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Reentry courts

Reentry courts are “specialized courts that help reduce recidivism and improve public safety through the use of judicial oversight to apply graduated sanctions and positive reinforcement, to marshal resources to support the prisoner’s reintegration, and to promote positive behavior by the returning prisoners (Bureau of Justice Assistance 2010).” An estimated 26 reentry courts and 29 reentry drug courtswere in operation as of December 31, 2009 (Huddleston and Marlowe 2011). These courts are intended to address the critical needs of returning prisoners – particularly in the period immediately following release – through the combination of judicial oversight and a collaborative case management process. Reentry courts take many forms, with substantial variation along key dimensions of program design, including the mechanism for jurisdictional authority, target population, whether the court is a standalone model or combined with a drug court, and the point of entry into the program. Because the reentry courtmodel remains a relatively new innovation, very few outcome evaluations have been conducted to provide evidence supporting its effectiveness. Preliminary results from the evaluation of the Harlem Parole Reentry Court are promising; however, additional rigorous evaluation is needed.


Lindquist, C., Herrschaft, BA., & Lattimore, P. (2014). Reentry courts. In G. Bruinsma, & D. Weisburd (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice (pp. 4351-5360). New York, NY: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_202