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Delaware Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Project 2003 to 2006 Evaluation with Recidivism Results

NCJ Number
John P. O'Connell Jr.; Julia E. Cahill
Date Published
May 2009
30 pages
This report describes and evaluates Delaware's Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI), whose aim is to reduce the recidivism of released prisoners by providing them with the services they need to re-enter society successfully.
The program is designed to have inmates start work with their SVORI case managers up to a year before release from prison. This includes arranging and coordinating services such as education, employment preparation, housing planning, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, legal services, and monitoring for compliance. SVORI started in July 2003, and the program was active (with a 6-month no-cost extension) until December 31, 2006. In compliance with the U.S. Department of Justice guidelines, the Delaware SVORI targeted high-risk offenders between 18 to 35 years old at release and who had no record of sex offenses. Of the 303 offenders who started the community phase of SVORI, only 96 (32 percent) successfully completed the program. Successfully completing SVORI was associated with lower recidivism and successful completion was linked to case management. Almost all of those who successfully completed SVORI had received case management services, but very few of those who did not complete the program had received these services. Those receiving case management services and completing the program were almost 23 percent less likely to recidivate, i.e., to be arrested within a year. Still, the SVORI services were less comprehensive than originally planned, with only limited direct coordination with the State agencies. Nearly the entire group of successful SVORI offenders received assistance in finding suitable housing arrangements, and nearly 70 percent received some type of job search assistance. Less than one-third of the successful SVORI offenders received assistance in education attainment, substance abuse, and mental health. 3 charts and 3 tables