Ninety-five percent of the over 1.5 million incarcerated individuals in the United States will eventually be released back into the community (West & Sabol, 2009; ACA, 2013). Of those, approximately 65% will reoffend and return to prison within 3 years of release (BOP, 2013).
While offenders are released to diverse communities with differing levels of support and intrinsic motivation, experience suggests that they share many of the same challenges. This Reentry Simulation will illustrate the journey to self-sufficiency and the barriers that may contribute to feelings of helplessness and decreased self-efficacy. Participants will assume the identity of an ex-offender and perform tasks in four 15 minute sessions with each session representing a week. By the end of this hour long, eye-opening activity, participants will have simulated a month in the life of someone who has released from prison. Participants will encounter the same challenges faced by many ex-offenders as they try to complete their court ordered obligations as well as maintain their day to day life. This simulation suggests that, ultimately, the ability to navigate “the system” may be a primary factor in the relationship between resiliency and recidivism.
WBMD featured the simulation in a 2015 story, Ex-Offender’s Journey to Success. For more information regarding this simulation or to inquire about having the simulation presented to your agency, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.