Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Humanity: Supporting Formerly Incarcerated Individuals Throughout the Re-Entry Process

Stephen Matthews (Public Health Student), Jarrell Daniels (Columbia University Center for Justice), Lisette Bamenga (MS), Elizabeth Ford (MD), and Ivan Calaff (Justice in Education Initiative Scholar)

Our session will explore how an inter-professional approach is necessary to support incarcerated individuals throughout the re-entry process. The process of re-entry requires an organized, team-based approach to meet and overcome systemic barriers in domains such as housing, food-insecurity, and access to education, employment, and healthcare. We will draw on the perspectives of physicians, lawyers, public health practitioners, and individuals with lived experience in the criminal-legal system in order to gain insight into the multidisciplinary collaboration that facilitates successful reintegration into society. Given the racial disparities within the U.S. criminal-legal system and stigmatization of people who are justice-involved, raising awareness and understanding about the re-entry process is a critical step towards strengthening communities – especially those that have been disproportionately affected by incarceration.  After this session, attendees will be able to:


Explain the roles and responsibilities of the three disciplines in supporting individuals during re-entry and best practices in collaborating across disciplines


Name key challenges that formerly incarcerated individuals face when it comes to finding treatment for mental health and health issues, employment, educational opportunities, and housing.


Evaluate potential challenges as it relates to the direct provision of care for formerly incarcerated individuals, their families, and their communities.


Learners will hear from experts in the field and will then discuss different scenarios in order to apply what they have learned.