Each year, thousands of individuals are released from prisons in the United States. Reentry services—services aimed at helping an individual reintegrate into the community upon his or her release—have long been neglected as an afterthought of the criminal justice system. However, in recent years, prison officials, criminal justice reformers, and politicians alike have increasingly recognized the critical role reentry services play in ensuring individuals do not reoffend once released from prison.
In her article, Coordinating Community Reintegration Services for “Deportable Alien” Defendants: A Moral and Financial Imperative, Amy Kimpel convincingly argues that, despite this increased attention, there is at least one group of individuals being released from prison for whom reentry services remain inadequate. Noncitizens who face removal from the United States at the end of their prison sentence are unable to access many existing reentry services within the prison system. In addition, noncitizens lack reentry services specific to their unique needs both while in custody and upon reintegration into the country to which they are released. In addition, and perhaps a consequence more persuasive to some, significant financial costs result from the recidivism and re-imprisonment rates for noncitizen offenders for whom reentry services either are ineffective or simply do not exist. Thus, Kimpel offers several reforms that would begin to address the reentry needs of those facing removal, ranging from smaller “in-house” changes within a prison to large governmental projects. This Response builds on Kimpel’s work by considering the potential effectiveness of these proposals for noncitizen-focused reentry services and how their effectiveness should be evaluated. Read More.