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When Prisoners Return to the Community: Political, Economic, and Social Consequences, Research in Brief

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2000
7 pages
Publication Series
This paper assesses the effectiveness of parole in most States and offers recommendations for improving parole supervision.
The number of offenders returning to the community from prison currently dwarfs anything known before; and the needs of released inmates are greater than in the past because corrections has retained few rehabilitation programs due to the depletion of funding caused by expanded prison building. Two-thirds of all parolees are rearrested within 3 years after release. Recycling parolees in and out of families and communities has a number of adverse effects. It is detrimental to community cohesion, employment prospects and economic well-being, participation in the democratic process, family stability and childhood development, and mental and physical health; and it can exacerbate such problems as homelessness. In response, several jurisdictions throughout the country have launched a new approach to the public safety challenge posed by released offenders. In a project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, eight jurisdictions are serving as pilot sites of the Reentry Partnerships Initiative, whose goal is better risk management via enhanced surveillance, risk and needs assessment, and prerelease planning. The program is based on the drug court model and taps the court's authority to use sanctions and incentives to help released offenders remain crime free. 39 notes

Date Published: November 1, 2000