Criminal Justice Reform


The Massachusetts corrections system was once the leader in preparing incarcerated individuals for their return to communities, but in recent years, there has been little state support. Funding for education and service programs that have a proven record of reducing recidivism have decreased. In 2002, more than 2,000 incarcerated individuals participated in a college course; in 2010, only 320 were enrolled. In recent years, the prison education line item was eliminated from the state budget entirely. This lack of support has placed reentry solely on the backs of the Department of Corrections, and has severed the relationship between incarcerated individuals, the families that support them, and the communities in which they reenter. In response to this, Pierre and other students of the Amherst College Inside-Outside program have worked together to create what we believe is a positive Blueprint for successful reentry. The goal of this 90-day project is to offer incarcerated men at the Hampshire County House Of Correction the opportunity to reenter society. They are working with reentry staff and other resources agencies to help with their transition and build the foundation they need to succeed in their recovery and begin the journey towards living a healthier life. It is Pierre’s and his peers’ hope that these efforts may be improved upon and serve as a reentry model that brings together individuals, families and communities in other communities