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Families Left Behind: The Hidden Costs of Incarceration and Reentry (Policy Briefs)
Jeremy Travis, Elizabeth Cincotta McBride, Amy L. Solomon

With incarceration rates in America at record high levels, the criminal justice system now touches the lives of millions of children each year. The imprisonment of nearly three quarters of a million parents disrupts parent-child relationships, alters the networks of familial support, and places new burdens on governmental services such as schools, foster care, adoption agencies, and youth-serving organizations. Few studies have explored the impact of parental incarceration on young children or identified the needs that arise from such circumstances. Little attention has focused on how communities, social service agencies, health care providers, and the criminal justice system can work collaboratively to better meet the needs of the families left behind. This policy brief is intended to help focus attention on the hidden costs of our criminal justice policies.

Posted to Web: February 09, 2006Publication Date: February 09, 2006

But They All Come Back: Facing the Challenges of Prisoner Reentry (Book)
Jeremy Travis

As our justice system has embarked upon one of our time's greatest social experiments—responding to crime by expanding prisons—we have forgotten the iron law of imprisonment: they all come back. In 2002, more than 630,000 individuals left federal and state prisons. Thirty years ago, only 150,000 did. In the intense political debate over America's punishment policies, the impact of these returning prisoners on families and communities has been largely overlooked. In But They All Come Back, Jeremy Travis continues his pioneering work on the new realities of punishment in America vis-a-vis public safety, families and children, work, housing, public health, civic identity, and community capacity. Travis proposes organizing the criminal justice system around five principles of reentry to encourage change and spur innovation.

Posted to Web: April 12, 2005Publication Date: April 12, 2005

Prisoner Reentry and Community Policing: Strategies for Enhancing Public Safety (Meeting Summary of the Reentry Roundtable) (Summary)
Karen Beckman, Kelly Dedel Johnson, Amy L. Solomon, Jeremy Travis

The eighth meeting of the Reentry Roundtable, held in May 2004, addressed the nexus between reentry and community policing in the context of public safety. This meeting summary is a synopsis of the two-day discussion among academics, practitioners, service providers, and community leaders convened by the Urban Institute. This document reconstructs the discussion in the chronological order in which it unfolded, including highlights of presentations by the authors of commissioned papers and the discussions that flowed from them. In order to promote the free flow of ideas, it was decided that individuals' names would not be attributed to comments given during the Roundtable discussion.

Posted to Web: November 01, 2004Publication Date: November 01, 2004

From Prison to Work: The Employment Dimensions of Prisoner Reentry (Research Report)
Amy L. Solomon, Kelly Dedel Johnson, Jeremy Travis, Elizabeth Cincotta McBride

The fifth Reentry Roundtable, held in May 2003, focused on policies, practices, problems, and incentives involved in connecting returning prisoners to meaningful employment. Five discussion papers and four presentations were commissioned and, combined with the discussions that came out of the Roundtable and additional literature from the field, form the conceptual framework for the monograph addressing prisoner reentry and work. The report addresses the in-prison and post-prison work experiences of prisoners and transition planning.

Posted to Web: October 01, 2004Publication Date: October 01, 2004

The New Landscape of Imprisonment: Mapping America's Prison Expansion (Research Report)
Sarah Lawrence, Jeremy Travis

In recent decades, growth in the number of people in U.S. prisons has been the largest in history-the prison population increased by more than one million between 1980 and 2000. To accommodate this growth, corrections officials have pursued a variety of strategies, including greatly expanding the network of prisons. Despite this tremendous growth, the prison construction boom has received relatively little attention. This report contributes to the limited knowledge base by developing an empirical understanding of the geographic locations of prison facilities-and therefore prisoners-following this record-level expansion over the past two decades. Prison expansion is examined from national, state, and county-level perspectives, and in terms of the extent to which prisons were located in "metro" counties or "non-metro" counties. This report focuses on 10 states that experienced the largest growth in the number of prisons during the 1980s and 1990s. Several themes emerge from the analyses presented in this report. First is the pervasiveness of prison growth. A second theme to emerge is that in a select number of smaller communities, prison expansion has significantly impacted the total population. A third theme of this report is the mismatch between the places prisoners consider home and the places prisoners serve their time. [View corresponding press release.]

