The MCRP is California Community reentry rehabilitative program, which serves men who have approximately a year before they are released from prison. The program allows eligible inmates in Californian prisons to serve amongst their communities in lieu of confinement in state prisons. Essentially, this rehabilitative reentry program ensures that the inmates are encapsulated back in their communities in the smoothest way possible. This approach takes into consideration the change of environment experienced by people coming out from prison and the type of stigma and self-acceptance that they have to deal with. In often cases, a failure to have an effective reentry program causes the freed to struggle while finding their place in communities and hence leading some to resort to crime, which eventually takes them back to prison. This paper discusses expostulates on California’s Male Community Reentry Program (MCRP) with the purpose of understanding the program comprehensively to increase on its awareness.
The services offered by the MCRP program
The MCRP is a voluntary rehabilitative program that is available to inmates who have about 365 days left to serve (Choate 54). Its purpose is to ensure successful reentry of inmates into their communities in order to prevent subsequent offenses caused by their failure to integrate properly with others in the communities. Essentially, the MCRP provides and arranges for effective connection to various freely available community based rehabilitative services. First, it allows the offender to leave the prison environment even before their term has been completed. In this case, the prison management has ample time to monitor how a member of the program is able to interact with the community and whether they are ready to be released or not. Particularly, during this community service program, critical analysis of an offender’s behavior can ascertain whether there are criminal traits or any psychological issues that should to be addressed before they are released into the community.
Secondly, the program strives to impart employment skills in the participants. In this case, it is imperative for the freed persons to update their skills in order to increase their changes of employment or to engage in entrepreneurial activities (LeBel, Richie, and Maruna 108). For instance, a person who has been in prison for more than ten years might find that their skills are obsolete in a job market, which is advancing at a great speed. As such, the program addresses this gap by updating the participant’s skills with respect to current needs and opportunities in the market.
Thirdly, the program facilitates family reunification for the participants. In this case, the program considers the fact that some of the inmates’ relationships might have been severed by their crimes. Hence, it is prudent to ensure that both the inmates and their families are ready and accepting of the inmate’s release (Choate 55). Additionally, having spent a long time in prison might proof an obstacle for a person who would like to reunite with his family due to the different environment, which an inmate is used to. Moreover, it should be noted that the prison environment is very different from the home environment and might even have a toll on an inmate’s psychological health hence making it hard for him to have normal family relations once he is released from prison. The program considers all these factors in order to foster an amicable family reunification for the participants.
Lastly, the program actively treats substance use disorders and mental issues. In this case, it takes into consideration that the prison environment might not be sufficient in handling disorders caused by substance abuse since the prison grounds are essentially corrective grounds. As such, in order to treat these issues, a rehabilitative environment is required. Hence, one major service of the MCRP is to offer treatment programs for any relevant psychological issues, which might affect how the inmates will relate with others once allowed back into the society. Additionally, participants who do exceptionally well in the program if offered the opportunity to help inmates struggling with substance use disorders and mental issues since they have personal experiences and hence have a better chance of connecting and helping inmates who deal with such issues (LeBel, Richie, and Maruna 108). It should also be noted that offering the participants a chance of helping others while being paid for it acts a s motivation for them to strive to perform exceptionally well in the program hence improving on the program’s efficiency in rehabilitating and helping the volunteer participants.
Location of the program
The program serves the California state. As such, the program does not serve prisoners serving in other states of the U.S. In this case, it should be noted that California encompasses fifty-eight counties and 482 municipalities. Initially, the program was offered in two locations; Health RIGHT 360, which operated 150 beds in Los Angeles and Turning Point of Central California which operated 50 beds in Bakersfield (Petersilia 327). However, the program has been expanded to cover all the municipalities in California. However, all individuals (men) incarcerated in Californian prisons irrespective of their home states are liable to partake in the program as long as they are willing to volunteer in the program and abide with set conditions and regulations.
The cost of the program and the people served at a time
The volunteers of this program do not pay for the services that they enjoy. Since the program is volunteer based and since it serves people who have been in prison for a considerable amount of time, which has to be more than a year, the program can only be offered freely to inmates. However, the program encompasses the use of resources. As such, it has to be funded to be able it to offer the services at no cost The program is a joint effort between DRP, the Division of Adult Parole Operations and Division of Adult Institutions which ensure that the program is well funded. Essentially, the California State Government and the Federal Government fund the program (Rich and Waters 44). As an important aspect of the criminal justice system in the country, it is imperative for both state and federal governments to be concerned about how individuals are rehabilitated back into their communities hence the justification behind funding this program with part of the tax payers funds.
The program serves approximately one thousand individuals at a time. However, the incarceration of individuals varies at any given time. Consequently the program is expanded to include as many participants as possible whenever there is a surge in the number of inmates with less than a year before they are released. However, the number of individuals that the program can serve is dictated by the number of available beds in the centers, which house the inmates as they interact with the community for a stipulated period of time (Rich and Waters 45). It is however observed that since the program has expanded to all the municipalities of California, it can adequately support all the inmates in their final years of service.
Origin, length of operation and success rate
The Male Community Reentry Program (MCRP) was initiated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) which is responsible for ensuring that inmates are rehabilitated into useful and constructive members of the community. The MCRP program has been in operation for the last five years during which it has helped in the rehabilitation of thousands of inmates. Moreover, the program has posted a high rate of success since its initiation hence necessitating the need to expand it. It is due to its success that the program has been lauded a worthy investment by CDCR (Veeh, Severson, and Lee 238). As such, it can be ascertained that the program has been successful in keeping people out of prison. By offering an effective reentry into the society, the program prevents subsequent criminal activities, which are contacted by ex-convicts who do not fit in their communities.
Coming up with the MCRP program was a wise decision. Since its inception five years ago, the program has grown to encompass the whole of California. Moreover, the program has served very many inmates and has helped rehabilitate into the societies after serving in prison. In essence, the success stories which have been told as a result of the program are encouraging. Some individual have taken the opportunities offered by this program to add on their education while others have proven beyond any doubts that they can be dependable employees by taking part in monitored employment activities. Particularly, the amounts of money earned by individual who take part in the employment activities offered by the program helps them in settling comfortably after serving their terms to completion and hence avoid going back into crime.
Choate, Brant. “Rehabilitating California’s Prisoners: With Lawrence Troxler III and Ryan Welch.” Boom: A Journal of California 6.2 (2016): 52-56. http://boom.ucpress.edu/content/6/2/52
LeBel, Thomas P., Matt Richie, and Shadd Maruna. “Helping others as a response to reconcile a criminal past: The role of the wounded healer in prisoner reentry programs.” Criminal justice and behavior 42.1 (2015): 108-120. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0093854814550029
Petersilia, Joan. “California prison downsizing and its impact on local criminal justice systems.” Harv. L. & Pol’y Rev. 8 (2014): 327. http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?
Rich, William, and Tony Waters. “Prison Logic Meets Educational Research Logic: The Undiscussables of Evidence-Based Decision-Making.” Prison Vocational Education and Policy in the United States. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2016. 41-59. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/978-1-137-56469-6_3
Veeh, Christopher A., Margaret E. Severson, and Jaehoon Lee. “Evaluation of a serious and violent offender reentry initiative (SVORI) program in a Midwest state.” Criminal Justice Policy Review 28.3 (2017): 238-254. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0887403415575144