Session #2 Key Takeaways

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    I appreciate the overall analysis/landscape that was offered for both re-entry services, and criminal legal reform. What I found to be missing in the re-entry services is the aspect of leadership/empowerment development of systems impacted people. I do not think there are enough organizations doing that work. I also found it interesting to see how the memo highlighted the issues where funding oftentimes wants to create more work rather than investing in successful projects. Additionally, the article made me reflect on the heavy focus given to recidivism as a measure of success. I think that community groups know that these numbers do not address the structural issues that affect systems-impacted people. I enjoy that the article also points that focusing on these “measures of success” undermines employment, education, housing among other things.

    Criminal Justice Reform made me think so much about how we as a movement continue to work in silos. There is a need to invest more in strategizing to create systems change. I did agree with the perspective offered on victims and how they feel underserved or just simply not supported by the system. It is a given that many victims do not feel safe to go to law enforcement to report harm. I am not sure why the providers who also claim to support survivors also go to the police, it seems that these aspects of providing community care often rely on the criminal legal system. We need to invest more time in developing community responses to support individuals who experience harm and those that cause the harm.


    I was most interested in the “Reentry Overview Memo”. I think it demonstrated the growing number of organizations that are dedicated to reentry and recidivism. However, at one point it mentioned how the role of women significantly contributed to the reentry of formerly incarcerated loved ones in a very successful and informal way. I think this is a discussion point because it shows how strong family connections and care are key factors in reentry, and yet we know that it’s likely most of these women and family members have adverse life experiences coupled with other systemic oppressors. I think it’s very important to focus on the communities that individuals will be reentering as much as the individual themselves especially since we know that these informal relationships are key factors in the reentry process. Another point I wanted to highlight is “Credible messengers vs. Professionalization”, because I think it can go either way. While credible messengers may be very successful at building trust and rapport with clients, there needs to be a certain level of attained knowledge and professionalism, and vice versa, professionals bring knowledge and best practices, but might not be as successful when building relationships with clients. I think finding the right balance in a team’s experiences and qualifications can help organizations better meet the needs of those in the process of reentry.
    I found the “Art of Legislative Lawyering” was very informative on the process of changing and adopting policy. Broken down into the the six circles, it shows how much work and dedication a team must go through to make even the smallest of changes. It was actually a little frustrating because sometimes organizations and coalitions might go through the entire process and not have it turn out successful. It shows just how much effort goes into the work to better our communities even in the smallest of ways.

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