U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Lessons Learned From the Second Chance Act: Moving Forward To Strengthen Offender Reentry

NCJ Number
251704
Date Published
Author(s)
National Institute of Justice
Annotation
This fact sheet summarizes what has been learned from two NIJ-funded evaluations of offender reentry programs established under grants authorized by the federal Second Chance Act (SCA), which aims to improve recidivism outcomes for people returning to their communities from prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities.
Abstract
The SCA allows grantee sites to tailor their programs and services to the needs of participants in their local communities. Although this diversity among programs may facilitate a comparison of what works and what needs improvement, it can complicate the evaluation process. In addition, the evaluations assessed only the first subsample of adult offender reentry demonstration projects (14 sites). Future evaluations that access more data over a longer time period may provide a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of SCA reentry programs. The evaluations found that generally and with a few exceptions, participation in an SCA reentry program did not impact a range of reentry outcomes; for example, substance use and compliance with supervision conditions did not improve; however, participation in a SCA program increased participants’ access to and receipt of reentry services and programs for participants, and it improved partnerships between criminal justice and community-based agencies. Still, these benefits did not significantly reduce recidivism. This report recommends that rigorous evaluations of promising reentry programs continue in order to identify what works with which types of participants.
Date Created: May 31, 2018