Posted to Web: April 29, 2004Publication Date: April 29, 2004

A Portrait of Prisoner Reentry in Texas (Research Report)
Jamie Watson, Amy L. Solomon, Nancy G. La Vigne, Jeremy Travis, Meagan Funches, Barbara Parthasarathy

The number of people released from Texas prisons and state jails in 2001 was over five times the number released two decades ago. One-quarter of those released in 2001 returned to Harris County, and many were even more concentrated within a few distressed neighborhoods. This report describes the process of prisoner reentry in Texas by examining the policy context surrounding reentry, the characteristics of Texas's returning prisoners, their geographic distribution after release, and the social and economic climates of the communities that are home to the highest concentrations of returning prisoners. [View the corresponding press release]

Posted to Web: March 19, 2004Publication Date: March 19, 2004

Baltimore Prisoners' Experiences Returning Home (Policy Briefs)
Christy Visher, Vera Kachnowski, Nancy G. La Vigne, Jeremy Travis

This research brief provides empirical evidence on the actual experiences of prisoners returning home to Baltimore, based on a series of interviews with these prisoners before and after their release. It presents key findings on a range of reentry challenges faced by returning prisoners and describes factors that relate to postrelease success or failure, such as employment, substance use, individuals' expectations and attitudes, health challenges, criminal histories, and the family and community context awaiting them. [View the corresponding press release]

Posted to Web: March 15, 2004Publication Date: March 15, 2004

Taking Stock: Housing, Homelessness, and Prisoner Reentry (Research Report)
Caterina Gouvis Roman, Jeremy Travis

This report examines how those who have spent time in prison or jail fare in securing safe and affordable housing following their release and discusses housing programming and practice designed to assist them. First, the report discusses what is known about the barriers to housing for those returning from prisons and jails. Then, the report summarizes the proceedings from a one-day forum with experts in housing and corrections policy and practice. Last, the report highlights a number of promising housing programs available to returning prisoners and ex-offenders.

Posted to Web: March 08, 2004Publication Date: March 08, 2004

The Dimensions, Pathways, and Consequences of Youth Reentry (Research Report)
Daniel P. Mears, Jeremy Travis

Approximately 200,000 juveniles and young adults age 24 and under leave secure juvenile correctional facilities or state and federal prisons and return home each year--a process that we call youth reentry. The unprecedented growth in incarceration means that communities across the country increasingly must confront the challenges of integrating ever-growing numbers of young people who have been in adult prisons or prison-like settings operated by the juvenile justice system. Youth may face numerous obstacles, including family dysfunction, poverty, drug abuse, and inadequate education, treatment, and services, all of which may not only contribute to criminal behavior but also to their success during reentry in avoiding crime and becoming a contributing member of society. This report, which summarizes the insights of participants in the Urban Institute's Youth Reentry Roundtable, examines these issues and provides policy and research recommendations.

Posted to Web: January 31, 2004Publication Date: January 31, 2004

Outside the Walls: A National Snapshot of Community-Based Prisoner Reentry Programs (Research Report)
Amy L. Solomon, Michelle Waul, Asheley Van Ness, Jeremy Travis

Outside the Walls provides descriptions of a broad array of prisoner reentry activity across the country, as well as briefing papers that discuss what is known about reentry as it pertains to employment, health, housing, family, faith, and public safety. The Urban Institute produced this report in collaboration with Outreach Extensions as part of the National Media Outreach Campaign, a new effort to encourage discussion and decision-making about solution-based prisoner reentry programs among local community and faith-based organizations. The Urban Institute conducted a national scan of reentry programs that are addressing the needs and risks facing returning prisoners, their families, and communities. The report benefited significantly from the input of national experts who nominated programs that are implementing innovative approaches to easing the reentry process in their local communities.

Posted to Web: January 27, 2004Publication Date: January 27, 2004

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