The Federal Interagency Reentry Council is an organization that is mentioned many times throughout the 2012 National Drug Control Strategy. So, what is the FIRC?
The Federal Interagency Reentry Council was first convened in 2011 to address the problem of offender recidivism in the United States. The council gives the following examples to demonstrate how important it is to focus on reentry:
-1 in 100 U.S. adults is currently incarcerated; 1 in 15 African American men are currently incarcerated.
-95% of those behind bars will be released back into the community.
-2 in 3 released prisoners will be arrested again within 3 years.
The mission of the Council is to assist offenders leaving prison in becoming productive citizens, make communities safer by reducing recidivism and victimization, and save taxpayer dollars by lowering the costs of incarceration.
The term “interagency” refers to the collaboration of 19 different law enforcement and social service agencies:
1. Department of Justice
2. Department of Labor
3. Department of Education
4. Department of Health and Human Services
5. Department of Housing and Urban Development
6. U.S. Department of Agriculture
7. Department of Veterans Affairs
8. Department of the Interior
9. Domestic Policy Council
10. White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
11. Federal Trade Commission
12. Office of Management and Budget
13. Social Security Administration
14. Office of Personnel Management
15. United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
16. Internal Revenue Service
17. Office of National Drug Control Policy
18. Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency
19. Equal Employment Opportunity Division
The inclusion of all 19 agencies reflects the enormous struggle faced by drug offenders upon their release from incarceration and reentry into the community. The reentry council addresses many aspects of this challenge, such as employment, health, housing, substance abuse, veteran status, and financial concerns.
The Reentry Council was formed to address the issue of recidivism among drug offenders, who have unique challenges to overcome after leaving incarceration–especially in Minnesota. Last year, a study found that Minnesota has the highest recidivism rates in the country. For such offenders, it is especially important to retain an experienced MN criminal defense attorney. Stay tuned as we continue to discuss the National Drug Control Strategy in our blog series Drug Control Strategy Decoded.