Reentry is the process by which offenders return and resettle into the community. It is not another program … it is justice reinvestment and involves collaboration on every level.
History: In May of 2005, a Call to Action was initiated by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to a variety of organizations that provide reentry services and programs. The “Call” was an invitation to meet and discuss how organizations might work together more effectively to reduce recidivism in Oklahoma. The OFBCI was asked to help increase the involvement of faith-based ministries in the reentry process. As a result of that meeting, and the networking efforts of the OFBCI, a statewide collaboration of reentry service providers was incorporated in 2006 as the Oklahoma Partnership for Successful Reentry, Inc. and granted a non-profit designation. OPSR meets monthly to discuss reentry issues, address legislation, share best practices and maintain ethical standards. Participants in-clude leaders of faith-based groups, community organizations, state agencies and Native American tribes.
Prisoner Reentry Initiatives: In 2007, the OFBCI and OPSR formed a partnership to sponsor quarterly educational and networking forums called “Prisoner Reentry Initiatives” or PRIs. Numerous PRI forums have been held in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa to cover relevant and timely topics with regard to reentry. Some of the past forums have focused on:
- The Do’s and Don’ts of Reentry
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse
- Job Training and Employment Issues
- The Value of Mentoring and Support Groups
- Services for Children and Families of Inmates and Ex-Offenders
- Emergency and Transitional Living Facilities
- Community Based Sex-Offender Management
- Personality and Behavioral Disorders
- Intergenerational Incarceration
- The Poverty Mindset
- Personal Success Stories
PRI forums are an ongoing project of the OFBCI and OPSR. The Oklahoma Partnership for Successful Reentry, Inc. seeks to engage both the public and private sectors to more effectively serve the ex-offender population in sup-port of successful reintegration and healthy, productive lifestyles. For more information on OPSR, go to www.okreentry.org.