A flyer attached included the following additional detail:The Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable invites you to join us for our upcoming "Policy Reform" community forum.
Recognizing that people with criminal histories face significant barriers and that more effective reentry policies and laws will provide a greater opportunity for success, we ask that you please join us as we identify and prioritize issues that will determine the focus of our advocacy work both now and during the legislative session.
The forum will be Tuesday, June 24 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Town Lake Center (721 Barton Springs Road). Please see the flyer for more details including how to RSVP.
* How can we keep people out of jail while holding them accountable for their actions?Take their survey and RSVP here or just show up at the event.
* Do you have a family member or friend who has or will be leaving jail or prison and is struggling with reintegration into the community?
* How do we balance successful reentry of formerly incarcerated people and public safety?The Goal of this Forum Is To:
Help the Austin/Travis County Re-Entry Roundtable's Policy Reform Committee identify the policies, practices, and challenges that impact successful reentry for persons with criminal backgrounds.
I thought of one reentry-oriented idea recently that Travis County wouldn't need any legislative authority to enact. A friend recently had all sorts of trouble getting arrangements with their Travis County probation officer because this person and the P.O. had the same days off. So every month the same choice arose: Either miss work or miss a P.O. appointment. Eventually, both the job and the P.O. were unhappy, but the situation seemed entirely preventable.
I don't see why the Travis County probation department can't do its best to acquire work schedules for offenders' who're employed and schedule office visits when they're not on the job. How simple would it be to ensure that probationers with jobs can take care of their office visits on their days off? Ditto for parolees though I've no firsthand knowledge the same thing happens there.
For that matter, I continue to believe probation and parole departments should use the employment rate among supervised offenders as one of the primary outcome measures by which both administrators and line officers are judged. Prioritizing employment for probationers - or at least getting the probation department out of the offender's way - would go a long way toward preventing recidivism an improving public safety. When the the probation officer creates barriers to employment instead of encouraging it, IMO our priorities are backward.
RELATED: See this Power Point presentation (pdf) explaining the makeup and activities of the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable.