One of the biggest challenges faced by community-based mental health and vocational programs providing services to individuals with histories of incarceration is harmonizing the conditions of community supervision, such as parole and probation, with the core values of recovery, choice, and self-determination. Service recipients are needlessly caught up in the real or perceived tensions between the expectations of each system and frequently find themselves dancing to the beat of two different drummers. This duality results in conflicts and power struggles that divest most service recipients of the ability to view reentry and recovery as being part of the same process: acquiring the wide range of skills and personal supports needed to transform their lives and be hopeful about their futures. Long-term strategies for reentry and recovery must be integrated so that those impacted meet all of the conditions of community supervision while also exercising, whenever possible, choice over their services and the setting of recovery-oriented goals.
Funding for this initiative was made possible by grant no. 1H79TI083022 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.