In 2017, Philadelphia’s City Council officially recognized June as Reentry Awareness Month. Reentry Awareness Month is meant to highlight the importance of the work of over 100 governmental agencies and non-profits in Philadelphia that aim to reduce recidivism.
Adjusting to life after incarceration is difficult and fraught with challenges, such as finding employment and establishing a safe place of residence. Reentry Awareness Month hopes to shed light on the critical nature of this problem, including what positive strides are being made and how others can continue to help.
The Philadelphia Bar Foundation is committed to removing barriers to justice in Philadelphia, including those faced by ex-offenders. Through the Judge Alfred L. Luongo Fund, the Bar Foundation supports the Supervision to Aid Reentry or the STAR Reentry Program of the Reentry Court, U.S. District Court, Eastern Pennsylvania. The STAR Reentry Program provides direct support and resources to help ensure successful transitions back to the community.
Studies indicate that in the United States, within five years of release, about three quarters (76.6%) of ex-offenders are rearrested via a report from The National Institute of Justice. Recidivism is a national issue, and together we can combat the existing societal barriers that often prevent people from properly adjusting to life after release. Programs, like the STAR Reentry Program, offer assistance with employment, housing, counseling, and day-to-day costs. Each of these factors all positively contribute to lowering the likelihood of recidivism and can truly make the difference in an individual’s life.
In honor of Reentry Awareness Month, consider donating to the Luongo Fund. Everyone deserves a second chance. Your contribution will go directly toward eradicating the daily demands ex-offenders face that prevent successful transitions.