The Impact of Transitional Services Programming on Offender Reintegration

James A. Wilson, The Vera Institute of Justice

The Vera Institute of Justice is evaluating a three-year transitional services demonstration program in a New York State correctional facility. The eight to ten-week program delivers an array of services and programming immediately before release and connects offenders to parole officers, community services, and their own families in an effort to ease their transition back into the community-and ultimately prevent reoffending. Participants are randomly assigned to participate in the transitional services program or to a comparison pre-release program at the same facility. Data is collected on program and comparison group participants from official records and from surveying participants from both groups at one and seven months after release. Recidivism is the most commonly used outcome measure, and we will examine participants' arrests and technical parole violations from official records. The central focus at this point in the evaluation, however, is on differences in intermediate outcomes in the first month after release, which are expected to have an impact on recidivism-outcomes such as whether participants find housing and employment, whether they develop family and other social relationships, their use of community services, and other difficulties encountered in returning to the community.

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Updated 05/20/2006