Three New Focus Areas Added to the What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse

The Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center), the Urban Institute, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) are excited to announce the expansion of three new focus areas on the What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) website—Substance Abuse, Family programs, and Education (this section won't be accessible until mid-July).

The Clearinghouse, funded by the BJA through the Second Chance Act and hosted by the National Reentry Resource Center, was created to help reentry policymakers and practitioners identify and understand evidence-based practices and integrate them into their reentry efforts by providing the information needed to answer the question, “What works?” The Clearinghouse offers easy, online access to important research on the effectiveness of a wide variety of reentry programs and practices with focuses on substance abuse, education, family, employment, mental health, and other issues. This user-friendly, web-based, one-stop shop is an invaluable resource for researchers, practitioners, and service providers seeking information on evidence-based reentry interventions.

The additions are the result of recent research review conducted by the Urban Institute in partnership with the CSG Justice Center and can be used by funders, policymakers, program administrators, and practitioners to effectively invest resources to improve public safety, public health, and individual outcomes for people reentering from incarceration. Highlights include:

  • Therapeutic Communities, which were generally found to be effective at reducing recidivism and substance abuse, are most effective when they are gender-responsive;
  • Some education programs were able to reduce recidivism, however, because some programs did not, more research is needed on how education programs can impact recidivism; and
  • Policies that promote visitation by friends and family members can contribute to reductions in recidivism.

“The newly expanded sections provide accessible and useful information organized and presented in a manner that aligns with how reentry practitioners and policymakers are thinking about program design and practice,” says Dr. Beth Skinner, Director of the National Reentry Resource Center at the CSG Justice Center. “This tool can help jurisdictions maximize their investments into effective reentry and behavioral health strategies, as well as drive creativity in designing and implementing new programs based on the latest research.”

To read a summary of additional findings, visit the Urban Institutes What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse project summary page.