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Building Reentry Ecosystems: A Blueprint for Innovation

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2023
34 pages

This report discusses findings from a data and literature review to explore the elements needed to develop thriving reentry ecosystems, to enable successful reintegration into communities for formerly incarcerated individuals.


This report offers a framework and guidelines to develop ecosystems to complement current reentry initiatives and build safe, thriving communities. The information collected from the following methods, informed the creation of this report and the principles that inform the blueprint: literature review of data and research on national reentry initiatives and blueprints as well as a review of reentry initiatives currently underway in Colorado and Michigan; 19 semi-structured interviews with national organizations and stakeholders in Colorado and Michigan, including community-based organizations, corrections departments, formerly incarcerated people, foundations, and grassroots organizations; review of internal documents provided by state-based organizations; and site visits to Colorado and Michigan. Three tenets underpin the reentry ecosystem framework, each one reflecting changes to existing resource flows for reentry that can complement and support existing efforts to improve reentry outcomes, they are: redirecting public investments to local people, networks, and community-based organizations; supporting the capacity and organizational infrastructure of community groups; and targeting investments in local geographies.