NIJ Journal Volume: 281 Dated: October 2019
This article, part of a special issue of the NIJ Journal commemorating the National Institute of Justices 50th anniversary, details how NIJ has led evaluations of two landmark reentry initiatives the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative and the Second Chance Act.
People released from prison or jail face a new set of challenges around reentering the community and avoiding recidivism. Programs that offer returning individuals support in obtaining education, employment, and housing can help them reintegrate successfully, but these programs also have an obligation to serve public safety and maintain cost-effectiveness. NIJ-supported research has shown that there is no one-size-fits-all model for successful reentry. However, NIJ-supported researchers have evaluated reentry programs with effective and ineffective attributes, and these studies have identified some efforts that could actually be counterproductive. Some of NIJ's most significant investments in reentry include evaluations of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI) and the Second Chance Act, which sought to improve reentry outcomes. Both have provided valuable insight into effective strategies surrounding reentry. The result of NIJ's investment in reentry research is a growing body of knowledge guiding policymakers toward the kinds of reentry programs that can produce the best outcomes for returning offenders and the most improvement in the safety of their communities.
Date Published: October 1, 2019