Any sincere discussion of justice in this country would include the reintegration of prisoners released to rejoin American society after a period of incarceration. The repatriation of over 1500 adults per day is among the greatest social challenges facing the United States at present.
Many former prisoners are confronted with daunting impediments to day to day survival as the result of limited resources. Options in securing the basic food, shelter, and employment upon which survival depends, become restricted as such individuals are marginalized. Disenfranchised ex-convicts are unlikely to receive adequate preparation to work and live on the outside as corrections budgets are increasingly strained. Rates of parole failure and recidivism provide sobering testimony to existing deficits in prisoner reentry programming . For those members of this population motivated toward legitimate personal development, support has characteristically been either inconsistent or nonexistent.
It is important to recognize, however, that these former prisoners represent a potential and valuable resource, not only to larger society, but to colleges and universities
which can benefit from their specialized experience. Our research indicates a genuine need for advisory resources, like this one, to support the growing population of former prisoner students returning to initiate, or resume college degrees. Further, it underscores the significant accomplishments and important contributions of ex-convict academics working in the fields of criminology and criminal justice. Such achievements in the future can only be secured through investments in time, effort and open dialogue on our campuses.
It is hoped that these findings can be generalized to other disciplines which reflect increased college/university admissions of this specialized population. While this project was initially directed toward graduate students, it is likely that undergraduates (and non-students) will find useful materials within this resource as well. Finally, an invitation is extended to critique, suggest and generally explore ideas relevant to this Web resource. From the start, this project was intended to support and encourage ex convict students and their advisors, thereby improving the quality of life for all. To that end, input is gratefully accepted and greatly appreciated. Thanks to all who have supported this endeavor at every level.
The resource material necessary to making a dream into a reality is out there. Explore, dig, imagine and make it happen.