U.S. flag

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

Prisoner Reentry Experiences of Adult Males: Characteristics, Service Receipt, and Outcomes of Participants in the SVORI Multi-site Evaluation

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2009
204 pages

This report presents the methodology and findings from an impact evaluation for adult male participants in 12 programs developed under the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI), whose purpose is to improve outcomes for released serious and violent offenders by enhancing prerelease and postrelease services in the areas of employment, education, health, and housing.


The evaluation found that although SVORI programs were successful in increasing the types and amounts of needs-related services provided before and after release from prison, the proportion of men who reported receiving services was less than assessed needs and generally below the expectations of SVORI program directors. The programs assessed were apparently unable to sustain the support the men needed during the critical high-risk period immediately following release. Although there was some evidence that SVORI program participants received more services and programs than comparable nonparticipants, the services fell short of goals. Modest improvements were found for outcomes in housing, employment, substance use, and criminal behavior, but these improvements compared to nonparticipants did not reach statistical significance. This may be due to the programs' difficulty in identifying, developing, and/or coordinating services for individuals released across wide geographic areas. The findings suggest that launching complex programs may require a sustained effort over several years before full implementation and impact can be achieved. The 12 programs evaluated involved 863 SVORI participants and 834 comparison nonparticipants. The evaluation included interviews 30 days before release and 3, 9, and 15 months after release. Data from State agencies and the National Criminal Information Center documented postrelease recidivism. Propensity score techniques were used to improve the comparability between the SVORI and non-SVORI groups. Weighted analyses examined the treatment effects of SVORI program participation. 82 exhibits, 103 references, and appended data tables

Date Published: December 1, 2009