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Virginia Prisoner Reentry Evaluation Programs, Interim Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2007
93 pages
This interim report on the status of the evaluation of Virginia's Offender Reentry and Transition Services (ORTS) Program reviews program progress and describes plans for an outcome-based evaluation in coming years.
In mid-2007, evaluators' site visits, surveys, and other contacts with the nine ORTS program sites determined that most of the programs were somewhat prepared for a process evaluation and that most had made progress in implementing their own process evaluations; however, the ability of the management information systems at the sites to provide the data needed for the planned outcome evaluation is questionable. This issue requires further examination. Over the next year, evaluators will work with the ORTS sites in improving their process evaluation methods and developing "best-practices" documents based on their own experiences and those of other reentry program sites around the country. The evaluators will develop a methodology for measuring the outcomes for each of the ORTS programs. The outcome evaluation will determine whether program participation, individual client characteristics, and program characteristics predict short-, medium-, and long-term outcomes for each of the programs. The primary participant outcome measure will be recidivism, i.e., how likely program participants are to engage in criminal activity following their release. The evaluation will use a broad range of recidivism measures and will establish longitudinal parameters for measurement. In addition to recidivism, the evaluation will measure multiple factors related to program success, including educational attainment, employment success, family functioning, and paying taxes. The goals of the ORTS program are to prepare adult inmates for reintegration after release, which includes locating and retaining employment, participation in structured family services and counseling, and the development of a community support system that uses volunteers and existing community agencies. 87 references