Reentry Research at NIJ: Providing Robust Evidence for High-Stakes Decision-Making
Over the past several decades, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has been a leader in the study of reentry. In the 21st century, several federal reentry initiatives have invigorated the attention paid to the needs of persons who have been convicted of crimes as they return to society. Policymakers, practitioners, and community and criminal justice stakeholders, as well as others, have learned — and continue to learn — what works and what matters in the reentry process.
This article in the NIJ Journal provides an overview of reentry, focusing on NIJ’s contributions to the field and identifying gaps in collective empirical knowledge. It starts by discussing what is known about common barriers to successful reentry and describing federal efforts to help state and local agencies address those barriers. It then highlights NIJ’s efforts to advance sophisticated risk assessment algorithms and introduces NIJ’s evaluations of graduated sanctioning programs. This article concludes with a discussion of NIJ’s ongoing research evaluating local reentry programming.