One of the people involved in the 1999 Vera Institute of Justice research project The First Month Out—which explored and documented the reality of prisoners' experiences in the days and weeks following release from prison or jail—discusses the ramifications of the report. The author describes everything from the project's personal impact on her, to its positive effects on reentry practices, to the flaws in its design. The First Month Out details where opportunities to connect with family, find work, or enter treatment made a difference to individuals' success. Furthermore, reentry providers and researchers have made the case that providing opportunities, particularly for work, during the reentry period can reduce recidivism. The author concludes that meeting the needs of returning community members is an important piece of a bigger agenda: investing in and growing human capital in the United States.
- © 2011 Vera Institute of Justice