Correctional Ministries and
Chaplains Association


Reentering Your Community

Reentry - Specific Topics





Reentry National Media Outreach Campaign
This web site is a great resource for reentry clips, names of video resources, and other material that may be of assistance to you in your work.
The Reentry National Media Outreach Campaign is an exciting multi-year media outreach effort that focuses on the reintegration of men and women leaving prison and returning home. More people are leaving prisons across the country to return to their families and communities than at any other time in our history. Nationally, over 600,000 individuals will be released from state and federal prisons this year, a fourfold increase over the past two decades. From a number of perspectives, the issue of how people fare after they exit the prison gates has received renewed attention. Many will have difficulty managing the most basic ingredients for successful reintegration – reconnecting with jobs, housing, and their families, and accessing needed substance abuse and health care treatment.
What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse (2012)
Source: National Institute of Corrections
07/09/2012 03:22 PM EDT

This website “offers easy access to important research on the effectiveness of a wide variety of reentry programs and practices. It provides a user-friendly, one-stop shop for practitioners and service providers seeking guidance on evidence-based reentry interventions, as well as a useful resource for researchers and others interested in reentry.” Focus areas include brand name programs, employment, housing, and mental health. Other focus areas coming soon, so you want to keep checking back. Other points of entry to this site include: about the center; training and technical assistance (TA); library; reentry facts; what works; and tools and resources—calendar, funding, frequently asked questions, National Criminal Justice Initiatives Map, reentry service directories, program examples, Second Chance Act, Federal Interagency Reentry Council, and announcements.

The Clearinghouse was created to help reentry policymakers and practitioners identify and evaluate evidence-based practices, and to determine which practices might be appropriate to integrate into their reentry efforts, by providing them with information they need to answer the question, “What works?” Nancy La Vigne, Director of the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, says of the effort: “The Clearinghouse will help to highlight effective programs for reducing recidivism while also pointing to some of the gaps in research that demand further evaluation.”Beginning with a kick-off meeting in the spring of 2010 convened by the Justice Center, the Urban Institute, and John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Prisoner Reentry Institute, over 50 nationally recognized researchers and experts in the criminal justice and reentry fields met to provide guidance on the project’s objectives, scope, methodology, study inclusion criteria, and website design and structure, among other aspects of the project. Urban Institute researchers then developed the criteria for identifying and classifying research according to the outcomes measured in each study, the strength of these findings, and the rigor of the study design. With these recommendations, Urban Institute researchers have identified and reviewed over 2,500 studies, and have begun coding and synthesizing information to present on the site.To continue reading this feature, please click here.


Publications & Resources

Post Incarceration Syndrome by Terence T. Gorski
Elements of Change: Evidence-Based Practices Implementation for Capacity
Evidence-Based Practices Implementation for Capacity (EPIC) seeks to change the way correctional agencies conduct daily business by changing the ways that correctional staff interact with offenders. EPIC’s work is based on three decades of research that shows that the use of evidence-based correctional practices can reduce recidivism. To download this document, published by the Colorado Department of Public Safety, click here.
Time Served: The High Cost, Low Return of Longer Prison Terms
The length of time served in prison has increased markedly over the last two decades, according to a new study by Pew’s Public Safety Performance Project. Prisoners released in 2009 served an average of nine additional months in custody, or 36 percent longer, than offenders released in 1990. These extended prison sentences came at a price: prisoners released from incarceration in 2009 cost states $23,300 per offender--or a total of over $10 billion nationwide. More than half of that amount was for non-violent offenders. To download the report, click here.
Training and Employment Guidance Letter No.31-11
The purpose of this Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL), released jointly by the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration and the Civil Rights Center, is to provide clarity for the public workforce system about how federal anti discrimination laws relate to employment exclusions based on criminal records. To download this TEGL, click here.
Improving Access to Services for Female Offenders Returning to the Community
This National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded multi-year, multisite evaluation of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI) examines the effect its programs had on women's access to re-entry services and programs. This evaluation included a sample of 357 adult females in 11 states who were returning to their communities. To download this publication, click here.

