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Subtopic: Reentry

The Hidden Costs of Reentry: Understanding the Barriers to Removing a Criminal Record

May 2022

NIJ hosted a webinar to discuss under-researched aspects of reentry: expungement of criminal records and the impact of those records. This webinar includes a presentation of ongoing research projects examining the impact of legal aid for expungement and past research projects studying the accuracy and permanency of criminal records and the prevalence of collateral consequences of conviction. A Q&A session will conclude this webinar.

Learning from Doing Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Second Chance Act Grant Program

April 2022

Reauthorized in 2018, the Second Chance Act (SCA) aims to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for people returning from state and federal prisons, local jails, and juvenile facilities through the provision of federal grants. During this panel, National Institute of Justice-funded researchers will detail two ongoing evaluations of the SCA grant program:

  1. An evaluation of the effectiveness of the SCA grant program per Title V of the First Step Act.
  2. A longitudinal examination of the long-term impacts of the SCA program.

Taking Stock: An Overview of NIJ's Reentry Research Portfolio and Assessing the Impact of the Pandemic on Reentry Research

April 2022

Over several decades, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has made significant contributions to the field of reentry, specifically what works for whom and when. In recent years, however, the global pandemic has made it increasingly difficult to conduct research on and with populations involved with the justice system. During this time, many researchers assessing various justice-related outcomes were unable to continue their inquiries as planned due to a lack of access to their populations of interest, forcing many to pivot and rethink their research designs.

Evaluating Reentry Programs Using Data and Science

August 2019

How do you use data and science to measure program success?
John Wetzel, secretary of corrections, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and Grant Duwe, Ph.D., director of research and evaluation, Minnesota Department of Corrections explain how their agencies evaluate programs using data and science. Duwe details how the most effective programs provided by the Minnesota DOC have been those that focus on known risk factors for recidivism. 

Recent Changes in Corrections and Reentry: Thoughts from Two Leaders in the Field

August 2019

What changes are you seeing in corrections and reentry?
Terri McDonald, chief probation officer, Los Angeles County Probation Department and John Wetzel, secretary of corrections, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections talk about recent changes in corrections and reentry. Wetzel elaborates on what the Pennsylvania DOC is facilitating with housing and how it individualizes its reentry programs. McDonald remarks on Los Angeles County’s systems approach to reentry and the idea of treating the whole person. 

Reentry Discussion: Overcoming Challenges When Leaving Incarceration

August 2019

Alix McLearen, Ph.D., acting assistant director, Reentry Services Division, Federal Bureau of Prisons and John Wetzel, secretary of corrections, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections discuss programs and services that their agencies offer to help individuals overcome the challenges encountered when leaving incarceration. These various programs and services address the individuals’ needs in areas such as physical and mental health, addiction, education, vocation, and life skills. 

What Works in Reentry

December 2018
This Research for the Real World seminar, held October 29, 2018 focuses on the role and importance of institutional and community corrections, and rehabilitative and reentry services in crime prevention and public safety efforts. The seminar supports NIJ and the field in furthering the corrections and reentry research agenda, and advancing the knowledge of the Federal Interagency Council on Crime Prevention and Improving Reentry.

Preventing Gun Violence: Understanding Law Enforcement Response and Improving Multi-disciplinary Partnerships for Peace

November 2016

This Research for the Real World seminar explores common police practices for responding to gun violence and the extent to which they are contributing to reductions in violent incidents. The panel will also explore the role of multi-disciplinary partners such as the public health sector in reducing gun violence, and discuss promising practices for law enforcement partnerships to leverage complimentary violence reduction efforts.

Second Chance Act: What Have We Learned About Reentry Programs So Far?

June 2013

Interview with Ron D'Amico, Social Policy Research Associates. Offender reentry into the community is a pressing social problem. The number of inmates released every year from the nation's prisons increased fourfold over the past three decades.

Since the Second Chance Act (SCA) was passed in 2008, more than $250 million has been awarded to government agencies and non-profits for programs to help offenders successfully reenter society. NIJ is doing an in-depth study of 10 sites to determine the effectiveness of these reentry programs.

