The First Year After Leaving Prison is Harder for Hispanics
"The first 72 hours after being released are crucial. Having counted down the days with scratches on a cell wall, that longed-for moment is a dream that can vanish in just three days. More than ten studies and organizations explain that reentry programs should put special emphasis on this decisive transition period following release.
In fact, several groups have a checklist of the things that need to happen in those first moments in order for an inmate’s return to society to be successful. Others focus their attention specifically on that period, such as “The first 72+” and “Re-Entry 72”, both based in Louisiana.
A look at the work of around ten organizations and leaders who help men and women on this journey suggests that the hardest battles they face are the stigma surrounding their mistakes and the challenge of rebuilding their self-esteem. There are also more tangible hurdles, such as the inability to get a good job, pay rent or be accepted into residents’ associations, among others.
In the United States, there are a total of 2,234,563 people in state and federal prisons, as well as jails. Of them, 445,246 are of Hispanic origin, representing 20% of the total, while 37% are white and 33% are black.
The data shows beyond doubt that minorities have the worst of it: according to statistics from the United States Census, 60% of the country’s general population are white, 13% are black and 18% are of Hispanic origin.
For example, when a person reached three years post-release without having returned to jail, the risk of reoffending fell dramatically. Monitoring between 2005 and 2014 showed that five out of every six people who left state prisons were arrested again at least once for some kind of new offense or parole violation during that time.
In the case of women, recidivism over the nine years is around 77% in general. As with men, the first three years after being released are the most risky in terms of reoffending."
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