Kato, D (2016.10.10). Partners for Reintegration discusses bringing down barriers for people leaving prison. Missoulian. http://missoulian.com/news/local/partners-for-reintegration-discusses-bringing-down-barriers-for-people-leaving/article_943040af-f242-51e4-a1d5-1f788686c59e.html
... Access to housing was one of the key barriers cited by four panel members from Partners for Reintegration who spoke at City Club Missoula on Monday regarding how recently incarcerated felons can return to the community in a way that reduces their chances of re-offending.
... Kim Lahiff, western Montana probation and parole bureau chief for the Department of Corrections, said after years of being a somewhat closed-off agency, it began to break down the silos internally and reach out to partner with community organizations concerned about issues like reintegration.
“I think it’s taken our agency a while to admit that we can’t do it alone,” she said. There are 1,300 people in Missoula County being supervised by probation and parole officers, part of the 9,300 under supervision across Montana. With a per person cost of $92 per day to keep someone in prison, Lahiff said community supervision is accomplished at a rate of just $5 per day.
... Robert Howe said (he knows firsthand) ...after he was released from prison for a felony DUI in May 2012, he had difficulty finding housing. That struggle eventually led him to start Good Neighbors Missoula, an organization that works to find housing for people returning to the community from incarceration.
... Jana Staton, co-chair of Partners for Reintegration, echoed the statements by the other panelists, but added that housing is far from the only issue facing felons returning to the community; praised the city and county for removing questions on their employment applications asking for criminal history; ... looking forward to seeing more change at the state level, in particular the draft legislation from the Montana Legislature’s Interim Commission on Sentencing.
Kidston, M(2017.11.9). Easing the transition: Missoula partners explore the challenges of leaving prison. Missoula's News Journal. https://missoulacurrent.com/general/2017/11/jail-transition-missoula/ ... Pettersen joined around 50 other community members from organizations across Missoula at Thursday’s event, which saw participants attempt to navigate the cumbersome process of reentering the community after prison in a short period of time.
With no money, no identification, no transportation and no place to live, the challenges of reintegrating into the community proved to be surprisingly complex and frustrating. Some ended up back in jail on minor violations. Others found themselves out of money. ...“Sometimes it’s just a matter of giving someone a chance,” said Weston. “As community organizations, we can communicate better, and when we get everyone in one room, it makes it easier for us to talk about it. In a simulation like this where they see and experience some of the problems and see what the challenges are, it’s a little easier to start breaking down those silos.”
Erickson, D (2017.30.10). Partners for Reintegration: Montana agencies, volunteers work to reintegrate citizens after incarceration. Missoulian. http://missoulian.com/news/local/montana-agencies-volunteers-work-to-reintegrate-citizens-after-incarceration/article_b5e01709-6eaa-52d0-a816-9264f7c35c7b.html
Montana’s prison population has grown faster than the national average, and last year 15,000 people in the state were either behind bars or under criminal justice supervision.
... “There is no single cause,” she said. “Jails are the No. 1 mental health provider in the nation. It’s a community issue. We need to work on reducing the stigma, the ability to access housing, employers willing to give a chance. It’s about welcoming versus isolation and having supportive services.”
... “It will illustrate the journey to self-sufficiency for citizens re-entering our community from incarceration and the numerous barriers encountered along the way,” said Marc Kittleson of Missoula Probation and Parole.
Other News Print
State corrections director speaks in Missoula tonight on successful inmate reentry