-entry centers, commonly known as halfway houses, include a 27-bed facility in Fresno and a 25-bed facility in Bakersfield, among others.
Underscoring the high stakes for all these institutions, a March study cited in the new report found that 49.3 percent of federal offenders released in 2005 were later arrested for new crimes or violations of parole conditions.
Of the 68,695 federal prisoners released during fiscal year 2013, 16.4 percent had been returned to federal custody by 2015.
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