how does it work?
Re-entry Mediation Program
The criminal justice literature highlights the importance of strong relationships to support successful re-entry and to reduce recidivism. Re-entry mediation responds to this need by providing an opportunity for an inmate and family members or other support people to meet, with the help of a non-judgmental mediator, before release to have an open, honest, and often difficult dialogue to prepare for the transition back into the community. Sometimes there is lingering conflict from before the incarceration. Sometimes there is resentment, anger, and shame as a result of the charge or things which took place during the incarceration. Re-entry mediation creates a space for everyone involved to talk about their experiences, be heard by each other, and establish a plan on how to move forward productively before the individual is released.
Re-entry mediation has been shown to decrease likelihood of arrest post-release, with additional mediation sessions decreasing the probability of arrest further.
By rebuilding relationships between inmates and family or support people in the community, Re-entry mediation taps into the resources indigenous to the community, strengthens these connections, and allows for collaborative transition planning, involving the inmate and their family members. In Maryland, re-entry mediation has been established in almost every state facility and in a number of local detention centers. Results from program evaluations demonstrate the success of re-entry mediation in improving relationships and supporting a smooth transition to the community.
This site provides an overview of the re-entry mediation program, highlights successes, and provides best practice guidance for those interested in replicating the program in other parts of the county.