Upon returning to the community some ex-offenders are presented with significant hurdles – whether it’s facing social stigma or structural barriers, such as, housing and employment. Additionally, many of the individuals have limited skill sets or are under-skilled to help themselves get back on their feet. Many ex-offenders return to communities of poverty with a high level of recidivism. When an inmate is released, they must adapt to new changes that occurred while they were behind bars. For example, Rudy Holder served 12 years in prison before he returned to East Harlem – a neighborhood where temptations and problems always tested ex-offenders. “In Holder’s East Harlem neighborhood, 1 in 20 men has been convicted of a felony, the Justice Mapping Center reported.” Due to Holder returning to his community where he has a friend(s) on parole violates Holder’s parole restrictions. A prisoner’s reentry into society has multiple challenges ex-offenders face, making it difficult to become successful after their release. Reentering into society for many ex-offenders is like entering a dark room with obstacles in the way of their path – they can’t see them until they bump into them.
This article relates to the criminal justice class because it shows how much programs are needed for individuals incarcerated and programs they are able to access upon their release. Creating programs to help the population will benefit them because many need guidance in to staying on the correct path – without a stable home, supportive positive social group and a job (some examples), it will be difficult to not fall back into criminality.