When a person is released from jail/prison, the focus is often again on immediate needs. JUST A FEW OF WHICH ARE LISTED HERE:
- Where will I live?
- How will I get a job? (approximately 60% of parolees are illiterate; 17% have learning disabilities)
- I don’t have any transportation. How can I look for a job? How will I get around to see my parole agent/ probation officer?
- Who will hire me with my tattoos?
- What assistance will my parole agent/probation officer provide?
- My California I.D. was lost while I was in jail/prison. I need it in order to access other services and to get a job.
- The only clothes I have are the ones I’m wearing.
- How much responsibility should our family assume? Should we let him/her live with us? Where else can (s)he get help?
- Was his/her substance abuse problem addressed during incarceration?
- Did (s)he change during incarceration?
In response to these concerns and needs, Friends Outside provide the following services:
- Employment assistance, including job placement with employers who hire felons, referrals for clothing, and assistance to obtain California I.D.
- Emotional support
- Resource referrals and assistance accessing other services, including dental care, health care, counseling, housing and tattoo removal
- Placement into treatment programs, including sober-living programs, substance abuse treatment programs, and domestic violence treatment programs
- Bus tokens
- Support groups for former prisoners
- Case management for the formerly incarcerated and their families
How the Community Benefits:
- Parolees/probationers who get and keep employment for one year are more likely to successfully transition back into the community than are those who do not
- Parolees/probationers who get treatment for substance abuse problems are less likely to recidivate (return to prison/jail) than are those who do not
- Substance abuse treatment costs taxpayers approximately $4,000 per participant for a six-month program. Incarceration costs taxpayers approximately $12,000 per inmate for a six-month period.
Sources of Information:
Friends Outside staff and case records
The Blue Ribbon Report on Inmate Population Management, State of California