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Strengthening the Social Capital of Incarcerated and Reentering Individuals: Six Considerations


Incarcerated and reentering populations frequently lack strong, positive relationships for a variety of reasons, including never having these relationships to begin with or having lost connections during their incarceration. When these relationships do exist, they can be very valuable in helping individuals prepare for and succeed in reentry, such as through reducing their risk of recidivism and poverty and improving their well-being and employment prospects, leading to healthier, safer, and more productive communities. However, there is little research on how reentry programs can more intentionally help reentering or incarcerated individuals strengthen and develop relationships by incorporating concepts like social capital to meet these objectives. This brief identifies and analyzes common features and learnings from four programs that emphasize social capital while working with incarcerated or reentering individuals.