Alston Wilkes Society.
Last modified July 7, 2012.
The Alston Wilkes Society was founded in 1962 as a non-profit organization dedicated to providing rehabilitative services to adults released from correctional facilities. As an organization AWS extends a helping hand to those who are most at-risk and helps rebuild their lives through rehabilitation and prevention services. AWS was founded to provide services to adults who were being released from federal correctional facilities, and has grown to increase its service reach to include homeless veterans, at-risk families and disadvantaged and troubled youth.
Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Justice Today.
The BJA Justice Today newsletter contains information on BJA grant Funding and is a portal to various Federal partner activities and reports and to websites such as the Council for State Government. A recent newsletter included topics on innovative criminal justice practices, leadership development and training; reentry courts; and pretrial risk assessment. Justice Today also provides links to current news and various BJA publications including the BJA Annual report to Congress. Current and past issues of the newsletter are available online and future issues by subscription here.
Community Oriented Policing.
The U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing website provides a unique window into the issue of reentry as it is focused on the role of law enforcement in offender reentry. It is a portal to papers on crime mapping, leadership, and law enforcement reentry strategies using “problem solving approaches", community policing, and collaborations with other agencies. The website also links to the PBS Frontline movie "Released" which is focused on mentally ill offenders returning to the community.
You should go to this website first if you are looking for “[r]esearch on program effectiveness reviewed and rated by Expert Reviewers [with] [e]asily understandable ratings based on whether a program achieves its goals.” Programs in the corrections and reentry field are divided into all, community corrections, inmate programs and treatment, recidivism, and reentry and release. In addition to corrections and reentry, the other broad topical areas are courts, crime and crime prevention, drugs and substance abuse, juveniles, law enforcement, technology and forensics, and victims and victimization.
Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.
Financial Peace University offers financial training designed to help offenders re-enter society. Too many offenders leave prison with little, if any, understanding of money management. This only makes it even more difficult for them to re-enter society with a solid foundation. Correctional institutions are beginning to combat this issue by offering Financial Peace University to offenders while they are in prison. As they learn the fundamentals of a healthy financial lifestyle, they become more equipped to manage their money when they leave the correctional facility—and less likely to return.
Federal Interagency Reentry Council.
In January 2011 Attorney General Eric Holder convened the inaugural meeting of the interagency Reentry Council. The purpose of this group is to bring together numerous federal agencies to make communities safer, assist those returning from prison and jail in becoming productive, tax-paying citizens, and save taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration. Substantial commitments were made as result of the meeting. The Council also empowered staff—now representing 18 federal departments and agencies—to work towards a number of goals. And the Council agreed to meet every 6 months.
Goodwill Industries International, Inc.
This organization offers employment readiness training and job placement assistance. They believe that you can get a second chance. To begin, contact the Goodwill in your community and ask for an employment specialist. They understand that for people who have been incarcerated, there are many barriers to successful re-entry to public life, including drug dependency, serious illness, debt and limited work options. Just getting a second chance may seem almost impossible at times. They offer services to men, women and youth who have served their time and are trying to get back on track.
International Association of Reentry.
The Mission of the Association is to foster community safety through the successful reintegration of offenders. This will be accomplished by promoting improved offender treatment and accountability, professional development and correctional reform. The IAR represents individuals, agencies and members who support prison population management, cost containment and successful reintegration of offenders in collaboration with those concerned with victims of crime, formerly incarcerated persons, correctional practitioners, allied justice professionals, higher education, public policy makers, inter-faith, family members and family advocates and community members.
Justice Atlas of Sentencing and Corrections.
Justice Mapping Center.
Accessed July 9, 2012.

