An ex-offender is generally defined as somebody who has committed a crime, was found guilty, and sentenced to prison and completed serving their time. Depending on how long the individual served time for, it can make reentry into public life more complicated.
It also may depend on the type of crime for which they were convicted that will determine how easily it is for them to get back into work, an apartment, and even with their own families.
There are numerous reentry programs for ex-offenders that can help these individuals find housing, employment, and other opportunities. The first step is finding appropriate housing.
Why it can be difficult to find housing for an ex-convict.
Today, more and more apartment complexes and housing managers are requiring potential applicants to include any potential negative background information about themselves. This can include checking credit scores and history as well as conducting a thorough background check.
As more and more major apartment complexes fall under the control of major companies and management firms, they have strict guidelines on who they will rent to, including not even considering potential applicants who have any type of felony background. It doesn’t matter whether the felony was committed 20 years ago and the individual has been released for 15 or more years. If there is a felony conviction, it can be extremely difficult to find housing.
Finding traditional housing for ex-offenders can be a complicated process. It can also be extremely frustrating. Finding a good place to live in a decent neighborhood may be a top priority, especially if the individual has a family with children. If they have the financial means to afford a particular housing situation, they may run into a roadblock time and time again when they fill out the application and are turned down because of that felony conviction (PBS.org).
So what about for somebody who was recently released?
There are a number of different programs for convicted felons that can help them with reentry, including finding housing, employment, and other opportunities that are essential to turning one’s life around.
It may not seem fair that a person who served their sentence should be met with an incredible number of roadblocks once they are released, but that’s the way it is for people who have been convicted of a felony.
Just because somebody was convicted of a felony doesn’t mean they can’t turn their life around. There are many programs within county jails as well as state prison systems that offer them the opportunity to take high school level classes, college-level classes, and even earn certain degrees while they are serving their time.
If you didn’t take advantage of those opportunities, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to transition back into public life and live a comfortable and productive life for your future.
Every state has various programs for felons that help them not only strengthen their educational foundation, but also assist them in finding work, including accompanying them to job interviews, helping them become more integrated in their community, and assisting them in finding adequate and safe housing.
Every state is different and will have various organizations and programs to help ex-offenders re-enter into society. Here is a brief list of programs per state that may very well be able to assist convicted felons get on with her life and a productive and satisfactory manner.
- In Alabama, there is The Foundry Ministries, The Love Lady Center, and Life Source.
- In Alaska, you could consider contacting the Alaska Native Justice Center or Partners for Progress.
- In Arizona, there are numerous Catholic Charities as well as Traditions, The Potters House, and Old Pueblo Community Services.
- In Arkansas, you can get support from Our House or even Goodwill.
- In California, you have California Reentry Program and Volunteers of America.
- In Colorado, there is the Colorado Department of Corrections Reentry Program and Colorado Gives.
- In Connecticut you may get help from Family Reentry and Project Fresh Start.
- In Delaware, look to the Delaware Center for Justice: Reentry program.
- Florida offers assistance through the Florida Department of Corrections.
- In Georgia, the Department of Corrections have’s a reentry program as well as Georgia Calls.
- In Hawaii, you can contact the Hope Services Reentry Program.
- Idaho also has a reentry program through their Department of Corrections.
- Illinois has a program called Reentry Illinois and you can also find help through Safer Foundation.
- In Indiana, the Department of Corrections has a Reentry program as does Brother’s Keeper.
- Iowa Department of Corrections has a reentry program.
- In Kansas, there is Second Chance and Oxford House.
- In Kentucky, the Department of Corrections has a reentry program and there is also Kentucky Reentry.
- In Louisiana, the Department of Corrections has a reentry program and you can also reach out to Goodwill.
- Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia all have reentry programs through their Department of Corrections.
- Maryland relies on Catholic Charities.
- Massachusetts has the Massachusetts Records Organization.
- Minnesota relies on Goodwill/Easter Seals.
- Nevada has Hope for Prisoners.
- New Hampshire has Rise Again Outreach.
- New Jersey offers the Reentry Coalition of New jersey
- New Mexico has the Bernalillo County reentry Information center.
- New York has the Road to Reentry
- North Carolina relies on Goodwill.
- North Dakota has Center, Inc.
- Oklahoma offers Genesis One.
- Oregon offers a reentry program as well.
- In Pennsylvania, you can contact Prison Society or Impact, among others.
- In South Carolina, you can contact Alston Wilkes Society.
- Tennessee has a reentry program.
- Utah offers Active Reentry.
- In Vermont, contact Burlington Housing Authority.
- Wyoming offers a state run reentry program.
For states that are not listed, it doesn’t mean they don’t offer reentry assistance for ex-offenders and there are numerous other programs besides the one listed here. This was just a brief listing of reentry programs for ex-offenders throughout the country.