Breaking the Cycle of Recidivism: Why Support and Compassion Are Essential—and What You Can Do

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The desire to build a better future may be nearly universal, but a new life takes time and resources to build, especially when you are reentering society after incarceration. Without proper support, many individuals struggle with recidivism.


Recidivism—the tendency to repeat an offense or relapse into criminal behavior—is sadly common among formerly incarcerated men and women, but it does not have to be. The numbers are stark: for the 251,000 residents in the State of Texas who are released from prison each year, 44 percent will be rearrested within 12 months—meaning their dream of a brighter tomorrow can easily slip out of reach.


Compassion, understanding, and a willingness to get involved can make a life-changing difference. At The Way Back, we know that incarceration doesn’t define a life—but a second chance can. Opportunity and support represent that second chance—and make a difference in lowering the risk of recidivism and helping individuals navigate the path to reentry.


Breaking the cycle of recidivism

Recidivism is a devastating reality that impacts millions of families across multiple generations. It can be difficult for people to find the right support; what’s more, organizations can be stretched thin and struggle to have the resources to provide critical help during this vulnerable point in an individual’s life.


At The Way Back, we make it our mission to walk alongside our clients through each step of the journey. Through compassionate education, community partnership, and practical aid, The Way Back is reducing the recidivism rate in the State of Texas and working hard to give our clients hope and a bright future.


By doing this, we not only help an individual, but we also help entire families and communities. Children with incarcerated parents are 70 percent more likely to become incarcerated themselves—investing in men and women during their journey to reenter society is an investment in the future of our community.


Support and compassion make a difference

Individuals on the path to reentry face significant challenges on many fronts. Finding a steady job, safe housing, acquiring legal documents, and securing reliable transportation can be a maze to navigate without guidance and resources. Many individuals are also facing physical or mental health challenges and need to support to address these.


Consistent support, meeting practical needs, and continual encouragement can be the difference between a successful reentry vs recidivism. The Way Back provides comprehensive, wrap-around services that address immediate needs such as clothing, food, hygiene, housing assistance, and referrals to social services, as well as a continuum of case management and supportive services that transform lives and build paths to a more secure future.


What you can do 

At The Way Back, we know that the devastating impact of recidivism is not an unsolvable problem, and we are excited to partner with others in our community to be an active part of the solution. By walking together with compassionate understanding and a desire to be a part of positive change, we can help someone’s second chance be the one that changes the trajectory of their life for the better.


You can be a part of that second chance for someone. You can volunteer your time and services, or you can support The Way Back financially. One way to increase your impact is to amplify your financial support with a matching gift from your employer. Many employers offer a matching gift program. Contact your employer to find out whether or not they offer a matching gift program.


Our mission is to guide individuals newly released from incarceration to success in a new life—and you can play a part in helping us help others. If you would like to donate or incorporate an employer-matching gift, please reach out today.