Strategies for reintegrating gang-affiliated offenders into New Jersey communities are explained. Sections after an executive summary are: introduction; background and context -- gangs and gang interventions, reentry dynamics of gang-affiliated individuals, and gang-related prison and parole programs in New Jersey; promising strategies -- pre-release and post-release interventions; and lessons learned.
"Although the pace of criminal justice reform has accelerated at both the federal and state levels in the past decade, current initiatives have had only a modest effect on the size of the prison population. But over this period, three states – New York, New Jersey, and California – have achieved prison population reductions in the range of 25%. They have also seen their crime rates generally decline at a faster pace than the national average" (p. 1). This brief describes how these outcomes were achieved and explains other states can significantly reduce their prison population while ensuring public safety. Sections contained in this brief are: key findings; a decade of evolving criminal justice reform; limited impact on incarceration to date; substantial prison population declines in three states; impact of prison populations reductions on crime; policies and practices that reduced the prison population in the three states; the limited relationship between incarceration and crime; international experience in prison population reduction; potential for substantial prison population reductions; three goals for expanding prison population reduction; and conclusion.
"The immediate months after prison are a critical transition period, which can determine future trajectories of successful reintegration or recidivism. Finding employment after prison is considered a key, if not the most important, condition to prevent recidivism; however, individuals face numerous obstacles to finding work. Although many of these barriers have been documented, methodological difficulties prevent a thorough understanding of how they impact the actual job searching and working experiences of individuals at reentry" (p. iii). The author explains how she used smartphones to address this gap in the knowledge. This document is comprised of six chapters: introduction; pounding the pavement—searching and working after prison; whether going it alone—social connectivity and finding work after prison; job search and emotional wellbeing at reentry; utilizing smartphones to study disadvantaged and hard-to-reach groups; and conclusions. "Analyses of detailed smartphone measures reveal a reentry period characterized by very short-term, irregular, and poor-quality work … In contrast to prevailing notions in reentry scholarship, individuals are not social isolates or deeply distraught about their job searches; rather, they are highly connected to others and feel happier while searching for work. These results indicate that the low employment rates of reentering individuals are not due to person-specific deficiencies of low social connectivity and poor emotional wellbeing. Reentering individuals, however, remain deeply disadvantaged in the labor market, where they compete for work within a structure of deteriorated opportunities for low-skill, urban, and minority jobseekers more generally. Relegated to the lowest rungs of the market, reentering individuals obtain jobs that are very sporadic and precarious. These findings challenge the established idea that finding suitable employment in today’s labor market is an attainable goal for reentering individuals" (p. iii).
Presents steps that jurisdictions can take to assess their current parole violation and revocation policy and practice, identify targets of change, and mobilize for change. Chapters address myths and facts about parole; NIC's Technical Assistance Project on Parole Violations and Revocations and lessons from NIC's work; targets of change and innovative solutions; how four states refined violation policy and practice to strengthen parole; deciding whether to explore strengthening an agency's parole violation and revocation practices; and creating opportunities. This document is available on the web in an electronic version (NIC no. 020398). Follow companion link to access web version.