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“All reentry is local”: Evaluating a Strategy to Reenter State Prisoners through Local Correctional Systems

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For many state prisoners in Massachusetts and around the country, reintegrating into their communities post-release can be complicated by the fact that they receive re-entry programming in facilities located hundreds of miles away from their homes, jobs, families, treatment providers, and faith-based institutions. To address this issue, the MA Department of Correction (DOC) and Hampden County Sheriff’s Department (HCSD) began partnering on a reentry “step-down” program, where state prisoners within one year of release and returning to Hampden County are eligible to transfer to HCSD for reentry services closer to home. Although the program has been in operation since the 1990s, a Second Chance Act grant in 2010 enabled HCSD to expand its services and program capacity.

The research team is conducting a process, impact, and cost-benefit evaluation of this well-established and innovative program. The main goal is to provide policy guidance to local and state partners and other states seeking a local step-down reentry program model.

Collaborators and Funders

  • Megan Denver, Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Abigail Ballou, PhD student

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