Reforming New Orleans' Criminal Justice System: The Role of Data and Research

September 2012

With its criminal justice system in disarray following Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans invited the Vera Institute of Justice to examine the city's court and jail operations. For five years, Vera has been tracking arrest-to-first-appearance time, custodial arrests versus summonses, the granting of pretrial release, and many other decision-making points. Based on analysis of these data, Vera is making policy recommendations to assist with the implementation of new procedures and to ensure performance monitoring.

Addiction, the Brain, and Evidence-Based Treatment

March 2012

The criminal justice system encounters and supervises a large number of drug abusing persons. Punishment alone is a futile and ineffective response to the problem of drug abuse. Addiction is a chronic brain disease with a strong genetic component that in most instances requires treatment. Involvement in the criminal justice system provides a unique opportunity to treat drug abuse disorders and related health conditions, thereby improving public health and safety.

Going Home (or Not): How Residential Change Might Help the Formerly Incarcerated Stay Out of Prison

October 2011

Dr. Kirk discusses how Hurricane Katrina affected those formerly incarcerated persons originally from New Orleans and their likelihood of returning to prison. Kirk also discussed potential strategies for fostering residential change among those who were incarcerated, focusing specifically on parole residency policies and the provision of public housing vouchers.

State Responses to Mass Incarceration

June 2011

Researchers have devoted considerable attention to mass incarceration, specifically its magnitude, costs, and collateral consequences. In the face of economic constraints, strategies to reduce correctional populations while maintaining public safety are becoming a fiscal necessity. This panel will present strategies that states have undertaken to reduce incarceration rates while balancing taxpayer costs with ensuring public safety.

Don't Jump the Shark: Understanding Deterrence and Legitimacy in the Architecture of Law Enforcement

November 2010

Deterrence theory dominates the American understanding of how to regulate criminal behavior but social psychologists' research shows that people comply for reasons that have nothing to do with fear of punishment; they have to do with values, fair procedures and how people connect with one another. Professor Meares discussed the relevance of social psychologists' emerging theory to legal theory and practice and how deterrence and emerging social psychology theories intertwine.

An Examination of Justice Reinvestment and Its Impact on Two States

June 2010

Funded in part by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Pew Center on the States, the justice reinvestment project is a data-driven strategy aimed at policymakers to "reduce spending on corrections, increase public safety and improve conditions in the neighborhoods to which most people released from prison return." Representatives from two states where the justice reinvestment strategy is currently being implemented will discuss how it is being used to reduce the rate of incarceration and how states can reinvest in local communities.

Children Exposed to Violence

June 2010

Panelists will discuss the results of the recent Office of Juvenile Justice and ​Delinquency Prevention's National Survey on Children's Exposure to Violence and findings from a seven-year follow-up study, funded by NIJ, on home visitation in New York. The survey's findings included startling figures: More than 60 percent of the children interv​iewed were exposed to violence, crime and abuse within the past year, and more than 1 in 10 were injured in an assault.

Cell Phones in Prison

June 2010

Criminals are using cell phones illegally in prisons and jails to conduct their business and intimidate witnesses. Although technology solutions to this problem are available, they can create new challenges, such as legal and implementation issues associated with cell phone use in correctional facilities. Panelists will discuss various aspects to consider from how prisoners use cell phones, to day-to-day and operational aspects, to legal and regulatory concerns.

What Works in Offender Supervision

June 2009

This NIJ Conference Panel highlights findings from NIJ projects that evaluated strategies to enhance the supervision of offenders in the community. Researchers discuss the effectiveness of fair, swift and certain sanctions for high-risk probationers in the Hawaii HOPE program. Panelists also provide empirical evidence on the effectiveness of electronic monitoring — including the use of GPS tracking — for medium- and high-risk offenders on supervision and upon completion of their supervision sentence.

Alternative Sentencing Policies for Drug Offenders

June 2009

The panel presentations from the 2009 NIJ Conference are based on an NIJ-sponsored evaluation of the effectiveness of Kansas Senate Bill 123, which mandates community-based drug abuse treatment for drug possession by nonviolent offenders in lieu of prison.