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Reentry Experiences of Confined Juvenile Offenders: Characteristics, Service Receipt, and Outcomes of Juvenile Male Participants in the SVORI Multi-site Evaluation

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2009
173 pages

This evaluation assessed differences in postrelease outcomes for juvenile participants and nonparticipants in the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI), which funded agencies in 2003 for the purpose of developing programs to improve criminal justice, employment, education, health, and housing outcomes for released prisoners.


The evaluation findings suggests that SVORI programs for juveniles made modest improvements in the delivery of reentry services through intensive case management, greater use of needs assessment, and reentry planning, which resulted in small improvements in postrelease outcomes. The evaluation found that services received both by SVORI participants and nonparticipants were highest before their release from incarceration. Although the levels of postrelease services received by both groups were significantly lower that their reported levels of service need, SVORI participants generally reported higher levels of postrelease services than nonparticipants. Regarding postrelease outcomes, SVORI participants were significantly more likely than nonparticipants to be in school 3 months after release; and 15 months after release, SVORI participants were more likely to have jobs with benefits. No significant differences were found between SVORI participants and nonparticipants in substance use, physical health, mental health, or recidivism outcomes. The evaluation conducted prerelease and postrelease interviews with released juveniles at four SVORI program sites. The samples consisted of 152 juvenile males enrolled in SVORI programs and 185 comparison juvenile male nonparticipants. Both samples were composed of high-risk, high-need offenders. Their delinquency histories were serious and chronic. The evaluation focused on whether SVORI participants received more services than nonparticipants, and differences on various postrelease outcomes were assessed. Propensity score weights were developed, tested, and applied in order to improve the comparability of the participant and nonparticipant samples. Weighted analyses were used in examining the treatment effect of SVORI. 72 exhibits, 38 references, and appended data tables

Date Published: December 1, 2009