We provide technical assistance and support to corrections organizations and community-based programs in developing and implementing effective and innovative practices to transition individuals returning to the community from incarceration.
Improving the success rate of prisoners returning from jail and prison is of vital importance to improving public safety and reducing corrections costs. In 2014, approximately 636,000 prisoners were released from State and Federal prisons. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately three in four former prisoners will be re-arrested within five years of their release.
The transition from incarceration to the community is a difficult time for ex-offenders. The needs of the population returning from prison or jail can present significant obstacles to achieving stability.
While it’s easy to focus reentry planning efforts on the individual alone, the impact of their absence and return can have a profound impact on families and communities, who may also require support. Many services and agencies may already exist in communities to provide the type of support that can mean the difference between an ex-offender’s success and a return to prison or jail. Providing returnees with information about how to access services available to them can help to address some of the minor but significant obstacles that reduce the chances of success.
Examples of our work in this area include:
The Coming Home Directory
CJI manages, produces, and distributes on a yearly basis, the Coming Home Directory with funding from the Gardiner Howland Shaw Foundation. As a compilation of resources available to ex-offenders returning to or living in Greater Boston communities, it provides important information for ex-offenders, corrections practitioners and policymakers, families and friends of returnees, volunteers, and other service providers. The Directory is easily accessible in both online and hard copy forms, and is disseminated widely to relevant organizations including MA jails and prisons.
Technical Assistance for the National Reentry Resource Center
CJI has provided technical assistance to Second Chance Grant Act grantees to support implementation and program improvement. Passed by Congress in 2008, the Second Chance Act was created to assist jurisdictions in improving processes to transition individuals being released from prisons and jails back into their communities.
Boston Prisoner Reentry Mapping
CJI was contracted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance to provide technical assistance to the City of Boston in response to the unexpected release of inmates from state prison as a result of the Hinton Drug Lab Scandal. CJI worked closely with the city of Boston to prepare for these releases, including analyzing data from the Boston Police Department and the Massachusetts Department of Correction, developing an aggregate profile of the drug lab releases, creating maps depicting where releases were returning to, and facilitating small group meetings with human service agencies.