On February 28, 2008, P/PV, along with The United States Conference of Mayors, the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU and the City of New York, convened the Mayors Summit on Reentry and Employment, where 150 city leaders, policymakers, practitioners and academics came together from more than 20 cities to share strategies for connecting formerly incarcerated people to the labor market. From Options to Action was inspired and informed by discussions that took place at the Summit, as well as P/PV's experience in the field and a review of pertinent literature. It is meant to provide a framework for reentry efforts, with guidance for cities in early planning phases as well as those implementing more advanced strategies. The report presents practical steps for achieving a more coordinated, comprehensive approach to reentry at the city level, including identifying and convening relevant stakeholders, addressing city-level barriers to employment, engaging the business community and working with county, state and federal leaders to implement collaborative approaches and produce needed policy change.
Because mayors and other municipal leaders are confronted with the day-to-day reality of prison and jail reentry and see its detrimental effects in their cities, many have already begun to seek out, test and refine lasting solutions. We hope this publication will support their efforts, as they work to interrupt the revolving door of recidivism -- and offer hope to returning prisoners, their families and communities.