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Do reentry courts reduce recidivism? Results from the Harlem Parole and Reentry Court.

Hamilton, Zachary
June 4, 2015

Source: (2010) New York: Center for Court Innovation.

The Harlem Parole Reentry Court was established in June of 2001 in response to the high
concentration of parolees returning to the East Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan. Created by
the Center for Court Innovation in cooperation with the New York State Division of Criminal
Justice Services and the Division of Parole, the Reentry Court provides intensive judicial
oversight, supervision and services to new parolees during the first six months following release
from state prison. The goal of the program is to stabilize returning parolees in the initial phase of
their reintegration by helping them to find jobs, secure housing, remain drug-free and assume
familial and personal responsibilities. Following graduation, participants are transferred to
traditional parole supervision, where they may continue to receive case management services
voluntarily through the Reentry Court.
There are presently at least two dozen specialized reentry courts operating nationwide, but little
is known about their operations and effects. The current report assesses the impact of the Harlem
Parole Reentry Court following program modifications that were implemented after an initial
formative evaluation. A quasi-experimental design was utilized, comparing Reentry Court
participants with otherwise similar parolees placed in traditional supervision. From a pool of
20,750 parolees released in Manhattan from November 2002 through February 2008, 317
Reentry Court participants were matched to 637 comparison parolees utilizing a 2 to 1 propensity
score matching procedure. Sample parolees were then tracked over three years from their release. (excerpt)


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