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Author:  Donald G. Evans.

Source: Volume 27, Number 01, Fall 2017 , pp.1-32(32)

Journal of Community Justice (formerly Journal of Community Corrections)

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This issue of JCC provides interesting and informative articles on three specific topics that are important in the work of community correctional practitioners: barriers to employment as identified by parolees, barriers to housing stability and strategies to improve outcomes, and working with the incarcerated drug addict. There is also an acknowledgement of the work of Senator John Cornyn by the president of ICCA, and for readers looking for more information and the latest in academic work, our book review editor has assembled reviews of nine recent books in the Worth Reading section. Taylor Mooney and Rose Ricciardelli report on what they have learned from interviews with 24 parolees about their experiences in seeking employment. The authors focus on the barriers the parolees faced and how they attempted to navigate or mitigate these barriers in their search for meaningful work. The study found that parolees faced significant barriers in attaining stable employment and that these were made more difficult by the stigmatizing effect of having a criminal record. The importance of affordable and safe accommodation cannot be ignored in efforts to transition offenders from prison to the community. Patricia McKernan examines the barriers homeless ex-offenders face in accessing emergency and permanent housing. She also addresses the strategies that can be employed to combat homelessness and housing instability for ex-offenders and discusses the difficult issue of housing registered sex offenders and the general problem of housing women offenders. Her article stresses the importance of evidence-based practice and the value of innovative approaches to solving the problems of housing for offenders. McKernan concludes by challenging professionals to advocate for system change and inclusionary policies for ex-offenders. There is a growing interest in learning from the experiences of individuals who have been caught up in the criminal justice system, and it is also important to consider the experiences of those who work in the system. Michael Anderson has had more than 31 years working in the correctional system in various positions. In his article, he recounts his experiences working with four heroin-addicted individuals in a county jail and uses the experiences to focus attention on the problems of chemical dependency. The author makes a case for bringing a caring mindset to work that assists in imparting a vision of hope for those struggling to shake off the chains of addiction. On February 28, 2017, the International Community Corrections Association awarded its President’s Award to Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) for his leadership on behavioral health care and criminal justice issues. Senator Cornyn, in his career as a lawmaker, has managed to balance law enforcement interests and treatment responses in the pursuit of public safety. ICCA’s President Anne Connell-Freund describes the accomplishments of Senator Cornyn.

Keywords: Employment and Prisoner Reentry; Homelessness and Reentry; Incarcerated Drug Addicts; Senator John Cornyn

Affiliations:  1: Journal Editor.

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