Mapping the Experience of Returning from Prison to Kansas City, Missouri

This research was conducted while I was a Harvard Bloomberg City Leadership Initiative Summer Fellow in 2022.

As a Bloomberg Summer Fellow, I was hired by the office of Mayor Quinton D. Lucas in Kansas City, Missouri to research the journey an individual takes when they return from incarceration to the community. The recidivism rate in Missouri (the rate at which people released from prison go back to prison for any reason) is approximately 45% after 5-years. Mayor Lucas’ office was interested in identifying policy opportunities to better support individuals returning to Kansas City from prison.

This project was also an opportunity to use human-centered design methodologies to humanize the experience of returning citizens through one-on-one interviews and the development of a user journey map. 

Journey mapping is an empathy-building tool that helps someone step into the shoes of the individuals they’re trying to understand. The journey map above describes the actions and experiences of an individual returning from prison from their own vantage point.

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