Professor of Sociology and Criminology, University of Delaware
- Government invest in the development and testing of new ideas and rigorous evaluations to determine which interventions are effective at promoting public safety and prisoner reintegration.
With record-high incarceration rates, unprecedented extension of state supervision over individuals leaving prison, and a complex maze of legal barriers to reintegration, more people than ever before are returning home after serving time in prison. These individuals face daunting barriers to successful reintegration. Successful reentry requires strong community support networks and comprehensive services, both of which are lacking in urban areas to which most former prisoners return. Interventions that reflect these principles may hold the greatest promise for success. Yet reentry policies are still quite primitive; researchers are just now beginning to develop an approach to reentry based on evidence of best practices. At this moment, it is critically important that the federal government invest in the development and testing of new ideas and rigorous evaluations to determine which interventions are effective at promoting public safety and prisoner reintegration.