Television series like Law and Order, Criminal Minds, Dexter or CSI have featured hundreds of cases which show the cruelty and harm people are capable of inflicting. Less discussed are the stories of those who leave prison: the difficulties of reentry, rehabilitation or the success stories, which do in fact exist.
The more than 650,000 people released from state prisons each year practically match the population of Las Vegas, Nevada or El Paso, Texas
Kevin Wright, director of the Center for Correctional Solutions and associate professor at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University (ASU), says a lack of opportunities is the main cause of recidivism. “These people don’t find a sustainable and respectful way of life within the law. That can mean a job, healthy use of free time and healthy family and social relationships.”
The obstacles can be divided into four main areas: logistical, financial, health or emotional. That’s the takeaway from reading the descriptions of programs run by several organizations which offer help with reentry, as well as hearing the opinions of a retired judge, a criminology professor, a spokeswoman for an organization which offers financial support for formerly incarcerated poeple and a person who managed to reintegrate successfully after leaving prison.
In the case of Hispanics, apart from the barriers which everyone experiences, there are added cultural differences such as machismo - which prevents them from recognizing their vulnerabilities or asking for help - or a lack of English.
These are the main barriers people encounter:
This work forms part of the “Second chance” project, thanks to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Coordination: Tamoa Calzadilla and Olivia Liendo.
Research and production assistance: Ana María Carrano, Alexandra Barrera, Albany Urbaez Tahuil and Carolina Rosas.
Photography and photography layout: David Maris.
General production: Emilce Elgarresta and Stephen P. Keppel.
Social media: María Carolina Hurtado, María Dayana Patiño and Liliana Castaño.