Talk of opportunity and risk in the context of reentry usually stimulates a focus on offenders'their histories, characteristics, needs, and methods for reintegration, information directed at their treatment and control. Risk is the focus and is usually defined as a trait contained within the offender. Indeed, it may be a mistake to make the offender so much the focus of release planning, particularly if risk is narrowly understood as a mere quality of the offender, instead of a complex interaction between an offender's propensities and the environment in which those propensities may or may not give rise to criminal conduct. A robust definition of public safety would acknowledge the key role that an offender's circumstances play in the formation and control of the risks he represents. Rather than being an aggregate sum of measurable crime statistics, public safety is the absence of factors giving risk to apprehension and the risk of harm. This definition suggests that focusing only on an offender'and not also on the persons, property, and locations about which we are concerned'is insufficient.
Cecelia M. Klingele & Walter J. Dickey, Promoting Public Safety: A Problem-Oriented Approach to Prisoner Reentry, Conference Proceeding: Prisoner Reentry and Community Policing: Strategies for Enhancing Public Safety (May 12, 2004) (unpublished manuscript).