Initial findings are reported on an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI), specifically the types of offenders in the program and their needs.
Adult male prisoners identified their most vital needs as education, general financial assistance, a driver’s license, job training, and employment. Nearly three-quarters of the men in the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI) programs reported needing transportation assistance and better money-management skills. Almost two-thirds reported needing to work on their personal relationships, and more than half said they needed a mentor and spiritual or religious assistance. Participants in the SVORI programs were also found more likely to receive services than comparable nonparticipants. Most importantly, the evaluation indicates that from release through 15 months postrelease SVORI participants appear to be doing well, moderately better than non-SVORI participants. In an attempt to help corrections officials begin reentry planning in prisons and carried out into the community, the SVORI was created in 2003. Eighty-nine SVORI programs operate in adult prisons, juvenile facilities, and in communities around the country, offering services, such as life-skills training, dental and medical services, needs and risk assessments, treatment and release plans, and job placement. An evaluation funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice (NIJ) was initiated on the effectiveness of the SVORI efforts. 1 endnote