“The Justice Atlas is a corrections data driven, interactive mapping tool ... [It] is distinct from crime mapping in that it maps the residential patterns of populations who are admitted to prison and who return to their communities from prison each year; as well as those who are on parole or probation on any typical day.” Statistics are provided per state (if given) for admissions rate, count, and expenditure, releases rate, count, and expenditure, parole rate and count, and probation rate and count. Highlights from the data show revocations to prison, cost centers, reentry disparities, and gender rates.
National Reentry Resource Center.
Sponsored by U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance. The National Reentry Resource Center is the preeminent resource center for current research and policy reentry issues and publications. This website covers a full spectrum of topics and populations including juveniles, co-occurring (e.g., those with both substance abuse and mental health issues), physical health, housing, and victimization. It is both portal and library and provides an excellent source of reentry info including research reports; webinar announcements, conferences, funding opportunities, and news, has an upcoming events calendar and recently published the first Reentry myth-busters -- fact sheets generated by Federal agencies used to provide information about policies that impact offender reentry. The NRRC also has a Re-Entry Resource Map which provides state-by-state information on reentry efforts and publications catalogued according to audience. The affiliated Reentry Policy Council has a Reentry Programs Database where you can search by topic or by state. The monthly newsletter is available for subscription and past issues are available on-line.
The Next Step: Cooperative of Felon Friendly Employers.
The Next Step brings together recently released Federal and State Felons (Candidates) looking for work, the Agencies and Facilities that manage their post-release experience, and "Felon-Friendly" Employers who appreciate the value these men and women can bring to the workplace. We manage the “Coffee” database -- the Cooperative of Felon Friendly Employers. This is the most comprehensive nationwide network of employers willing to hire ex-felons.
Office of Justice Programs Reentry Initiative.
The Reentry Initiative is supported by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and its federal partners: the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor. This initiative is a comprehensive effort that addresses both juvenile and adult populations of serious, high-risk offenders. It provides funding to develop, implement, enhance, and evaluate reentry strategies that will ensure the safety of the community and the reduction of serious, violent crime. This is accomplished by preparing targeted offenders to successfully return to their communities after having served a significant period of secure confinement in a state training school, juvenile or adult correctional facility, or other secure institution.
Prisoner Reentry Institute.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Prisoner Reentry Institute (New York, NY)
This website will be a valuable resource for those people interested in effectiveness of reentry procedures and practices. Points of entry include: about PRI; current initiatives; occasional series events; publications/resources; contact information; and institute spotlights.
Center for Effective Public Policy,
last modified July 9, 2012.

