Process Evaluation of the Reentry Court Pilot Program

Christine H. Lindquist, RTI International
Mark Pope, RTI International

In an effort to improve offender reintegration into the community, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) established a Reentry Court Initiative in February 2000. Nine pilot reentry court programs across the nation were identified, receiving technical assistance but no financial support. The pilot programs proposed several core elements of reentry courts including assessment of offender needs and planning for release, active judicial oversight during the period of supervised release, use of supportive services with community involvement, and the use of graduated sanctions and positive judicial reinforcement; however, the programs are diverse in their proposed target populations, partnerships, and court operations. The current study is a process evaluation of the pilot programs, with the primary purpose being to explore the functionality of the nine grantee sites and to assess barriers to implementation. Based on interviews with key stakeholders involved in the programs, analysis of programs materials, and observations of court proceedings, we will present the following findings: 1) the various approaches utilized in establishing reentry courts, 2) the target populations, organization, and operations of the courts, and 3) the barriers encountered and solutions implemented in establishing the courts.

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Updated 05/20/2006