- An opportunity for attendees to learn from experts about the Re-entry Process.
- To educate and inform attendees about the process of re-entry (When should the process start...at time of arrest, bail, sentencing or after incarceration?)
- To establish a national network for re-entry services/policy (Timeline 3-5 yrs)
- To form partnerships/collaborations that will help to inform about the re-entry process.
- A forum for organization networking from across Canada to discuss challenges and share experiences.
WHAT IS RE-ENTRY:
The term "re-entry" is used by many advocates, service providers, policy-makers, and formerly incarcerated people to define what happens to people coming home from prison. More broadly, it describes a process of re-integration, rehabilitation, and restoration of rights that should begin when an individual is arrested.
"Collateral consequences," is a popular label for the legal, social, and economic barriers to a person's re-entry into his or her community. Although many people released from prison or jail leave with the hope of a fresh start, these barriers to reintegration can feel like the continuation of a prison sentence. In fact, these collateral consequences may take place at both ends of the criminal process system; at the beginning when an individual is arrested, charged, and perhaps considering a plea bargain; and at the end when an individual is released from prison. Even a mere arrest, or minor charges with no jail time, may result in collateral consequences.
Re-entry refers to the transition of offenders from prisons or jails back into the community. According to the studies a large number of people are released from provincial and federal prisons annually. Research has shown that two-thirds of these offenders will be re-arrested and many will be re-incarcerated within three years of their release.
The number of offenders and the likelihood of their reincarceration have made re-entry a priority for policy makers, criminal justice researchers and practitioners. Breaking the cycle of reoffending and re-incarceration has many important implications for public safety and policy.
Some recent re-entry strategies employ comprehensive strategies focus on assessing offenders and tailoring re-entry plans to individual offenders to enable them to become productive and law-abiding.
Increasingly, re-entry begins at the sentencing phase and continues post-release, with a particular focus on the continuity of care from prison to the community. It often involves a variety of agencies and groups that coordinate efforts to ensure that offenders receive needed services and appropriate levels of supervision.
OVERVIEW OF YOUNG ADVOCATES YOUTH ORGANIZATION OF ONTARIO
The Young Advocates Youth Organization was created to serve youth in marginalized communities. Part of our mandate is to advocate for services to youth between the ages of 12-24 who live in high priority neighborhoods such as Jane/Finch, Lawrence Heights, etc. We work with youth from the community who require support in the areas of substance mis-use, mental health, as well as youths involved in the criminal justice system. We also advocate for the rights of homeless youth, provide street outreach, and work with youth who are involved in education system that are experiencing difficulties. Young Advocates is a group who share a common passion to fight against systemic injustices in Ontario.
We address all sectors and areas of the Human Rights Code and advocate for youth rights in the Canadian Society. We hold all the organizations (educational, legal, government and community agencies) accountable for their actions and teach our youth how to adequately advocate for themselves. We hope to decrease the discrimination and abuse that our youth are experiencing today.
We work from an (anti-oppressive) perspective, thus we encourage community members and youth to take on significant leadership roles within the organization. Any youth or community member is encouraged to join our group, including but not limited to those who live in marginalized communities. As a client centered agency, we will ensure that youth are directing their own service and be involved in every stage of service delivery from planning to implementation and follow-up.