Looking Past Recidivism: The Importance of Other Indicators of a Successful Reentry

Cheryl Lero Jonson, Xavier University - Cincinnati
Mirlinda Ndrecka, University of New Haven

Conference title: Criminology at the Intersections of Oppression


The focus on prisoner reentry has expanded considerably in the past decades. Ex-prisoners are a heterogeneous group and have many issues impeding a successful reentry. As a multitude of prisoner reentry programs have been developed and implemented, their effectiveness in helping ex-offenders make a successful transition into their communities has become the central focal point of much research and studies. In this context, some scholars have argued that simply looking at the recidivism rates of ex-offenders is not enough. Other factors such as drug use reduction or abstention, obtaining gainful employment, and/or finding suitable housing should be considered as indicators of effective reintegration. Using meta-analytic techniques, the current paper will examine the collective effectiveness of reentry programs in improving social outcomes for ex-offenders reentering society. More specifically, the paper will meta-analytically examine substance abuse, employment and housing outcomes for evaluation studies conducted on reentry programs.