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Interconnected Challenges Contributing to the Cycle of Recidivism


Before diving into where and how ex-offenders are affected, it is important to understand micro, mezzo, and macro levels of analysis. Put simply, micro level of analysis refers to individuals; mezzo level of analysis refers to families or small groups; and macro level of analysis refers to organizations, agencies, communities, and large groups of people, including nations. In almost any social change context, these levels are interconnected and affect one another.

Former prisoners face challenges at every level. These challenges come in many forms, but Ann Jacobs, director of the Prisoner Reentry Institute at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, succinctly summarizes themExternal link:open_in_new “A person’s successful re-entry into society can be viewed through how adequately they are able to meet six basic life needs: livelihood, residence, family, health, criminal justice compliance, and social connections.” Attaining each life need presents unique challenges, many of which are interconnected.

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