Building Second Chances: Tools for Local Reentry Coalitions

PARTS 1 & 2

This toolkit is designed for local city, county, and community leaders who want to play an active role in improving reentry policy, practice, and outcomes. Within, you will find user-friendly references to seminal publications, research findings, and noteworthy examples of the foundational knowledge needed to design new reentry strategies and reinvigorate existing ones.

Track your progress Icon of pdf document

Your local reentry coalition needs diligent tracking among corrections, community supervision, and community-based agencies to understand and communicate the impact it has had on recidivism reduction. However, it can take several years before it is clear whether a particular policy or program is having an impact on recidivism. This section will help you track indicators of your progress [link] along the way to help ensure that your coalition is heading in the right direction and promoting the use of practices that support recidivism reduction.

The information and resources in this section include:

Below are a few intermediate measures your local reentry coalition could use to monitor progress:

Example Intermediate Measures of Progress
  • Percentage of people who receive risk and needs assessments in the local jail
  • Percentage of people assessed as high risk who complete recidivism-reduction programming before release from the local jail
  • Percentage of people assessed as high risk who are referred to community-based reentry programming after release from the local jail
  • Percentage of people who complete community-based reentry programming after release
  • Percentage of people who attain employment after completing post-release reentry programming
  • Percentage of people assessed as high risk who are placed on community supervision after release from the local jail

These Questions to Consider will help you decide how to monitor, communicate, and adjust your reentry strategy:

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Questions to Consider
Icon of magnifying glass examining a person's informational profile all inside a circle Are you positioning local reentry programs to monitor their progress toward recidivism-reduction goals?
While some community-based reentry providers may have the capacity and funding to track recidivism outcomes for their participants, many of these programs are under resourced. Your local reentry coalition can work to build data capacity among reentry programs by supporting training or funding efforts related to data collection and analysis. With sufficient data capacity, community-based providers can assess whether their activities are having an impact on both short- and long-term recidivism-reduction goals.
Icon of data report inside a circle Do you have a plan to report recidivism-reduction progress to the broader community?
Communication plans for publicizing progress on recidivism-reduction goals will vary from community to community. Public meetings, newsletters, and reports are all methods for distributing this kind of information. Regardless of the chosen medium, it is important to determine how frequent your progress reports will be. Announcing the planned frequency of public reporting at the outset is a useful way for the local reentry coalition to set expectations among community members and maintain accountability. See Section 3 for more information on building community support for local reentry strategies.
Icon of a gear encircled by arrows going clockwise all inside a circle Are you prepared to adjust your approach based on what you discover?
Tracking progress in an ongoing fashion gives you the ability to course correct. Incremental checks of progress can and should cause your local reentry coalition to reevaluate and revise its strategies as necessary. Continually refer back to your established, long-term recidivism-reduction goals to ground and inform your decision making.