You may have heard the term ‘returning citizen’ by now. So if you’re wondering exactly what it means, read on.
In technical terms, a ‘returning citizen’ which is meant to replace the stigmatized words ‘ex-con’, ‘ex-felon’, etc., is an individual who is returning home after being in prison.
There are a number of issues, hardships, and roadblocks that people face after being released from serving time in prison or jail. Often coming home to little or nothing financially, the fees associated with simple necessities such as id’s, drivers licenses, or other obligatory items can be out of reach and hold one back from a lot of progress. This is compounded by the fact that it a lot of situations such as being approved for housing and employment opportunities are often stopped by criminal records. It is worthy to note that a lot criminal records are made up of petty, non-violent, non-theft/fraud type of offenses. Making matters even worse is the general stigmatization of people who have had trouble with the law.
This is why our services are designed and geared towards helping those who are traditionally marginalized, and all too often have no advocate. This lack of support mixed with demands for almost immediate reintegration with society while facing blatant discrimination (which a lot of is based on far more overreaching corporate and insurance policies that need to be re-examined altogether) from access to the things that will enable them to do just that is what leads to re-offending.
This is what recidivism is, and is what we are in an intense to fight to prevent. You can say that URC Youngstown is at war with recidivism. We define victory as helping returning citizens reintegrate back into society as better individuals, marked by a deeper, holistic, philosophical approach to life. These qualities are manifest also in the performance of their respective craft, often in which we provide the training for; enabling them to become excellent job candidates, as well as entrepreneurs.