Dr. Anthony B. Bradley — Reentry programs reduce prison recidivism
Reentry programs that emphasize job training in private-sector careers that are in demand are the most successful.
"Because of the roughly 2.5 million men and women incarcerated in this country, states find themselves under increased pressure to develop early-release alternatives to ease prison overcrowding. States have chosen probation and parole as the primary means to ameliorate the overcrowding while maintaining a means to punish offenders for breaking the law. But reentry programs have proven to be the best way to keep criminals from returning to prison, and the best programs are those emphasizing character formation and work skills.
The closing of a highly successful reentry program in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has created a bit of a stir in Broward County. Broward Bridge, a 172-bed facility offering on-the-job-training through work release and substance-abuse counseling, is a public-private partnership that enrolls offenders who have six months to two years left on their prison sentences. Its programs have a graduation rate of almost 90 percent, and a recidivism rate of 10 percent, according to the Sun-Sentinel. If more of these programs close it could have devastating consequences for communities."