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Print Vol. 106, Issue 3

Note

Left at the Gate: How Gate Money Could Help Prisoners Reintegrate Upon Release

Ji Hyun Rhim, B.A., Waseda University, 2014; J.D., Cornell Law School, 2020

27 Mar 2021

Recently, conversations on criminal justice reform have centered around ways to reduce recidivism. Some conversations are focused on the incarceration experience itself and its failure to rehabilitate. Others focus more on the state of and alleviating the structural barriers that recently released individuals face. As made apparent from recent legislation, legislators are concerned with gainful employment for these groups. The First Step Act,1First Step Act of 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194 (2018). one of the most significant pieces of criminal justice reform legislation to address recidivism on the federal level, for example, addresses reform of the incarceration experience as well as the reentry process. The act requires the development of a risk and needs assessment system of all federal prisoners and places them in programs and activities designed to reduce recidivism. It also amends 18 U.S.C. § 4042(a)(6) to assist inmates in applying for federal and state benefits and obtaining identification. What the main components of this legislation, along with different conversations about ways to reduce recidivism, oftentimes overlooks is the immediate needs of the individual upon release. This Note contends that ‘release’ is a distinct phase between incarceration and reentry and that reentry can only be successful if the individual is truly released. Moreover, this Note argues that current gate money policies fall woefully short of its original purpose. This Note concludes by calling for a revamping of gate money policies as an effective method of reintegrating recently released individuals and reducing recidivism.

To read this Note, click here: Left at the Gate: How Gate Money Could Help Prisoners Reintegrate Upon Release.

References

References
1 First Step Act of 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194 (2018).
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