A study funded by the National Institute of Justice has found that reentry programming in the United States has become more focused on rehabilitation and evidence-based practices in the wake of the Second Chance Act.
The SCA, signed into law in 2008, was created to provide support and services for post-release offenders, with the ultimate goal of reducing recidivism—rates of which have been disconcertingly high in the U.S. for the past few decades.
The study (which can be read in full here) is an implementation evaluation of the SCA among 10 state and local government agencies that were among the first to receive SCA funding. (An evaluation on the SCA’s effect on recidivism will be released in 2015.)
What’s most interesting, however, is that, as a part of the study, researchers found three major system changes that summarized as:
1) Partnerships are growing.
2) Services are becoming more “holistic.”
3) There is a cultural shift in thinking about how services are delivered.
The last point is particularly significant, as it suggests that reentry workers—like case managers and parole officers—are approaching their jobs in new (and re-energized!) ways. As the Corrections article states, the cultural shift means there’s less of a focus on simply enforcing rules and regulations and more of a focus on actually rehabilitating offenders so they don’t fall back into criminal activity.
Another large part of the cultural shift is an acceptance of evidence-based practices, which are designed to change the behaviors and attitudes of offenders by treating each offender on their own risks and needs.
BI Incorporated’s sister company, GEO Reentry Services, works hard to provide successful reentry programming founded on evidence-based practices. GEO Reentry provides day reporting services as well as behavioral treatment and life skills classes so offenders are successfully prepared for life after parole or probation.
BI often works in conjunction with reentry services to provide reliable electronic monitoring technology to state and local agencies for offenders deemed suitable for the program. Electronic monitoring, like GPS tracking and alcohol monitoring, help to keep pre- and post-release offenders on track and accountable for their actions.
To read more about BI’s successful partnerships, click here.