The Center for Court Innovation has released an outcome evaluation of the Harlem Parole Reentry Court. The goal of the Reentry Court, established in 2001, is to stabilize returning parolees in the first six months following their release from prison by providing intensive judicial oversight, supervision, and services. These services are designed to help parolees find jobs, secure housing, remain drug-free, and assume familial and personal responsibilities.
This study employed a quasi-experimental design, comparing 317 reentry court participants to 637 similar parolees under traditional supervision. The study participants were tracked for three years post-release and recidivism was measured as rearrests, reconvictions, and revocations. Reentry Court participants were significantly less likely than parolees under traditional supervision to be reconvicted at one, two, and three-year post release. An examination of revocations revealed that reentry court participants were significantly more likely than parolees under traditional supervision to have their parole revoked and be returned to prison. The author suggests that the higher revocation rates among reentry court participants may be due to a supervision effect; that is, greater levels of supervision likely resulted in larger numbers of parole revocations. The entire report is available at:
Our analysis: There is a variety of research indicating that intensive supervision programs result in uncovering a greater number of technical violations (misbehavior, missed appointments, drug positives) thus sending more offenders on community supervision back to prison. The provision of treatment services in combination with supervision was supposed to alleviate this problem.
Crime in America.Net staff.