Legal Reentry Resources
The barriers to reentry are intricately connected to criminal justice concerns in Oregon. Inadequate resources, or failure to connect individuals post-incarceration with the resources that are available, prevents returning citizens from fully adjusting to life outside of prison. Unable to access the requisite help to establish a new support network, reentrants are often forced to turn to past behaviors and environments to survive. In many cases, reliance on relationships or routines established prior to one’s conviction returns the individual to the same circumstances in which their original offense occurred, significantly raising the likelihood of recidivism.
With this Legal Reentry Guide, the CJRC aspires to untangle the reentry process. Across the state, the lack of familiarity with available resources is serving as its own barrier to reentry. Individuals returning to Oregon counties, especially those who do not fit into the “high risk, high need” category, often slip through the cracks. The purpose of this Guide is to connect returning individuals with the resources in their respective communities to assist in their reentry and lower the potential for recidivism. Be it a reentrant, a family member of a reentrant, a government agency or program, or nonprofit organization, we are hopeful that whoever picks up this Guide is better equipped to go on, or to aid with, the reentrant’s journey. When returning individuals are left unaware of the programs and people that are available to assist them in their reentry, feelings of isolation manifest and the potential for resorting to old, unhealthy behaviors or seeking out prior, unhealthy relationships increases.
While creating and compiling information for this Guide, the CJRC has had the opportunity to work with many members of the reentry community who are incredibly passionate about aiding individuals post-incarceration as they maneuver the legal obstacles caused by a criminal record. The CJRC acknowledges and appreciates the advice and encouragement received throughout this process.