After presenting findings and challenges for using technology in the preparation for and the community-based management of persons reentering a community after incarceration, this report presents related recommendations.
The content of this report was derived from a virtual workshop convened in March 2021 by the RAND Corporation and the University of Denver under the sponsorship of the U.S. Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ). In this workshop, a group of prison, jail, probation, and parole administrators; community-based service providers; researchers; and other experts identified and prioritized six uses of electronic devices with the potential to support reentry objectives: 1) Technology can be leveraged to better prepare those in custody for future job opportunities; 2) Technology offers the opportunity to leverage communication tools (video-based or web-based) to deliver reentry-related services remotely; 3) Virtual reality (VR) and/or other simulation technology can be an effective tool to support reentry; 4) Technology can play an important role in correctional education; 5) Families are an important influence in the reentry process, and technology can facilitate family support for incarcerated individuals both while incarcerated and upon reentry; and 6) Telepresence technology can facilitate warm introductions of reentering individuals to community-based partners (e.g., community supervision staff, service providers, and employers). The workshop participants also produced a list of challenges correctional agencies face in implementing technology-based services. Recommendations are offered for addressing these challenges.