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The Science of Providing Services Spatially for Returning Citizens

Authors: Liam Ferraby*, Calvin University, Jason VanHorn, Calvin University , Kevin den Dulk, Calvin University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Cartography, Applied Geography
Keywords: Recidivism, Returning Citizens, Web Map, Mapping Application, reentry
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Resources available to returning citizens (released from prison) for locating service provider assistance are often difficult to use and incapable of providing the necessary support required for a successful reentry back into society. This problem generated a need for an improved method of providing returning citizens with the fundamental support vital to the success of the reentry process. Over the past three years, our team has developed a GIS based solution to improve the ability of returning citizens to find the service providers that they need. The major deliverable has been a web mapping application that functions as a tool allowing returning citizens, their family, and parole officers to locate service providers which are often needed in reentry. Following the success of the web mapping application, the development of a native application was initiated, and is currently underway. Because of the application’s success, our team is continuing our research and growing the database of service providers. Our team has created an application which allows the user to access an ever-improving database of categorized and geolocated service providers in a user friendly and accessible online application ( The application allows the user to search through the counties currently covered, filter through service provider categories, search for nearby providers, as well as easily use several other tools and features.

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