Breaking the cycle of recidivism : the impact of community-based resources.


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This phenomenological multiple case study examined the lived experiences of two ex-offenders who have been diagnosed with mental illness receiving resources at a community-based program. In addition, the perception of a case manager who provides counseling at the community-based program and the impact of ex-offenders successfully breaking the cycle of recidivism is examined in this phenomenological multiple case study. The research on recidivism explored the lived experiences of adult ex-offenders reintegrating into society and the resources of community-based programs (James, 2015). The research also included the challenges associated with minimizing recidivism, sustaining employment opportunities, and advocating for housing of formerly incarcerated offenders (James, 2015). This phenomenological multiple case study included data collected from two ex-offenders currently receiving community-based resources. The methodology involved data collected from semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions with two ex-offenders with mental illness and a case manager. Through data analysis, five themes materialized: housing, employment, family support, education or trade skill, the importance of the parole officer and expectation, and lack of mental health and substance abuse resources. The availability of these resources can impact the offender when reintegrating into society. The findings from this research provided the risk factors of whether the participants will offend or not re-offend and remained as effective participants in the community-based resource program. The experiences discovered in the study by the two participants were external environment contributions to behavior, educational barriers, lack of family support, and society impressions. The study of recidivism with adults could benefit from education about mental health treatment and diagnosis, identifying offenders’ mental health during re-entry into society, increase research and training to identify risk to help decrease recidivism, and increase participation in community-based resources. This phenomenological multiple case study reviewed prior literature regarding recidivism, the ex-offender with mental illness, and offered a discussion around a community-based resource program.



Recidivism. Mental health. Mental illness. Ex-offender. Offender. Community-based program. Community-based resources. Case management. Case manager.