We would like to highlight Natasha Hongsermeier-Graves’ article in Omaha World-Herald which talks about how leveraging support for community healing has a lot higher return on investment than pouring taxpayer money into incarceration.
A lot of times, high rates of recidivism are a direct result of not having adequate support systems and resources for people coming out of prison. Hongsermeier-Graves highlights that the three most important solutions to reduce the reincarceration rate could be (1) peer support infrastructure, (2) trauma-informed medical services, and (3) fair-chance hiring initiatives.
For instance, Hongsermeier-Graves says that “peer mentors can help incarcerated persons complete programming required to achieve parole, reducing overcrowding. They link re-entering individuals to resources in a way that helps them feel empowered, not degraded. From another perspective, peer support provides meaningful employment for those formerly incarcerated.”
Building more prisons will only exacerbate the problem of mass incarceration, which disproportionately affects marginalized communities.
“Human beings are not inherently broken, but we are all fallible. We make mistakes. Yet there is nothing 'correctional' or 'rehabilitative' about the current dehumanizing experience of incarceration.” - Hongsermeier-Graves
Read the whole article here: https://omaha.com/opinion/columnists/midlands-voices-let-s-invest-in-people-not-prisons/article_73dbbb9a-969e-11ec-8d97-3358649d8d9d.html