Inmate Reintegration: Current Practices, Challenges, and Explanations

Successfully reintegrating individuals released from correctional facilities back into communities is a complex process that requires greater attention from society. Both in Canada and abroad, more ex-offenders are being released from prison only to find themselves unprepared for life on the outside as many lack stable housing, suffer from mental illness, have few job skills to secure basic employment, and all are marked with a criminal record.

This report is a compilation of the current scholarly research on inmate re-integration. The project has been made possible through a partnership with the John Howard Society of Ontario and the Association for Effective Reintegration in Ontario (A. E. R. O.). One of the broader goals of this project is to co-create and mobilize knowledge for the intended benefit of improving inmate reintegration in Ontario. Funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership Development Grant, A.E.R.O. intends to work towards efficient and effective reintegration that not only impacts and improves the lives of those who are released, but will also benefit communities as a whole by reducing recidivism and increasing public safety.

This report explores the following question: What methods and practices allow for the successful reintegration of releasees back into communities? This report begins with a summary of an annotated bibliography of domestic and international reintegration literature. This summary is then followed by the complete bibliography. This document is organized thematically to reflect five major barriers that releasees face in the reintegration process:

1) Stigma; 2) Housing; 3) Employment; and, 4/5) Mental health/addictions.

This paper also provides an overview of the more general reintegration literature and concludes with an examination of key criminological perspectives that are applicable to reintegration practices.

Publication Date: 
United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia