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An Overview of Offender Reentry

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2018
8 pages
This report presents an overview of the offender reentry literature, offender outcomes, and the reentry initiatives that may improve public safety, with attention to the resources of the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ's) National Institute of Justice (NIJ).
At the end of 2016, 1.5 million persons were under the jurisdiction of state or federal prisons or county jails. Approximately 95 percent of them will return to their communities. As these persons transition from incarceration to community living (reentry), it is critical for them and their families, as well as for public safety, to provide them with the support and guidance needed to prevent reoffending. Federal reentry initiatives include the Serious and Violent Offenders Reentry Initiative (SVORI) and the Second Chance Act (SCA), which have provided federal resources for jurisdictions and communities intended to address reentry for juveniles and adults. Two independent, randomized, controlled trial evaluations found that participation in SVORI programs was linked to greater access to and receipt of reentry services and programs through improved partnerships with community agencies. Although SVORI programs were associated with fewer and a longer time to rearrests, SCA programming did not significantly reduce recidivism. In an effort to improve reentry outcomes, this paper discusses evidence-based practices for risk assessment and service delivery; family-based reentry resources; mental and physical health; employment; improved in-custody employment-oriented educational services; resources for stable housing at reentry; substance abuse treatment; and the use of improved technology for monitoring persons under reentry supervision. This report's section on effective and promising reentry practices from the website CrimeSolutions.gov briefly describes the benefits of therapeutic communities, motivational interviewing, and correctional work industries. 26 notes

Date Published: April 1, 2018