Attorney General Janet Reno said in 2000 that prisoner reentry is “one of the most
pressing problems we face as a nation.” Since the year 2000, however, the problem has not
a national study showed that in 2005, 3 years after 600,000 prisoners departed from
state and federal prisons, almost 70% of these prisoners were rearrested and almost 50%
reentered prison. These rates are a result of the prisoner’s committing another crime or infringing
the requirements of their release.
However, recidivism is not limited to adult offenders, Juveniles
have recidivism rates as high as 55 percent across the country and in New York.
juvenile recidivism is a problem for the communities in which the prisoners attempt to transition
into as well as for the criminal justice system. SVORI (Serious and Violent Offender Reentry
Initiative) programs have been created in an attempt to lower recidivism rates, and increase the
employment, housing, and health of released prisoners who participate.
which are three-phased initiatives begun in prison, are intended to assist offenders in acquiring
the life skills needed to succeed in the community and become law-abiding citizens. The three
phases consist of Institution-Based Programs which the Department of Justice calls “Protect and
Prepare” These programs are supposed to prepare offenders for their reentry into society and
include education, mental health and substance abuse treatment, job training, mentoring and risk
assessment. The second phase consists of community-based transition programs which the
Department of Justice refers to as “Control and Restore” These programs are supposed to work
with offenders just prior to and immediately after their release into society. This phase includes
more prisoner specific measures including education, monitoring, life-skills training, assessment,
job-skills development, and mental health and substance abuse treatment. The third and final
phase consists of Community-Based Long-Term Support Programs which the government refers
to as “Sustain and Support,” these programs are supposed to connect the former prisoners to
other social service agencies and make them completely independent of the justice system.
worth noting however that these are the department of Justice’s recommendations for Prisoner
Reentry and that not all state departments of Correction adhere to these guidelines, this fact
contributes to the lack of success for reentry programs in some states and for success in others.
Do offender re-entry programs decrease recidivism rates among violent
offenders while aiding long term rehabilitation?