CACC – California Association of Collaborative Courts

Re-Entry Treatment Court Research

Do Reentry Courts Reduce Recidivism?

By Zachary Hamilton

The results of the first-ever rigorous test of a specialized reentry court are in.

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Parolee Re-Entry Court


The Harlem Community Justice Center, in cooperation with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and the Division of Parole, helps parolees returning to the Harlem community make the transition from life in prison to responsible citizenship. The Justice Center links parolees to a wide range of social services, including drug treatment, transitional employment and vocational services, health care and mental health treatment. Where appropriate, these services are also offered to family members as well to help increase stability in the home. To promote increased accountability, participants are required to return to the Justice Center frequently to meet with case managers and parole officers and appear before an administrative law judge, who closely monitors their compliance with court orders. The goal is to prevent parolees from re-offending by helping them find jobs and assume familial and personal responsibility.

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Welcome Home? Examining the “Reentry Court” Concept from a Strengths-based Perspective

Shadd Maruna

University of Cambridge

Thomas P. LeBel

University at Albany, SUNY



The idea of a reentry court for ex-convicts returning to the community is an important new idea, but the premise behind it is rather familiar. Most of the models developed for reentry courts are based on what former Attorney General Janet Reno referred to as a “carrot and stick” philosophy, mixing heightened surveillance with additional treatment and other resources. In this paper, we briefly review the empirical and theoretical evidence in favor of this approach. We argue that an emerging policy narrative — which we refer to as “strengths-based” — holds considerable promise as an alternative or an addition to traditional talk of carrots and sticks. We describe a variety of strengths-based practices in corrections and drug addiction treatment and consider the psychological theory and research in support of this new narrative. Finally, we describe how a strengths-based reentry court would differ from more traditional models.

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Occasional Series on Reentry Research

Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Reentry Courts

A Suggested list of References

October 15, 2010


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