Reentry Anonymous 
Ex-offender Education. Reentry Information.  Recovery Support.
A Non-Profit Organization



About

                                                                                                             Responsibility. Rehabilitation. Restoration.
     Reentry Anonymous World Service Office Inc. was started in 2005 and officially incorporated as non-profit in Tampa, Florida in 2011. The organization was started out of the realization that resources alone were not enough to foster successful ex-offender reentry and that criminal addiction was the main factor in ex-offender reentry failure. Reentry Anonymous is the first organization of it's kind to be comprised of advisers, volunteers, mentors, and peer counselors. These people collectively make up a fellowship of success stories with regards to ex-offender reentry, criminal addiction, poverty, abuse, abandonment, exploitation, and lack of education to lead happy and fulfilled lives. It is the collective experience, strength, and hope of these people that is the core of Reentry Anonymous. It is this common solution to success in criminal addiction recovery and reentry that when shared between two people, ultimately leads to freedom from ourselves and our past. Reentry Anonymous is not a religious based program, but rather spiritually based and utilizes a Twelve Step model of addiction recovery which is similar to and adapted from other twelve step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, and Over Eaters Anonymous. Reentry Anonymous does not discriminate on the basis of: Age, Race, Religious/Spiritual belief, Color, Gender, Physical or Psychological Disability, Legal/Criminal Convictions or Status, National origin, Sexual Orientation, Language, Location, or any other basis.
                                                                            
                                                                                                  Nothing can ensure success such as working with another.
     What sets Reentry Anonymous apart from any of the other ex-offender reentry options offered in the United States by federal, state, municipal, and some faith based organizations is not only the staff of our organization but also the approach to ex-offender reentry. Our members have already gone through the judicial system from arrest to adjudication, served their time, served their time after incarceration under various types of correctional supervision, and ultimately one day had to face re-building their lives with the limited programs and resources available to ex-offenders. It is then out of the need to survive a life free from re-incarceration, substance abuse, and criminal addiction that our members have had to develop their skills and seek any and all reentry programs and sources available. It is at this point when the ultimate discovery is made as to why recidivism is so prevalent and over two thirds of ex-offenders are re-arrested within the first five years after initial release: The reentry system in The United States does not work. The evidence is in the recidivism statistics. The fact is that what few resources or programs that do exist are staffed, funded, and directed by people who have never had to experience ex-offender reentry nor consult those who have as well as a lack of tracking to see where the existing programs fail to meet the stated goals of reentry. The idea that reentry resources however meager and however limited to a small proportion of the reentry community will somehow curve recidivism has proven to be fruitless. You could give all the resources in the world to an ex-offender, yet unless the person themselves is honest and willing to look at and change the dysfunction that led them to their criminal offenses the resources will usually be squandered. The key to ex-offender reentry does not lie in resources handed out, but is found by one on one work with another ex-offender over time who has succeeded in reentry and criminal addiction recovery.
                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                              Self cannot heal self.
     The fact that Reentry Anonymous exists is a testament to the proven methods of any 12 step program that has ever existed since Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1940's. It was discovered that unless the person seeking recovery from a hopeless state of circumstances followed a program of recovery which did not depend on themselves but on the experience of someone who had successfully overcome the shared challenge, that person would ultimately fail to recover and continue to self-destruct. Alcoholics seek other sober alcoholics, addicts seek other sober addicts, gamblers seek recovering gamblers, and people with food additions seeking recovering food addicts. The method when applied to reentry has proven to be universal when it comes to ex-offender reentry. The lack of job, family, education, and money - all of which help contribute to the overall success of reentry for those whose social security numbers will always negatively impact their futures due to the their criminal histories, is not the main problem. The problem lies within the ex-offender and the current formula applied to federal and state reentry programs. Resources are scarce for reentry and placing ex-offender success or failure on those few resources is a mistake for the ex-offender who will always revert back to themselves to survive when either the person is not eligible for the resources or the resources have been exhausted. Ultimately years down the road after initial success the person gets tired of the lifelong rejections of a criminal history and again becomes hopeless due to a lack of support  and reverts back to their old lifestyle and mindset that led to initial incarceration. Our fellowship is comprised of members of other 12 step programs but found that ex-offender reentry issues and criminal addiction were either so unique or not addressed by other programs that it was time for reentry to take it's place as an individual recovery support program.
                                                        
                                                                                            If I am the problem, what makes me think i can also be the solution?
     Ex-offender reentry for many people is a lifelong undertaking especially for those with felonies that cannot be sealed, expunged, or be given clemency. The computer age has insured that a social security number can follow a person from loan application, to lease agreement, to job application and beyond for a lifetime. Ex-offender reentry for a vast proportion of people being released from incarceration does not end at year one but is a life sentence. Reentry Anonymous treats criminal addiction and reentry as a lifelong recovery process and provides support by those who have survived the process to enjoy lives beyond their expectations. Support that regardless of any circumstance or lack of resources gives hope through the strength and success of others who share the common experiences of criminal addiction and reentry. The solution is not a few dollars, a program for 6 months, a resume class, or some government job program thought up by someone who does not know it may only serve a fraction of the reentry population. The solution is experience, strength, and hope through the support of Reentry Anonymous. The problem started with the person who was arrested and eventually became an ex-offender and thus also is where the solution and recovery must be found. The solution for members of Reentry Anonymous depends on sharing their successes, failures, reentry skills, and willingness to look outside themselves for an answer as to why they continue the cycle of self-destruction in their lives and the lives of everyone they touch. Read a founding member's personal story...MORE


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