Source: (2003) Western Criminology Review. 4(2): 91-107.
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 modesl 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 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 to treatment and consider the psychological theory research in support of this new narrative. Finally, we describe how a strengths-based reentry court would differ from more traditional models. Author’s abstract.