Life After Prison: The Challenging Transition from Incarceration to Community
A criminal conviction can lead to an array of lifelong barriers for formerly incarcerated individuals. Employment and housing challenges, combined with limited preparation of inmates for the next stage of their lives, reinforce the prison-to-poverty pipeline and create a vicious cycle of re-incarceration. In the third and final discussion in the Breaking the Cycle of Incarceration program series, panelists will discuss the challenges individuals face after prison and the most effective re-entry methods.
Jon D. Ponder is the founder and CEO of HOPE for Prisoners, Inc. In 2017, Jon was appointed by Governor Brian Sandoval to the Nevada Sentencing Commission and to the Nevada Commission on Postsecondary Education. He was appointed to the Governor’s Reentry Taskforce and the US Commission on Civil Rights Nevada State Advisory Committee in 2016. Jon holds a seat on the Executive Committee of RECAP (Rebuilding Every Community Around Peace) with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. His responsibilities include oversight of all aspects of the programs and services provided by HOPE for Prisoners, including a comprehensive array of program components designed to assist individuals to successfully reintegrate into society. He develops and implements strategic planning for the organization and is extremely passionate about the value of mentoring for persons coming out of correctional settings.
Jon was himself formerly incarcerated and has more than twelve years’ experience in providing training for offender populations in correctional settings. His personal life experiences equip him to provide the guidance, direction and motivation for individuals attempting to navigate the challenges they face during the reintegration process.
At Georgetown University, Tarek Maassarani is a lecturer in justice and peace studies. His life’s work includes community organizing, nonviolent action, mediation, dialogue facilitation, and peace education. He has practiced and published on international human rights law, produced a documentary film on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and carried out educational and community building projects in Africa and the Middle East. Tarek holds a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs, a J.D. from Georgetown University, as well as a B.S. in Environmental Studies and B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Roger Jarjoura is a principal researcher at AIR. Previously he spent 19 years as a faculty member in the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, where he served as a fellow on Community Engagement. He was recognized as a “Translating Research Into Practice” scholar and served as a research partner to the Marion County Reentry Coalition, and provided training and mentoring to other faculty interested in developing research partnerships with community-based organizations and programs. Dr. Jarjoura has served as an investigator on several evaluation studies, including an OJJDP-funded, national process and outcome evaluation of a Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Targeted Re-Entry program in four sites. He has recently been the principal investigator on two randomized-control studies. One study examined the effect of a prison-based restorative justice initiative on prisoner reentry outcomes for adult offenders. The other study examined the impact of a specialized women’s assistance program for drug court participants on recidivism and drug use outcomes.
Dr. Jarjoura has over 16 years of experience in developing and evaluating mentoring programs. He designed and evaluated a randomized-control study that examined the impact of mentoring as a component of a juvenile reentry initiative. When results of that evaluation demonstrated that mentoring was a critical component for effective reentry, Dr. Jarjoura served as the director of an Indiana statewide expansion of the model and continued to examine ways to integrate mentoring within more comprehensive community-based initiatives. He then provided oversight to the development of replication programs in three other states, and has worked extensively to provide training and technical assistance to groups in other states in the development and management of effective mentoring programs. He recently was the co-chair of the National Cadre of Mentoring Researchers, which sought to translate research on youth mentoring into practice for programs serving system-involved youth.
Shelley Carrao is a graduate of the University of Reno, Nevada, with a Master’s Degree in Justice Management and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University. She has over 25 years of experience in law enforcement. In 1998, Shelley began her career in law enforcement with the Maricopa County Superior Court Juvenile Probation Department. In February 2021, Shelley moved to Las Vegas and began her career with the State of Nevada, Department of Public Safety, State Police, Division of Parole and Probation, as a Parole and Probation Officer in the Las Vegas Office. For the last 21 years, Shelley has been promoted through the ranks at Parole and Probation and is currently a Captain who oversees the Specialty Courts Unit and Administrative functions of the agency for Southern Command. During her past experiences at Parole and Probation, she has worked in and overseen various units within the agency including court services, general operations, specialty courts, risk control/house arrest, sex offenders, and rural areas including Pahrump.