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Prisoner Reentry Experiences of Adult Females: Characteristics, Service Receipt, and Outcomes of Participants in the SVORI Multi-Site Evaluation

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2009
179 pages

This report presents findings from the prerelease and postrelease interviews with women in 11 impact sites participating in the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI), which was launched in 2003 in order to develop programs designed to improve criminal justice, employment, education, health, and housing outcomes for released prisoners.


The study found that both SVORI participants and nonparticipants reported the highest levels of service receipt during their confinement; and both groups reported low levels of postrelease service receipt; however, SVORI participants generally reported higher levels of postrelease services than nonparticipants. Still, service receipt for both groups was insufficient to meet reported levels of service need. SVORI programming apparently had a positive impact on both employment outcomes and abstinence from drug use. The findings for criminal behavior were mixed; women participating in SVORI had positive outcomes for self-reported criminal behavior and official measures for rearrest, but had negative outcomes for self-reported compliance with supervision conditions and official measures of reincarceration. SVORI programming apparently did not influence core housing outcomes, familial or peer relationships, or physical or mental health outcomes. The study sample included 153 females enrolled in SVORI programs and 204 comparison women who did not receive SVORI programming. Both samples were characterized as high-risk, high-need women. They reported high levels of current service need, with the most commonly reported needs being education, public health insurance, financial assistance, employment, and mentoring. Propensity score weights were developed, tested, and applied in order to improve the comparability of the SVORI and non-SVORI groups. Weighted analyses were used to examine the treatment effect of SVORI. 71 exhibits, 24 references, and appended data tables

Date Published: December 1, 2009