Since the implementation of California’s controversial Proposition 57, there has been a steady wave of formerly incarcerated people re-entering society. In January of this year, the San Diego Tribune wrote that roughly 130,000 inmates have been referred to the parole board since last July. And that number is growing. As people return to California’s streets looking to become fully engaged citizens, there are two baseline factors that need to be established: housing and employment.
A large number of the people going through the process of re-entry are older, and are walking back into a world that has had a technological makeover since they last experienced it. Now, they’re learning how to navigate the common necessities, such as implementing smartphone use into daily life and using the Internet to apply for jobs and housing. Luckily, some are able to find organizations who are willing to assist. We follow a handful of people who have recently been released and are making strides to get re-acclimated into today’s society. Using a couple of halfway houses around the Bay Area (such as Canticle) as a hub, we’ll document the subjects’ daily routines, and chart their ups and downs. Some will ultimately succeed in reintegration, while some may slip into recidivism. It won’t be an easy journey for those on either path.
What will come of this work is greater understanding of the hurdles people face when they reenter our society, and maybe even a glimpse at yet another failure of the justice system — incarceration that only leaves the individual further behind than the rest of society.