The Harlem Reentry Court helps parolees make the transition back to their community.
The Reentry Court—a cooperative effort of the Harlem Community Justice Center, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, and the Division of Parole—links parolees to a range of social services, including drug treatment, vocational services, and mental health treatment. Where appropriate, these services are also offered to family members to help increase stability in the home. To promote accountability, participants are required to return to the Justice Center frequently to meet with staff and appear before an administrative law judge. The ultimate goal is to prevent parolees from re-offending by helping them find jobs and assume familial and personal responsibility.
This study of the Harlem Parole Reentry Court compares participants in a neighborhood-based reentry program to similar parolees on traditional parole. Results indicate that the reentry court, which implemented a validated and reliable tool for assessing the risks and needs of individuals returning from prison, produced a 22% reduction in the reconviction rate and a 60% reduction in the felony reconviction rate over an 18-month follow-up period. The reentry court also produced a 45% reduction in revocations. Interview findings indicate that reentry court parolees were significantly more likely