Graduate Innovation Fellows Ashley Cheyemi McNeil and Steven Shields, along with visiting cultural geographer Dr. Katie Hemsworth, created three story-projects on ATLmaps to show data and stories about reentry for returning citizens in the metro Atlanta region. Part of their mapping work includes a collaboration with alumni from Common Good Atlanta (a non-profit that brings college courses to incarcerated people in prison) to show reentry resources that are viable and current for returning citizens to use. The story-projects are the backbone of their forthcoming article, “For the Common Good: Counter-Mapping Post-Incarceration” in the special issue “Beyond Mass Incarceration” in the journal PUBLIC: Imagining America (Syracuse UP, January 2019).

All three story-projects have the common layer of returning citizen-sourced resources for reentry to provide an anchor analytic. The first story-project focuses on the demographics of reentry, the second focuses on access to reentry resources, and the third story-project represents reentry narratives. Anchoring all three story-projects is the common core layer, “Reentry Resources, Community-sourced,” which locates sites that offer housing, licensing, job training, education, and other necessities for returning citizens. This layer was co-created by Common Good faculty, returning citizens, and our ATLmaps crew. Through our meetings with Common Good partners and our other research for mapping (post-)incarceration, the need for a community-sourced data set of active, dependable reentry resources quickly became apparent: while Georgia’s Department of Justice and the State Board of Pardons and Paroles has a list and contact information for reentry resources, many of those resources are defunct or no longer exist as a reliable source.

We are excited to work toward a consistently updated version of this layer with the hope that it will function as a reliable locator of reentry resources for both returning citizens and community advocates. As we close out 2018, we set our focus on aiding Common Good’s efforts to further develop reentry programs and possibilities that can support and strengthen all members of the public community.