Issues: Criminal and Juvenile Justice

Reentry

Hundreds of thousands of people released from prisons and jails each year face daunting obstacles to successful reentry into their communities.   MDRC is testing a range of interventions designed to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for those leaving incarceration. 

The Latest
Report

This report describes the ways in which eight TANF programs primarily serving American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) families use subsidized employment. It found that their use of subsidized employment has the potential to provide work opportunities for AIAN individuals with limited work experience and barriers to employment.

Report

A training program for parole officers in Dallas, Denver, and Des Moines sought to address the persistently high recidivism rates among individuals leaving prison. This study’s results show that officers generally already knew many of the curriculum’s concepts, and changes to their practices were limited.

Key Documents
Report

Final Results from the Evaluation of the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) Transitional Jobs Program

Ex-prisoners who had access to CEO’s transitional jobs program were less likely to be convicted of a crime and reincarcerated. The effects were particularly large for those ex-prisoners who enrolled in the program shortly after release. The recidivism reductions mean that the program is cost-effective — generating more in savings than it cost.

Report

Final Results from the Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration

Transitional jobs programs in four Midwestern cities substantially increased short-term employment by providing jobs to many ex-prisoners who would not otherwise have worked. However, the gains faded as men left the transitional jobs, and the programs did not increase unsubsidized employment nor did they reduce recidivism.

Report

Two-Year Impact Report

RExO increased the number and types of services received by participants and improved their self-reported labor market outcomes as well. But there is little evidence it had any impacts on recidivism or other outcomes. Further, the impacts on employment, while statistically significant, are quite small in practical terms.