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Final Implementation Evaluation Report for the Illinois Going Home Program

NCJ Number
Susan George; Robert LaLonde; Martha Van Haitsma
Date Published
May 2008
62 pages

This report presents findings from the implementation evaluation of the Illinois Going Home program (preparation of inmates for release into the community).


Highlights of key findings from the implementation evaluation include: (1) by the summer of 2006, 158 men enrolled in the Going Home program; (2) program staff indicated that participants received more Going Home services while incarcerated than after their parole; (3) staff interviews demonstrated strong support for the program's core elements, however, several program design features frustrated them; (4) effective case management proved to be an even more important element of the program than originally thought; (5) previous cohorts of young reentrants provide a benchmark for assessing the performance of Going Home participants as well as participants in other reentry programs; (6) young men in the Going Home target population have had especially poor employment histories prior to entering prison for the first time; and (7) an important reason for low employment rates among the reentrant population is that they are likely to leave jobs once they find them. Overall, the implementation of Going Home encountered many challenges. At the same time, it is clear that the program has moved forward in spite of difficulties and offered lessons for future implementation of similar reentry efforts. The program was designed to help prepare inmates for release back into their community. This implementation evaluation documents the extent to which the Going Home program itself functioned as planned. The report contains the following information: (1) program participation by the Going Home participants; (2) an analysis of the views of program staff on how the program operated; (3) participants' views about their lives, what they expect from a reentry program, and how the program worked for them; and (4) benchmark measures of recidivism and employment outcomes based on previous cohorts of young men from the Going Home target population. Figures