The National Reentry Resource Center recently publicized the What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse at the third annual Second Chance Act Training conference in Washington, D.C. The Clearinghouse, which is hosted on the NRRC website, was created to be the primary online resource for criminal justice practitioners, service providers such as BI, and the public in need of information on evidence-based reentry methods.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Clearinghouse both collects and evaluates research on tactics to reduce recidivism. In general, its goal is to answer the question, “What Works?” More than 50 nationally-recognized researchers and criminal justice experts contributed to the site, including developing its easy-to-navigate format. Currently, visitors can access information from four topic areas (Employment, Housing, Mental Health, and Brand Name Programs), and more as they are added in the near future.
Another advantage of the site is its systematic review system. Not only is content organized around service areas, target population, and program type, but also the quality of an article. For example, articles labeled “basic rigor” provide a fundamental understanding of an issue, whereas articles labeled “high rigor” delve into more complex themes.
Overall, the underlying theme of the Clearinghouse is the more available information, the more-equipped policymakers and practitioners are in determining what steps they should take to serve former inmates and their communities.