What Re-Entry Services Can Do to Strengthen the Basic Skills of Former Inmates

This guide helps organizations better understand the central role that basic skills and related educational credentials play in successful reentry of formerly incarcerated individuals.

Paul Jurmo
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
The Open Door Collective
Publication Year
Resource Type
Informational Material
Number of Pages
Product Type
Target Audience

This guide is primarily for organizations that help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully transition to work, family, and civic roles. It's purpose is to help them better understand: (a) the central role that basic skills and related educational credentials can play in successful prisoner re-entry and (b) how reentry agencies can collaborate with basic education providers to help returnees develop necessary basic skills. It is also written for basic education providers, policymakers, and funders interested in supporting collaborations among reentry and adult basic skills service providers. Examples are provided for how these agencies can contribute to the planning and delivery of services.

What the experts say

This resource is a concise and easy-to-follow guide for organizations that help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully transition back into society. Based on experiences working in re-entry education, the guide provides a compelling picture of the range of challenges and possible resources along with ways to provide relevant education to returnees. It outlines a process for programs and individuals to become part of re-entry. 

The guide takes the guesswork out of how agencies can best provide access to important basic skills for those who have served time in prison. Agencies providing services to those individuals, as well as stakeholders and policy-makers, can benefit from it. A deficiency is that the resource lacks a research base in that is more like a newsletter overviewing the baseline services for a reentry agency rather than an actual service guide.

The guide is a valuable foundational resource for those interested in contributing to reentry education in their community. The most useful feature of the resource may be as a portal to accessing the wealth of information available in the references and archive sections of the resource.

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