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Criminal Justice


John Walker


The criminal justice system in the United States has tried to reduce repeat offending through various tactics over the years including reentry/rehabilitation programs in the past 2 two decades. The state of Missouri was one of the first states to participate in this type of transitional model. While the recidivism rate has dropped, it is still one of the highest in the nation. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to determine if a program called the Missouri Reentry Process (MRP) has been effective at aiding men at (re)integrating and (re)acclimating in society. Social disorganization theory and desistance theory informed this study. The study used a qualitative research method with phenomenological design to learn from the lived experiences of former offenders. Fifteen adult male participants were interviewed and asked a series of 24 questions. After the interview process, the collected data was were analyzed by using coding and developing themes to determine the findings of the study. Based on the findings, it was determined that the MRP has been mostly unsuccessful in its mission and goal. While most many of the participants were able to learn and gain valuable information while taking programs under the umbrella of the MRP; most felt that there was little to no help at (re)integrating into society. These break downs in the prison system and MRP give the biggest opportunity for social change. Making the prison safer and providing more opportunities for learning healthy lifestyles helps develop well-rounded individuals. By building better relationships within the community, former offenders can experience success after release and build better and stronger communities. Ultimately, when the individual becomes healthy they will help change the communities where they reside making them safer and more productive for generations resulting in positive social change.