Power in Social Work Practice
Social Advocacy Proposal
Synopsis of the social problem
Men and women who have been released from prisons find it difficult to reintegrate back into their communities because they lack enough preparation, assistance, and resources. A felony conviction on one’s criminal record usually hinders employment opportunities, public housing aid, and access to social programs. Re-entry into the workforce is a major problem for persons who have served time in prison. Employers are wary of hiring people with criminal records, so formerly incarcerated persons have difficulty finding and keeping work after they are released (Poledna, 2021). Communities, families, and people are affected by re-incarceration and failed re-entry. The most vulnerable populations to this social problem are ex-offenders and those who have recently been released from prison.
Synopsis of the policy
The chosen policy is PUBLIC LAW 110–199—APRIL 9, 2008. This policy aims to break criminal recidivism to promote public safety. The policy is a state statute, and one of its benefits is that it aids in the rehabilitation of connections between offenders and their families once they have been released. Because it is designed to positively impact the life outcomes of those who return to society after being incarcerated, the policy addresses the aforementioned social problem (Holden, 2018). According to the policy, funding may be allocated to state and locally recognized local governments to support policies and programs intended to reduce recidivism and provide possibilities for those who have been released from juvenile detention centers and prisons.
Reason for selecting the policy
As a policy advocate, I chose P.L. 110-199 as a strategy for promoting social reintegration changes. Samuel Brownback and Robert Portman were the bill’s original sponsors, and it was signed into law on APRIL 9, 2008. One of the main reasons for choosing this approach is that changing the bill to enable effective re-entry of ex-convicts into society reduces the likelihood of returning to prison and eliminates the need to rely on relatives for necessities. Furthermore, re-entry into the workforce is a huge problem for people who have served time in prison. Employers are hesitant to hire persons with criminal backgrounds, making it difficult for previously incarcerated people to find and keep jobs once they are released from prison (Liberman, Hussemann & McKeever, 2021). Since many offenders lack formal schooling or job experience, finding profitable employment can be difficult. Aside from that, the fact that this policy addresses a long-standing issue of social reintegration that has plagued society throughout history is another reason to choose this policy.
People who enacted the policy
The bill was initially proposed by Samuel Brownback and Robert Portman and later signed into law on APRIL 9, 2008. The statute reauthorized the establishment of a grant program for the reintegration of adult and juvenile ex-offenders into society. It also calls for improvements in reentry planning and implementation. It directs the Attorney General to develop a Juvenile Offender Reentry Resource Center to collect data and assist grantees in implementing reentry programs.
Ways the policy impacts populations.
One of the major impacts of this policy on populations includes its ability to facilitate increased flexibility during the re-entry of youths and adults who have served their time in prisons. According to recent polls, the P.L. 110-199 policy has reduced recidivism among males in many states three years after its introduction, making it a promising legislation for reducing criminal recidivism. Since its inception, the policy has consistently provided re-entry services such as housing and employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, and victim support, all of which are critical for persons being released from prison (Doherty, 2018). Although the strategy has made significant progress in guaranteeing the smooth reintegration of ex-offenders, it has seen little development in states such as Missouri, Alabama, and Virginia.
After being released from prison, offenders are pushed into a new environment that is very different from their previous one, and many struggle to adapt. Aside from that, ex-offenders who have spent significant time in prison are released into an environment that is radically different from their previous surroundings due to the dynamic and constantly changing environment. When most of them fail to have a support system, they often fall into depression, anxiety, and stress, and some often find themselves engaging in criminal activities. Therefore, from a clinical setting, necessary changes must be made to the policy to reduce the likelihood of ex-prisoners falling into depression or getting re-arrested again.
Plan for social change
To reform this policy and improve the rights of ex-convicts, it is critical to strive toward decreasing discrimination and stigma through normalization. People need to understand that ex-offenders are people like them and that they have reformed and are ready to be integrated back into the community. By lobbying for this policy, the issue of social reintegration will be normalized, and awareness raised through local programs and activities will go a long way toward ensuring that the community aids in the smooth reintegration of ex-offenders. Acquiring assistance from stakeholders while incorporating social media to competitively work towards normalized social reintegration will be critical.
Doherty, M. (2018). Public law. Routledge.
Holden, M. V. (2018). The Second Chance: A Movement to Ensure the American Dream. UMKC L. Rev., 87, 61.
Liberman, A., Hussemann, J., & McKeever, B. (2021). Juvenile Second Chance Act Participation in Virginia: Impact on Rearrest, Reconviction, and Reincarceration. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 60(3), 196-214.
Poledna, S. (2021). SOLUTION-FOCUSED APPROACH IN PREPARING INMATES FOR SOCIAL REINTEGRATION. Analele Ştiinţifice ale Universităţii» Alexandru Ioan Cuza «din Iaşi. Sociologie şi Asistenţă Socială, 14(1), 63-70.