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Getting Ready Program - Remaking Prison Life to Prepare Inmates for Reentry - Interview at the National Institute of Justice

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2009
4 pages
This audio and transcript are from an interview with Dora Schriro regarding her views on the reforms needed by prisons in order to better prepare inmates for their reentry into the community upon release.
The "bottoms-up and system-wide" reform proposed identifies the many responsibilities that should be and are being shifted from staff to inmates, as inmates undertake more responsibility for preparing themselves to lead an independent and self-guided life of responsibility and constructive responsibility. The proposed initiative is called "Getting Ready," because it focuses on the 97 percent of any State's correctional system that is sentenced to a term of years and then goes home at some point; however, it is equally applicable to those who are in prison for life or sentenced to death. The process begins immediately upon admission to prison, as new inmates receive a series of objective evaluations designed to determine their current risk for criminal behavior. Identified criminogenic needs are addressed in an individual treatment plan that pertains to, not only structured treatment programs, but every phase of lfie in prison that parallels responsible living in a community. The intent of prison life, therefore, is to prepare inmates with the skills, knowledge, social maturity, and independence needed to build a satisfying and law-abiding life in the community after release. The details of this type of prison program are discussed.

Date Published: June 1, 2009