Juvenile Reentry and Reintergration
Each year approximately 100,000 young people exit formal custody of the juvenile justice system. These youth are often discharged back to families struggling with domestic violence, substance abuse, unresolved mental health disabilities, and poverty. Many are returned to neighborhoods with few supportive programs, high crime rates, and poorly performing schools. Public safety is compromised when youth leaving out-of-home placements are not afforded necessary supportive services upon reentering their communities and are therefore at great risk to recidivate into criminal behavior. Juveniles and young adults may be incarcerated during a key developmental phase of adolescence. Lacking the necessary skills to cope with adult responsibilities when they are released, many youth face unemployment, school re-enrollment challenges, and homelessness upon release. Plans are rarely in place to support youth as they exit confinement and reintegrate back into their family, school, and community.
Reentry services and aftercare programs which target youth who are exiting custody and connect them with professional cases managers, mentors, or employment opportunities can reduce recidivism. By fostering improved family relationships and functioning, reintegration into school, and mastery of independent life skills, youth build resiliency and positive development to divert them from delinquent and other problematic behaviors.