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Improving The Success of Reentry Programs: Identifying the Impact of Service-Need Fit on Recidivism

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2017
24 pages
This study assessed the impact of the “service-need fit” on both self-reported and official recidivism among participants in reentry programming, using secondary analysis of data from the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI ) evaluation, which used propensity score modeling and logistic regression.
Those returning to communities after incarceration face significant barriers to reintegration; however, evidence for the effectiveness of reentry programs is limited. A possible explanation is the lack of specificity in matching services to individuals’ unique risk and need profiles. The current study found that increased service-need fit was significantly associated with reduced recidivism for both types of outcomes. The study also found that fewer than half of the participants received the services they said they needed. The findings are based on self-reported needs and services rather than clinical risk assessments; however, service-need fit is apparently an important determinant of successful reentry. Future research should focus on optimizing the combination and tailoring of services and integrating perceived need with actuarial assessments. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Published: January 1, 2017