Returning Home: Understanding the Challenges of Prisoner Reentry

Christy Visher, The Urban Institute

This poster presentation will highlight the research design and conceptual framework for a longitudinal study of the multiple and often complex challenges prisoners face upon release and as they reintegrate into society, with a focus on informing reentry policies at the national, state, and local levels. Returning Home is basic research on the process of reintegration, drawing upon multiple measures of the phenomenon over time, and spanning a wide array of potential factors that may influence this process. It includes measures of both successful reintegration and recidivism, including outcomes such as securing and paying for adequate housing, maintaining stable employment, and remaining substance-abuse free. Returning Home is being implemented in two phases. Phase I is a pilot study in Maryland, which began in December, 2001 (with data collection commencing in February, 2002). The pilot study will aid in the refinement of our research design for Phase II and will also inform Maryland state policymakers about the nature of offender reintegration and ways to reduce recidivism. Phase II will involve implementation of the full research strategy in four additional states; the first two sites are Illinois and Ohio.

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Updated 05/20/2006