Even as offenders transition to the community, a significant proportion of them return from the community to prison in fairly short order for new crimes or for violations of parole. As a result, in recent years, the correctional community has begun to focus on the challenge of helping a growing number of offenders make a safe transition from prison to the community. The Center for Effective Public Policy is committed to working with agencies around the country to bolster their efforts to not only maintain safe and secure institutions and encourage effective supervision practices, but also to equip offenders during and after their incarceration to be law-abiding once released. To this end, the Center has worked with dozens of jurisdictions on transition issues and has developed a number of written models, products, and curricula aimed at building staff and agency capacity to support successful reentry practices.
Reentry Into Society.
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) reentry efforts are highlighted on this website. This website begins with an overview of prisoner reentry, a discussion of the need for coordinated reentry services, and a brief look at the NIJ’s reentry research portfolio. Additional links on the site are: evaluation of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI); evaluation of Second Chance Act Demonstration Projects; research on reentry and employment; publications on reentry, parole, and probation; related content about community corrections and recidivism; reentry trends in the U.S.; and audiovisual resources.
Reentry Policy Council.
A project of the Council of State Governments Justice Center. The Reentry Policy Council (RPC) was established in 2001 to assist state government officials grappling with the increasing number of people leaving prisons and jails to return to the communities they left behind. The RPC was formed with two specific goals in mind: To develop bipartisan policies and principles for elected officials and other policymakers to consider as they evaluate reentry issues in their jurisdictions. To facilitate coordination and information-sharing among organizations implementing reentry initiatives, researching trends, communicating about related issues, or funding projects.
Resource Directory for Prisoners.
Guide for enabling inmates to connect with various outreach and personal growth services. These programs are organized into the following areas: spiritual resources—Buddhist; spiritual resources—Christian; spiritual resources—Hindu and Yoga; further resources for psychological and spiritual transformation—ageless wisdom, interfaith, metaphysical, Native American, and psychology; legal support; free book resources; pen pal correspondence—Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, and non-religious; creative writing, artistic resources, newsletters, and magazines; reentry assistance, and family and personal support; jobs, careers, and continuing education; personal health and nutrition; and a few things to think about if you are incarcerated.
Advancing Practice: Experimentation, Implementation, Sustainability - Spotlight on Reentry
Fairfax, VA: George Mason University, Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence, 2012.
This edition looks at the ongoing work of the Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE) related to prisoner reentry. Articles in this issue include: “An Introduction by ACE Director Fay S. Taxman”; “EMTAP: Evidence Mapping to Advance Justice Practice” by Jennifer Lerch; “Corrections Officers’ Role in Reentry” by Lerch; “Mental Health Issues in Reentry” by Carolyn Watson; “Probation & Parole: Uncovering What Works with Still a lot to Learn!” by Danielle S. Rudes; “Hearing from the Experts: A Practitioner, a Participant, and a Professor [Kari Galloway, Lars Peterson, and Joan Petersilia]” by Rudes; “Reentry Checklist” by Taxman; and “Reentry: Collaboration is Key” by Taxman.
Baer, Demelza, et al. Understanding the Challenges of Prisoner Reentry: Research Findings from the Urban Institute's Prisoner Reentry Portfolio. Washington, DC: Urban Institute, Justice Policy Center, 2006.
Research conducted and reported by the Urban Institute regarding prisoner reentry is highlighted. Results are organized into the following areas: employment and reentry; health and reentry; housing and reentry; substance use and reentry; families and reentry; communities and reentry; public safety and reentry; community supervision and reentry; strategic partnerships and collaboration; and select prisoner reentry publications as of January 2006.
Coaching Packet Series 1-3.Washington, DC: Center for Effective Public Policy, 2010.
Each of these Coaching Packets provides an overview of a key topic related to successful offender reentry, concrete strategies and key steps for enhancing practice in this area, and a "self assessment tool" that jurisdictions can use to evaluate their strengths and challenges in the particular topic area discussed.” “Coaching Packet Series 1: Creating a Blueprint for an Effective Offender Reentry System” includes “A Framework for Offender Reentry,” “Establishing a Rational Planning Process,” and “Engaging in Collaborative Partnerships to Support Reentry.” “Coaching Packet Series 2: Delivering Evidence-Based Services” has “Implementing Evidence-Based Practices,” “Effective Case Management,” “Shaping Offender Behavior,” “Engaging Offenders' Families in Reentry,” “Building Offenders' Community Assets Through Mentoring,” and “Reentry Considerations for Women Offenders.” “Coaching Packet Series 3: Ensuring Meaningful Outcomes” contains “Measuring the Impact of Reentry Efforts” and “Continuous Quality Improvement.”
A Framework for Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems
3rd ed. Washington, DC: Center for Effective Public Policy, 2010.
This report is essential reading for individuals wanting to achieve “measurable reductions of pretrial misconduct and post-conviction reoffending” (p.6). Eight sections follow an introduction (a new paradigm for the justice system): underlying premises; the key decision points, decision makers, and stakeholders in the criminal justice system; examining justice system decision making through the lens of harm reduction; the principles underlying the framework; applying evidence-based principles to practice; key challenges to implementing this framework; collaboration—a key ingredient of an evidence-based system; and building evidence-based agencies.
Gideon, Lior, and Hung-En Sung, eds. Rethinking Corrections: Rehabilitation, Reentry, and Reintegration. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2011.
