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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry From Jail to the Community

NCJ Number
Amy L. Solomon; Jenny W.L. Osborne; Stefen F. LoBuglio; Jeff Mellow; Debbie A. Mukamal
Date Published
May 2008
199 pages
This report synthesizes what has been learned about improving reentry into the community after serving time in jail through the U.S. Justice Department's Jail Reentry Roundtable Initiative, two national advisory meetings, interviews with practitioners around the country, and seven papers commissioned over the past 2 years.
Section 1 of this report provides an overview of U.S. jails and the people who cycle through them. Section 2 examines a variety of ways that jurisdictions can address reentry into the community from jail. It identifies a series of opportunities on the jail-to-community continuum where reentry interventions can make a significant difference. Section 3 describes 42 jail-to-community transition efforts around the country that portray a diversity of approaches in a variety of settings. Most of these initiatives involve some type of jail-based intervention, discharge planning prior to release, and community-based followup for 2 weeks to 2 years. Section 4 examines the role of probation in reentry from jail. Approximately 61 percent of jail inmates have been sentenced to probation supervision in the past, and almost half were on probation or parole at the time of their arrest. Also, in some jurisdictions, probation departments are assigned the responsibility of supervising a large share of those released from jail. This section describes a few counties that have such jail-probation collaborations. Section 5 offers the concluding vision of reentry planning and collaboration becoming an essential part of jail administration, as jails evolve from being temporary holding facilities for those with problem behaviors to becoming a key feature of a community's effort to meet the needs and change the criminal behaviors of its residents. 2 figures, 5 tables, and chapter references

Date Published: May 1, 2008