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From Prison Safety to Public Safety: Innovations in Offender Reentry

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2002
34 pages
This paper is part of a formative evaluation series on the Reentry Partnership Initiatives (RPI) which focus on reducing the recidivism of offenders and includes cooperative efforts between criminal justice, social services, and community groups to implement a reentry process for ex-inmates.
This evaluation report was conducted to examine how eight demonstration sites implemented the RPI, using qualitative research methods, including interviews, focus groups, network analysis surveys of stakeholders, and review of documents. One particular approach, the inter-agency development approach, or partnership initiative, fostered new emphasis on areas that had been formerly considered "off limits," including targeting offenders for services, overcoming societal barriers to reentry, envisioning roles and responsibilities of key agencies and staff, and using informal social controls along with formal criminal justice agencies. By thinking out of the box and forming system-wide, big picture partnerships, it was possible to implement real and positive change in reentry practices. This new emphasis on public safety and away from prison safety was found to help create opportunities to address both offender processing and offender change issues and redefine the role of both governmental and non-governmental agencies in the reentry process, involving all stakeholders in all stages of planning and implementation. 27 endnotes

Date Published: March 1, 2002