Cortez was a superstar high school football player, bound for a big Division I college program. He had grown up in a good, stable middle-class family. His Dad was a career army professional. Cortez had his sights set on playing in the NFL. A...
Homecomers are supported to actively take the steps needed and required for individual and collective transformation- to fully engage as citizens – for themselves, their families, their communities, and in the eyes of the law and society-at-large. This process provides successful re-entry, and confidence to become self-advocates.
Consistent with the principles of co-production, more than one-third of the 17-member team formed to undertake the work of design, are or have either at one time been incarcerated yet have successfully achieved reentry. In addition, the grassroots group in DC also reflected upon the possibilities of co-production in a parallel process, and had the results regularly reported to the team.
Given the importance of language, naming and titles; we decided as a group that anyone who is now or has at some time undertaken the reentry journey of transformation should be called “Homecomer”. We use this designation throughout the report. Collectively, the Homecomer and non-Homecomer members of the national team included leaders from the correctional systems, academia, think tanks, Law school students, and the cutting edge of non-profit work provided research assistance.
Applying the principles of co-production to the challenge of reentry means that groups, programs and organizations must go beyond the provision of services and support to Homecomers. Those initiatives must include them as partners. Homecomers have skills, talents and capacities to contribute to the betterment of society, and as they acquire more knowledge and credentials needed for success, they are able to extend themselves to other Homecomers and communities.
The National Homecomers Academy has been designed so that Homecomers, first and foremost, can take a lead role, joining with others as indispensable leaders and partners in the work of transformation and systems change that successful re-entry requires. Alongside the members of their communities, Homecomers are entitled to contribute for the common good and well-being of themselves and others. We must create partnerships that unleashs the Homecomers’ potential and support them in becoming a voice of conscience and authenticity, and a source of moral authority that is voiced.