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April 03, 2024

The Obligation of Lawyers to Facilitate Effective Reentry

The U.S. has just 5 percent of the world’s population but is home to approximately 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Today, close to 2.3 million Americans are incarcerated. According to the United States Department of Justice, more than 650,000 persons are released from prison every year. These residents face an overwhelming number of obstacles and burdens when attempting to piece back their lives. Think about it. Imagine being dropped off on a street corner with nothing but the clothes on your back – after being isolated from society for decades. How would you eat? Where would you sleep? Would you know how to get a driver’s license? Find a job? Probably not. Without adequate support and resources, our residents returning home from incarceration are forced to fend for themselves. Serving time has many detrimental effects on one’s rehabilitation process. This includes lost connections with their family members and loved ones, lack of adequate education and programming opportunities, and severely limited reentry efforts prior to release. Lawyers have an obligation to ensure the protections afforded under the United States Constitution are applied fairly to all people. This includes supporting the needs of persons returning home following a period of incarceration. Join us to learn how you can make a meaningful impact on the lives of those who need us most.

The content of this program does not meet requirements for continuing legal education (CLE) accreditation. You will not receive CLE credit for watching.


  •  Dr. Carmen Johnson – Author and Founder, Helping Ourselves to Transform 
  • Sean Kyler – Associate Director of Operations, Advocacy & Partnerships, Vera Institute of Justice


  • Melanie E. Bates – Attorney and Consultant, Melanie Bates Consulting LLC;  Vice Chair, Criminal Justice Committee, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Co-Sponsors: ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice, ABA Commission on Homelessness & Poverty, ABA Criminal Justice Section, ​​ABA Judicial Division


Redeeming Justice: From Defendant to Defender, My Fight for Equity on Both Sides of a Broken System | Jarratt Adams

The Pretense Of Justice | Dr. Carmen Johnson

Why is the suicide rate so high at this Maryland jail? | The Baltimore Banner

Mr. Sean Kyler's Valedictorian Speech

Vera's Opening Doors to Housing Initiative

Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison

NY Less Is More Act for Technical Violations Reform

New York Reforms Parole System, Adopts Less Is More Act: Recently Enacted Legislation

DMV Reentry Organizations & Volunteer Opportunities | DCRAN

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