Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $401,670)
Identifying services that improve reentry outcomes among released prisoners is an important objective if the United States is to reduce the $69 billion annually devoted to corrections without compromising public safety. The proposed study will address the questions of 'What works? and For whom?' in prisoner reentry by using and augmenting existing data gathered for the Multi-Site Evaluation of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI). The two objectives are: (1) to analyze existing data gathered for the SVORI multi-site and (2) to collect and analyze new data on long-term mortality and recidivism outcomes.
The proposed study leverages the investment in the original SVORI evaluation, allowing the researchers to move beyond the question of 'Did SVORI work?' The existing dataset contains thousands of variables based on four waves of interviews and administrative criminal justice data for 1,697 adult men, 357 adult women, and 337 juvenile boys released from prison or juvenile detention in 14 states from 2004 to 2005. The dataset will be augmented with new administrative data to expand the outcomes to include mortality and to extend the follow-up period for reincarceration and rearrest to an average of 5 years post-release'a time period well beyond what is typical for reentry research.
The data will be analyzed using new propensity modeling methods (Imai and van Dyk, 2004) which will adjust for potential bias associated with the likelihood of receiving various types of services and identify the impact of various 'treatment mixes' on a host of outcomes ('What works?'). Direct and moderating effects of individual characteristics, including treatment needs, on outcomes ('For whom?') will be examined to identify for whom specific services and treatment mixes are most effective.
Because the study will identify the services with the greatest likelihood for improving post-release outcomes (over an extended period of time) for specific types of offenders (including men, women, and juveniles), the results will assist practitioners and policymakers with decisions about the effective delivery of services to individuals leaving prison.