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FY 2011 Second Chance Act Adult Offender Reentry Demonstration Projects: Evaluability Assessment of the Boston Reentry Initiative

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2012
29 pages
This study conducted an evaluability assessment (determination of whether a project is a candidate for meaningful evaluation) of the Boston Reentry Initiative (BRI), a FY 2011 Second Chance Act (SCA) demonstration site, whose grant-mandated goals are to increase reentry programming for returning prisoners and their families; reduce recidivism of program participants by 50 percent over 5 years, reduce parole violations, and improve reintegration outcomes.
The BRI evaluability assessment (EA) determined that although the BRI has been subjected to rigorous local evaluation, process and cost evaluations would supplement previous and ongoing evaluation research; process and cost evaluations would likely provide useful information for practitioners, program developers, and policymakers. The BRI is a well-established, stable program with clearly defined components, consistent selection and enrollment processes, and a steady case flow sufficient to support an outcome evaluation in addition to process and cost evaluations. The majority of key stakeholders expressed a basic understanding of and appreciation for evaluation. They were receptive to the EA team and to additional evaluation; however, they expressed concern about redundancy of a national evaluation given the ongoing local evaluation. Stakeholders did not have questions for future evaluation beyond recidivism reduction. Several stakeholders were interested in program improvement, particularly in the areas of housing and employment, as well as best practices and strategies for preventing criminal behavior among youth. The BRI is founded on long-standing collaborations between law enforcement, prosecutorial, and faith-based and community-based organizations. It uses a joint public-safety and social-service approach in reducing violent, gun, and gang crime among young male offenders with extensive, serious criminal histories. BRI supports their reintegration into their high-crime neighborhoods after their incarceration. EA methodology is explained in detail, along with BRI program components and activities. 3 exhibits, 4 references, and appended logic models

Date Published: September 1, 2012