Monday, September 29, 2008

Reentry works

San Francisco's 3rd Annual Reentry Summit took place today at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Public Defender Jeff Adachi, District Attorney Kamala Harris, Sheriff Hennessy, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and the Safe Communities Reentry Council consolidated their effort to promote the importance of providing resources for the formerly incarcerated.

The hightlight of the summit was witnessing so many formerly incarcerated people gathered in one space to share their success stories. As we all know, more often in times, the formerly incarcerated gets a bad rap. The mainstream media and majority of the politicians only hightlight the violence on the streets, high crime rates and high recidivism rate. Hardly is there mention of those who had changed their lives and are making significant contribution in the community in reducing violence and create a safer society for all. Where's the media when we need them? I guess what does bleed doesn't lead continues to be the media policy.

The Safe Community Reentry Council produced a resource guide for those who are incarcerated and formerly incarcerated to help their reentry. It called "GETTING OUT & STAYING OUT A Guide to San Francisco Resources for People Leaving Jails and Prisons." People who are interested in getting copies of the guide can contact reentry.council@sfgov.org

San Francisco has more resources and funding in comparasion to many other cities. Yet, not much has change when it comes to address the root cause of violence. The resource guide for the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated is only a small BandAid to a systemetic societal problem. Until there is a just system of law that truly treats everyone equally, abolition of the Prison Industrial Complex is an alternative.

After all, good intentions without substance only prepetuates the cycle of violence and recidivism.

Reentry works? Only if you work it? Reentry to what?

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