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Recent Changes in Corrections and Reentry: Thoughts From Two Leaders in the Field

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2019
3 pages
In this 2-minute video, a chief probation officer and a corrections manager discuss the changes they have observed in corrections and reentry.
The chief probation officer is Terri McDonald of the Los Angeles County Probation Department, and the corrections manager is John Wetzel, the secretary of corrections of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Both men comment on recent changes in corrections and reentry. Wetzel describes what the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is doing regarding housing and how it individualizes its reentry program. McDonald comments on Los Angeles County's systems approach to reentry and the concept of treating the whole person. Over the last 5 or 6 years he has observed a trend away from incarceration toward decarceration. He has observed that many criminal justice systems have also reduced the length of sentences and been more particular about who goes to prison and who serves sentences locally. The emphasis, he observes, is more on what programs corrections can provide to reduce recidivism, rather than just punishment. Wetzel notes that part of reentry is the basic need of housing. He reports that Pennsylvania has used both halfway houses and also done housing voucher programs. He views housing as a key component in the factors that influence recidivism rates. Another priority in Pennsylvania is drug treatment after release from incarceration.

Date Published: August 1, 2019