U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Examining recidivism during reentry: Proposing a holistic model of health and wellbeing

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 83 Dated: November 2022
Date Published
November 2022

This paper reports on a research study that sought to examine the complexity of health-related issues found among formerly incarcerated individuals, and introduces the authors’ eight-domain model of holistic health and wellness to improve the forecasting of recidivism.


Recent scholarship has affirmed the importance of overall health and wellbeing for incarcerated people. Specifically, researchers have begun to ascertain how physical and mental health are integral to a returning citizen's wellbeing and future interactions with the criminal justice system, but this conceptualization of health is limited in scope. The authors expand this body of research by proposing an eight-domain holistic model of health which includes physical, mental/emotional, social, spiritual, occupational, financial, intellectual, and environmental health. They used data from the LoneStar Project—a representative, multi-wave study of re-entering men in Texas. Respondents were first interviewed in prison prior to release and reinterviewed twice in the community post-release. Using ordinary least squares (OLS) regression, the authors ran regressions for each health domain then included all significant correlates from that step into an additional model to predict recidivism until approximately three years post-release. Study findings suggested that a more inclusive model of re-entry health and wellness is essential to support re-entering people as different health domains matter within diverse contexts. Emphasizing a more streamlined approach to encompass all domains of health may be crucial in an effort to adequately prepare recently incarcerated people for a successful reentry process upon prison release. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: November 1, 2022