At any one time, over 7.3 million people are on probation, in jail, in prison, or on parole in the United States . Each year, more than 735,000 individuals return home from prison and nine million cycle through the nation’s nearly 3,000 jails (Robinson, 2010). The Department supports the reentry of formerly incarcerated individuals into communities through a variety of activities that fall into the broad categories of health and human services needs. Successful reentry begins while an individual is incarcerated. Hence, a number of activities within HHS serve those who are in prison as well as their family members.
Ensuring that an ex-offender’s basic needs are met upon reentering society reduces his/her probability of recidivating. The hope then is that by addressing the needs of ex-offenders and their families, the overall health, safety, and economic well-being of communities will improve. The following inventory illustrates HHS’s recognition of the critical role of families in the successful reentry of individuals from prison to the community. The activities included in the inventory illustrate the many ways in which HHS strives to increase stability, health, and general well-being for incarcerated and reentering individuals and their families.