This book explores challenges experienced by offenders during rehabilitation and reintegration and relevant policy implications. Chapters include: “Corrections in the Era of Reentry” by Lior Gideon; “Public Attitudes Toward Rehabilitation and Reintegration: How Supportive Are People of Getting-Tough-on-Crime Policies and the Second Chance Act?” by Gideon and Natalie Loveland; “Treatment of Offender Populations: Implications for Risk Management and Community Reintegration” by Elizabeth L. Jeglic, Christian Maile, and Cynthia Calkins-Mercado; “Major Rehabilitative Approaches” by Hung-En Sung and Gideon; “Probation: An Untapped Resource in U.S. Corrections” by Doris Layton MacKenzie; “Diversion Programs” by Rachel Porter; “Prison-Based Substance Abuse Programs” by Wayne N. Welsh; “Prison-Based Educational and Vocational Training Programs” by Georgen Guerrero; “Community Reintegration of Violent and Sexual Offenders: Issues and Challenges for Community Risk Management” by Patrick Lussier, Melissa Dahabieh, Nadine Deslauriers-Varin, and Chris Thomson; “Seeking Medical and Psychiatric Attention” by Elizabeth Corzine McMullan; “Faith-Based Prisoner Reentry” by Beverly D. Frazier; “Parole: Moving the Field Forward Through a New Model of Behavioral Management” by Faye S. Taxman; “Employment Barriers to Reintegration” by Mindy S. Tarlow; “Barriers to Reintegration” by Andrea Leverentz; “Rehabilitation, Reentry, and Reintegration in Criminal Justice Education” by Gideon; and “Conclusion: Integrative Triple R Theory: Rehabilitation, Reentry, and Reintegration” by Gideon and Sung.
La Vigne, Nancy, et al. Release Planning for Successful Reentry: A Guide for Corrections, Service Providers, and Community Groups. Washington, DC: Urban Institute, Justice Policy Center, 2008.
"The purpose of this report is to describe the specific elements that together embody thoughtful and effective prisoner release procedures" (p. 4). Sections following an executive summary are: introduction; what release planning is; what the key components of a release plan are; what the opportunities and challenges of release planning are; and conclusion.
Meyers-Peeples, Roberta, and April L. Frazier. National Blueprint for Reentry: Model Policies to Promote the Successful Reentry of Individuals with Criminal Records through Employment and Education. New York: Legal Action Center, National H.I.R.E. Network, 2008.
The National Blueprint for Reentry, "a comprehensive plan for developing a national policy agenda to improve employment and educational opportunities for people with criminal records" is provided (p. 2). Sections of this report include: executive summary; introduction; education background and recommendations; employment background and recommendations; conclusion; state and local model policies; and copies of presentation overheads for "Becoming a Powerful Advocate in Washington, DC: Mastering the Federal Advocacy Process."
Office of Justice Programs’ Management of Its Offender Reentry Initiatives. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, 2010.
Results from an evaluation of the Office of Justice Programs’ two major offender reentry initiatives are presented and analyzed. Sections following an executive summary are: introduction; findings and recommendations regarding the administration and management of OJP’s offender reentry programs and design of OJP’s offender reentry grant programs; Statement of Compliance with Laws and Regulations; and Statement on Internal Controls. Appendixes also provide a response from the OJP and the OIG Analysis and Summary of Actions Necessary to Close the Report. “OJP did not establish an effective system for monitoring the SVORI [Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative] and PRI [Prisoner Reentry Initiative] grantees to assess whether they were meeting program goals” and had “significant design flaws in the initial implementation” of these programs (p.ii).
Reentry MythBusters. Washington, DC: National Reentry Resource Center, Federal Interagency Reentry Council. Accessed 9 July, 2012.
Reentry Myth Busters are a series of "fact sheets intended to clarify existing federal policies that affect formerly incarcerated individuals and their families.” Topics covered are: formalized processes for reducing child support orders during incarceration; social security benefit reinstatement; exceptions to termination of parental rights while incarcerated; the Federal Bonding Program (FBP); Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and welfare bans; federal student financial aid; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamp Program); criminal records and barred employment; Criminal records and Federal Government employment; SNAP benefits and a valid state ID; SNAP and a mailing address; resumption of Veterans Administration (VA) benefits; and public housing.
Report of the Re-Entry Policy Council: Charting the Safe and Successful Return of Prisoners to the Community. Washington, DC: Reentry Policy Council, 2005.
Policy statements, "each of which is a consensus-based principle that should be the underpinning of a re-entry initiative," are presented (p. xix). These 35 statements are organized into the following areas: getting started; addressing core challenges; admission to the facility; prison- and jail-based programming; making the release decision; managing the key transition period; community supervision; and elements of effective social service systems. Appendixes provide: information about programs cited as examples in this report; a chart of status of parole by state; an explanation of justice mapping; voting restrictions for people with felony convictions; and a glossary.
Severson, Margaret E., et al. “Who Goes Back to Prison; Who Does Not: A Multiyear View of Reentry Program Participants. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 51:5, 295-315, 2012.
Existing studies of reentry programs in the United States focus on the successes and failures of reentering offenders when compared to matched reentering offenders who did not receive structured reentry services. Little attention has been focused solely on the reentry participants themselves, and on how the level of program exposure may be related to recidivism outcomes. This study reports the recidivism outcomes of 357 reentry participants released to the community during a multiyear study period. All of the 357 participants studied were released for at least one full year, making it possible to examine recidivism behaviors by levels of reentry program exposure, at similar points in time. Thus, a range of descriptive and program attributes and an analysis of these attributes vis-a`-vis defined recidivism measures is presented to answer the question: ‘‘Who goes back to prison?’’
Wilkinson, Reginald A., ed. Reentry Best Practices: Directors' Perspectives. Middletown, CT: Association of State Correctional Administrators, 2004.
This document "highlight[s] outstanding initiatives and programs associated with the growing national movement in corrections targeting offender reentry" (p. v). Eighty-six articles are organized into five chapters: prison programs; transitional programs; mental health and substance abuse programs; community and supervision strategies; and promising or unique services.