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Re-entry Programs: Hope for Inmates with Mental Illness Rejoining Society

man released from jail with his possesions

The percentage of prison inmates in New York City with serious mental illnesses is 15%-25%. This is a disheartening statistic and a reminder of America’s overall mental health crisis. The number of incarcerated people with mental illness highlights the necessity of re-entry programs for these individuals. The EAC Networks Community Re-entry Assistance Network (CRAN) offers a solution through individualized treatment plans that connect inmates to community services; we can reduce recidivism rates and offer hope for the future.

Both the Individual and the Community Benefit from Re-entry Programs

Re-entry is already a difficult adjustment, and mental illness makes it all the more complicated and challenging. The reasons why there is such an overwhelming number of prisoners with mental illness are complex, but when it comes to the benefits of re-entry programs, they are very straightforward.

By helping these former inmates find assistance with their behavioral, housing, legal and vocational needs, they can live a more meaningful life. Another benefit of this intervention will be in the form of fewer crimes and a safer community.

people sitting in a group setting

EAC Network: A Liaison for Rikers Island

EAC has dedicated offices in all five boroughs of New York. They work directly with Rikers Island to help assess prisoners with mental illnesses and their health needs before their release and encourage them to participate in the CRAN program. As part of the re-entry program, the individual’s specific behavioral needs are factored in when establishing the types of supportive service they will need upon release from prison.

Once a personalized treatment plan is created, the participants are connected with the community services they need to plan their goals and mental health needs to help them establish long-term stability. In addition, staff monitors them as they rejoin the community.

Co-Occurring Issues of Mental Health and Substance Abuse

guy sitting stressed out

An additional area of concern that these coordinators have to account for is any substance abuse that these participants may have. It’s an unfortunate reality and only exacerbates the issues more. There is a different level of care and attention needed in these cases.

EAC Networks Offender Re-entry Program (ORP) is a voluntary program that assists explicitly with these scenarios. After going over all the conditions, they will meet the individuals on their release date and escort them to their approved residence or supportive housing program.

The Reality: We Need Programs Like These and More

The mental health issue in our country is a tremendous concern, and the dire need for assistance in managing it is only growing. With re-entry programs like CRAN and others, we can try to correct what may have led to these individuals being incarcerated in the first place.

We can’t ignore that so many individuals in or out of prison have mental health issues in our country. It’s estimated that just over 43 million Americans experience mental illness annually. Without treatment, it is difficult for these individuals to conform to the rules of society, and many of them will likely end up incarcerated.

To learn more about CRAN and how can help support these services, contact EAC Network today!

Special Thanks

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EAC Network
Attention: Development
99 Quentin Roosevelt Blvd.
Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530

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