Back to top


A collection of 5-Key Model for Reentry resources, from the Institute for Justice Research and Development.

'This booklet is a tool for Incarcerated Veterans and their families who may want access to support services that promote a better and new manner of living.' When these programs are used properly, the benefits may help to minimize the outside pressures incarcerated veterans experience when released. This guidebook addresses the process of economics, social acceptance and reestablishment for incarcerated veterans as they return to society' (p. iii). Sections of this document include: using this guide and seeking help; help for veterans; seeking federal benefits; Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs; checklist'using this guide; resource address websites and phone numbers; and County Veterans Service Offices (CVSO).

A Guidebook for Incarcerated Veterans in Wisconsin Cover

Individuals returning to the community from jail often face difficulties accessing the varied health, social, and other services required to improve reentry and reduce recidivism. This report describes a pilot study, the Co-Design of Services for Health and Reentry (CO-SHARE), that used an innovative, evidence-based method known as Experience-Based Co-Design (EBCD) for returning individuals and service providers to collaboratively identify priority needs and recommendations for improving health and reentry services in Los Angeles County.

CO-SHARE is the first pilot study of EBCD in the United States. Results of the project focused on both the feasibility of applying EBCD in a community-wide service system in the United States and the recommendations concerning promising solutions and key design principles generated by study participants for improving services for the reentry population in Los Angeles County.

The findings should be of value to policymakers, funding organizations, service providers, and community advocates interested in new methods for meaningfully engaging reentry and other vulnerable populations in improving the safety net systems they rely on.

National Institute of Justice - Video (1:50 minutes)

Speakers: John Wetzel, Secretary of Corrections, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections , Grant Duwe, Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation, Minnesota Department of Correction

How do you use data and science to measure program success?
John Wetzel, secretary of corrections, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and Grant Duwe, Ph.D., director of research and evaluation, Minnesota Department of Corrections explain how their agencies evaluate programs using data and science. Duwe details how the most effective programs provided by the Minnesota DOC have been those that focus on known risk factors for recidivism. 


Two recent reports have been produced from experts in NCJR. Led by researchers, Michael Campagna and Katelynn Towne of UNO’s NCJR, one report describes the work of state-funded reentry agencies, their successes, and the barriers that they continue to face in working on second chances for this population. The second report tells the personal stories of persons who were and were not successful in their reentry endeavors. These reports have been disseminated to the Department of Corrections, state legislators, and community stakeholders.

With the collective commitment of leaders across the government and across the country, the Reentry Council is working to promote successful reentry and reintegration for individuals returning from prison and jail. Strengthening opportunities for second chances will not only improve outcomes for justice-involved populations, it will also reduce recidivism and victimization – creating safer communities – and save taxpayer dollars spent on the direct and collateral costs of incarceration … The Council has developed a robust set of policies, programs, and training materials to support the reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals and reduce barriers for those with a criminal record … The Reentry Council’s path forward will be guided by an overarching commitment to realizing the goals described in this report – and ensuring that the tools for successful reentry reach the communities that need them most (p. 75).

For jurisdictions implementing behavioral health-criminal justice programs to help minimize justice involvement among people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders, the ongoing costs can present challenges to long-term operation. This brief outlines key strategies and tips to financially sustaining such programs so that they are built for longevity. Photo by Anna Earl on Unsplash.

Mentoring as a Component of Reentry CoverAn integral part of the process also involves the understanding that mentoring should serve as a supplement to services that address other critical reentry needs, such as housing, health care, substance use treatment, and employment. Despite growing interest and investment in mentoring as a component of reentry, there is only a small body of research to support the value of mentoring services in reducing recidivism among criminal justice populations. The research related to adult reentry mentoring that does exist rarely addresses participants’ criminogenic risk levels and other factors that are known to be important in recidivism-reduction strategies. In the absence of research, reentry programs and corrections agencies are looking for guidance on how mentoring and correctional evidence-based practices (EBPs) can be integrated.

This publication from the National Reentry Resource Center offers five broad, field-based practical considerations for incorporating mentoring into reentry programs for adults. Although the primary audience for this publication is community-based reentry organizations that are incorporating adult mentoring into their portfolio of reentry services, corrections agencies, other organizations, and legislative officials may also find this publication useful for gaining a better understanding of the components of adult mentoring in reentry.


Reentry refers to the transition of offenders from prisons or jails back into the community. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs 641,100 people were released from state and federal prisons in 2015. Another 10.6 million cycle through local jails (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2016).

Given that more than three- quarters of State offenders are re-arrested within five years of release (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2018), successful reintegration of formally incarcerated persons returning to the community has become a critical aspect of correctional missions to improve public safety. Increasingly, evidence-based practices are reflected in approaches and programming, targeting people who have a medium to high risk of reoffending and tailoring services to meet certain needs has the greatest impact on lowering rates of recidivism. Breaking the cycle of reoffending and re-incarceration has many important implications for public safety and policy.

National Institute of Justice - Youtube Video (2:29 minutes)

What changes are you seeing in corrections and reentry?
Terri McDonald, chief probation officer, Los Angeles County Probation Department and John Wetzel, secretary of corrections, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections talk about recent changes in corrections and reentry. Wetzel elaborates on what the Pennsylvania DOC is facilitating with housing and how it individualizes its reentry programs. McDonald remarks on Los Angeles County’s systems approach to reentry and the idea of treating the whole person. 

(Opinions or points of view expressed represent the speaker and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. Any product or manufacturer discussed is presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice.)


Subscribe to Reentry