The idea behind the corrections system is that once someone has been through the system, that person will not go back into the system again. Their actions will have been “corrected.” Unfortunately, more often than anyone would like, the formerly incarcerated end up behind bars again in the future. Efforts to break this cycle affect:
- corrections officials
- judicial members
- community leaders
- nonprofit groups
- and the formerly incarcerated themselves
Those groups rarely have a chance to talk to each other about their shared problem or to create a collaborative solution. The Incarceration: Recidivism, Reentry and Reunification (iR3) program was created to help solve this challenge.
Through an intensive series of focus groups to define the problem, conference-style meetings to select the most pressing issues, and independent working groups researching those issues, our work will result in the first solutions proposed by all parts of the corrections ecosystem. Just as Winthrop Rockefeller changed the prison landscape of his day, this effort promises meaningful solutions to combating recidivism at all levels.
Spring 2021 Program: June 16-17
Beginning in April of 2021, focus groups comprising each part of the incarceration ecosystem have been held to establish the top issues for each group. Selected with the guidance of program partner Restore Hope Arkansas, these groups will consider the system as a whole, as well as their unique part in it.
After collecting and processing the focus group data, select members will come to the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on June 16-17. At this upcoming meeting, the group will select 3-5 areas or issues in which they feel they can make the most impact, creating working groups that will meet in the following months to create solutions and plans. Those ideas will will be presented at a second summit on September 16-17.
iR3 attendees will review, evaluate, form action plans, and divide up responsibility. This first full-sector collaboration should bring the most common burdens to light and create a path forward for Arkansas — a future where the corrections system works as intended and the incarcerated rejoin their families and communities permanently.