The ReEntry Simulation helps participants experience some of the challenges of re-entering society after being incarcerated. These are real problems for real people. If we as a community do not recognize these issues and find ways to address them, then the likelihood of the ex-offender returning to incarceration is high indeed, as high as 65% within three years.
While offenders are released to diverse communities with differing levels of support and intrinsic motivation, many share a lot of the same challenges. The ReEntry Simulation illustrates the journey to self-sufficiency and the barriers that may contribute to feelings of helplessness and decreased self-efficacy.
Participants assume the identity of an ex-offender who has just been released. They are charged to take care of all their living expenses and court ordered appointments within the month (four 15-minute weeks.) They will interact with an employer, the probation office, ID station, as well as many other groups.
The simulation takes two hours and requires a minimum of 25 people and a maximum of 72. The target population for the simulation is not ex-offenders but people in society who have the opportunity to assist people in making the transition: employers, lawyers, judges, probation officers, legislators, landlords, churches, staff in helping agencies, etc.