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Reentry and Community-Based Supports

Evidence-based & Promising Practices
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Featured Resource

An Overview of Offender Reentry

U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice

At the end of 2016, 1.5 million persons were under the jurisdiction of state or federal prisons or in county jails. Close to 95 percent of them will return to their community. A majority of the additional 4.6 million persons under criminal justice supervision in the community will return to jail or prison within three years for a myriad of reasons. As these persons transition from life in jail or prison to life in the community, it’s critical to understand the importance of this transition for offenders and their families, and its implications for public safety.

Highlighted Programs and Practices

Federal Pretrial Release and the Detention Reduction Outreach Program (DROP)

Research supported by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has shown that there is no one-size-fits-all model for successful reentry. However, NIJ-supported researchers have evaluated reentry programs with effective and ineffective attributes, and these studies have identified some efforts that could actually be counterproductive. The result of NIJ’s investment in reentry research is a growing body of knowledge guiding policymakers toward the kinds of reentry programs that can produce the best outcomes for returning offenders and the most improvement in the safety of their communities.


Mentoring as a Component of Reentry: Practical Considerations From the Field

This report identifies and discusses five broad, field-based practical considerations for incorporating mentoring into reentry programs for adults after incarceration. The report is designed to serve as a building block for reentry programs that are currently using or contemplating using mentors for an adult population.


Community-based Behavioral Health Services for Justice-involved Individuals

Community-based behavioral health providers and systems have an essential role in serving individuals with mental and substance use disorders who are currently or formerly involved with the criminal justice system. These individuals are a part of every community, and as for all community members with behavioral health needs, individualized, integrated, comprehensive, coordinated, and continuous service is the standard of care.


Location Monitoring for Low-Risk Inmates

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Location Monitoring program stands out as an example of applying the risk principle in the federal criminal justice system. By moving minimum-security inmates from BOP prison camps back into their communities to complete the final portion of their sentence, the BOP and the federal courts are reducing expenditures, reducing low-risk inmates' exposure to higher-risk offenders, and opening up more space in Residential Reentry Centers for inmates and offenders who require much greater programming.


Jail-Based Reentry Specialist

This two-phase reentry program had an overall goal of reducing recidivism and improving inmates’ transition into the community through in-jail programming and services to prepare them for release followed by up to 12 months of supportive services in the community. Program participants had a 10 percent chance of rearrest, compared with a 34 percent chance for the comparison group.