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Good Intentions Meet Hard Realities: An Evaluation of the Project Greenlight Reentry Program

NCJ Number
Criminology & Public Policy Volume: 5 Issue: 2 Dated: May 2006 Pages: 303-338
Date Published
May 2006
36 pages

This article presents results of the federally supported outcome evaluation of Project Greenlight, a reentry program for inmates in New York.


Evidence shows that Project Greenlight (GL) participants had more referrals, made more service contacts, and were more knowledgeable about conditions of parole; however they did worse than Transitional Service Program (TSP) participants and Upstate Study participants. Survival analyses indicated that intervention participants performed significantly worse on multiple measures of recidivism after 1 year with multivariate analyses indicating that covariates failed to mediate the observed relationships. Explanations for program failure were a combination of implementation difficulties, program design, and a mismatch between the targeted offender population and the program. GL was designed to provide participants with intensive transitional services of relatively short duration in the 8-week period immediately before they were to be released. The program attempted to improve post-release outcomes. GL is attractive to corrections officials and policymakers because of the potential to serve greater numbers of people at a lower cost. Developed by the Vera Institute of Justice, with support from the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice as a prison-based Phase III demonstration program on correctional interventions, GL operated in New York between February 2003 and February 2004. Tables, references and appendixes 1 and 2

Date Published: May 1, 2006