DOJ’s Office of Access to Justice and the JCC hold reentry simulation in D.C.

May 2, 2024

“Events such as the Department of Justice (DOJ) Access to Justice (ATJ) Reentry Simulation held on April 19, 2024, help answer questions about when and how resources are needed for the formerly incarcerated and allows those working in criminal justice to have empathy for individuals who have experienced it. …

“During ATJ’s event, participants were given a fictional identity, a Life Card, one to three forms of identification, money, transportation tickets, an item of some type of value (e.g., a guitar), and instructions on what they had to do and where they had to go. Some participants also received a Wild Card, which was used as a life event, and/or props such as babydolls to represent children or a bag to represent being homeless or poor. Using these tools, they were to navigate through various stations to complete their weekly tasks to avoid being sent back to prison for non-compliance with the requirements of their release.

“At the end of each fifteen-minute week session, the participants had to return and check in to their ‘home’ station. During that time, the facilitators explained the statistics and challenges behind being incarcerated. DeAnna Hoskins [founder of the JustUS Coordinating Council] went into detail about some of her experiences, as well as others, and one of the major topics discussed was identification cards.

“Many of the participants were missing at least one, if not more, of their identification cards during the simulation. The ID cards included a Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, and State ID. Without these items, completing the tasks on the Life Card was nearly impossible, much like it would be in real life.”

As part of the JustUS Coordinating Council’s Second Chance Month events in April, we joined the Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice Office for Access to Justice to hold a reentry simulation event demonstrating the barriers to reentry faced by formerly incarcerated people across the country every day.

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