Report finds reentry programs help to manage corrections costs, reduce recidivism

A report by the National Conference of State Legislatures has found that reentry programs not only help to manage corrections costs, they also can lead to reduced crime and recidivism.

The report, “Managing Corrections Costs,” examined budget trends, changes to sentencing and corrections policies, the actions that are being taken to operate prisons more efficiently and federal initiatives that provide support and assistance to states.

The report found that states have been able to shorten prison stays by accelerating release dates of inmates who participate in prison programming, while parole release dates have been shortened by parolee reentry programs.

These programs provide participants with life skills, as well as behavioral therapy and treatment for substance abuse so that they are better prepared to successfully reenter society and become productive members of their communities.

Reentry programming has been part of a federal push toward criminal justice reform for several years. In 2008, the Second Chance Act was created to provide local, state and tribal governments with monetary support in establishing evidence-based reentry programs.

GEO Reentry Services works with agencies across the nation to launch and operate day reporting centers and in-custody treatment programs that are designed to change criminal behavior and prepare offenders for life after prison.

By providing life skills classes, behavioral therapy and substance abuse treatment while still maintaining strict supervision, GEO Reentry works to treat the problem at the source and not simply punish criminal behavior. This approach decreases the chance of recidivism and reduces the high cost of incarceration.

To read the full NCSL study, click here.

To read about GEO Reentry’s approach, click here.