by the Massachusetts Office for Public Collaboration, McCormack Graduate School
You are within weeks of release from detention and looking forward to going home but the closer your release gets the harder it is to get on with your spouse. Visiting is now taken up with fights about living together and you are no longer sure you have a home to go to.
This is a typical scenario for prisoners approaching release and reflects the fact that for many prisoners, going back home may not be as straightforward as they hope. Bridges may have been burned, people on the outside moved on and there is no real understanding of the challenges each of them has faced during incarceration. This is one challenging re-entry area which had not previously been tackled until the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC) approached MA Department of Correction (DOC) leadership towards the end of 2015.
Armed with the knowledge that the first 72 hours of release is a significant determinant or risk for re-incarceration, and the importance of building supportive relationships on the outside, MOPC worked closely with Community Mediation Maryland’s Lorig Charkoudian to develop skills and programming based on their successful Prisoner Re-entry Mediation Program in operation since 2007. MOPC invested in specialized training of mediators from its existing network of established statewide Community Mediation Centers and case coordinator staff who will do significant outreach, intake, and case coordination work around cases. Continue Reading →