Prisoner Reentry


The transition from incarceration to life in the community has implications for public safety at large and for the communities into which the former prisoners are introduced. RAND research has explored how to prevent recidivism through correctional education, the public health issues of prisoner reentry, and the question of prisoner rehabilitation.

Explore Prisoner Reentry

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    A Better Path Forward for Criminal Justice: A Report by the Brookings-AEI Working Group on Criminal Justice Reform

    In this volume, experts offer policymakers with analysis and recommendations to support sustained, bipartisan reforms to move the criminal justice system toward a more humane and effective footing.

    Sep 1, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Reentry, Desistance, and Identity Achievement

    This report is based on two foundational beliefs: Reentry policy needs to be based on a theoretical desistance model, and the empirical evidence supports a desistance model that involves movement toward a positive pro-social identity.

    Aug 31, 2021

  • A warehouse worker wearing a hardhat and high visibility vest stacking boxes. Photo by andresr / Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Helping Los Angelenos Involved in the Criminal Justice System Get and Keep Jobs

    Project imPACT is a City of Los Angeles program that helps individuals find employment after they are released from prison. Participants may also receive behavioral health and legal services. An evaluation of the program offers important lessons about its successes and challenges.

    Aug 16, 2021

  • Report


    Project imPACT Cohort 1 Final Local Evaluation Report

    The authors summarize findings from a process and outcome evaluation of Cohort 1 of Project imPACT, an employment program for individuals who have been involved in the criminal justice system, which provided services from July 2018 to December 2020.

    Aug 16, 2021

  • Sheriff's deputies register new arrivals at the Los Angeles County Women's jail in Lynwood


    Meeting the Needs of the Mental Health Population in the LA County Jail System

    Behavioral scientist Stephanie Holliday discusses her study that aimed to estimate the size of the mental health population in the Los Angeles County jail system that might be appropriate for diversion to community-based treatment rather than remaining and receiving treatments while incarcerated.

    Jul 26, 2021

  • Report


    Community Supervision in a Digital World: Challenges and Opportunities

    Increased access to technology and corresponding increases in computer-facilitated crime have resulted in a greater number of tech-savvy individuals under supervision. Experts identified strategies to help officers manage their online activity.

    Jul 26, 2021

  • The Los Angeles County Men's Jail in Los Angeles, California, February 16, 2021, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters


    Investing in Social Change: Lessons Learned from Foundation-Funded Criminal Justice Research

    Investing in policy-focused research can be among the ways foundations catalyze change. Impactful work may involve strong collaborations across funders, researchers, and community partners. And it may require flexibility in design and execution as well as a commitment to getting the findings into the hands of decisionmakers who can use the findings to create change.

    Jul 20, 2021

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Pandemic-Era Parties, China's Global Influence, Reducing Infant Mortality: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on assessing the risk of small gatherings during the pandemic, China's ability to exert influence around the world, using big data to help reduce infant mortality, and more.

    Jul 2, 2021

  • News Release

    News Release

    Guide to Help Prison Officials Create College-Level Educational Programs Created by RAND Corporation

    A guide to help prison officials create high-quality college educational programs for inmates has been created by the nonprofit RAND Corporation. The toolkit—available online for free—is intended as a starting point for corrections officials who are considering whether to have a college program within their prison system or who may seek additional information to ensure the success of an existing program. The guide is relevant for both two-year and four-year college programs.

    Jun 29, 2021

  • Inmates search for books at a library inside the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary located in the Darrington Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice men's prison in Rosharon, Texas, August 12, 2014


    New Guide to Help Implement College Programs in Prisons

    Education services can improve the lives and conditions of people in prison and help them compete for jobs when they are released. A new tool aims to guide corrections officials who are considering whether to start a college program or are looking for information to ensure the success of an existing program.

    Jun 29, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Confinement as a Two-Stage Turning Point: Do Changes in Identity or Social Structure Predict Subsequent Changes in Criminal Activity?

    We build from prior work on desistance and reentry, contrasting our findings and highlighting the unique insight gained from, as well as challenges of, measuring individual change within our two-stage turning point model.

    Feb 2, 2021

  • Candidates waiting for a job interview. A woman in a suit holds a clipboard in her lap. Photo by skynesher / Getty Images

    Journal Article

    A Policy Review of Employers' Open Access to Conviction Records

    In this review, we find that (a) US employers' use of conviction information is not clearly aligned with the risk of future criminal behavior or employer costs, and (b) using such information leads to hiring errors that pose costs to society.

    Sep 30, 2020

  • The exterior wall of a prison surrounded by barbed wire fence. Photo by eddiesimages / Getty Images


    Risk and Needs Assessments in Prisons: Identifying High-Priority Needs for Using Evidence-Based Practices

    Prison systems are underresourced and might lack the capacity to implement risk and needs assessments that reduce recidivism. A panel of experts identified ways to address and improve the use of these tools in prisons.

    Sep 9, 2020

  • Multimedia

    From the Community Corrections Lens

    In this Events @ RAND podcast based on the Career Prospects for People with Criminal Records Symposium held at RAND in 2019, Veronica Cunningham and Nicole Jarrett offer their perspectives on the next steps that policymakers, practitioners, and employers can take to equalize employment opportunities for individuals with criminal records. RAND's Dionne Barnes-Proby hosts.

    Jul 29, 2020

  • Multimedia

    Practitioners’ Views on Barriers and Opportunities

    In this Events @ RAND podcast based on the Career Prospects for People with Criminal Records Symposium held at RAND in 2019, Joshua Miller, Toney L. Earl Jr., Tony Lewis Jr., and Andrew Morton discuss strategies for overcoming barriers and improving employment outcomes through reentry, community supervision, and employer-driven programs.

    Jul 22, 2020

  • Multimedia

    Certification, Background Checks, and Stigma

    In this Events @ RAND podcast based on the Career Prospects for People with Criminal Records Symposium held at RAND in 2019, Peter Leasure, Michael Vuolo, and Naomi F. Sugie present evidence from employer and job-seeker studies on Ban-the-Box, Certificates of Relief, and background checks.

    Jul 15, 2020

  • Episode 1 of Career Prospects for People with Criminal Records


    How Do People Stop Committing Crimes?

    In this Events @ RAND podcast based on the Career Prospects for People with Criminal Records Symposium held at RAND in 2019, senior policy researcher Shawn D. Bushway explains the concept of desistance, or how and when people with criminal records stop offending.

    Jul 8, 2020

  • Report

    Breaking Barriers: A Rapid Rehousing and Employment Pilot Program for Adults on Probation in Los Angeles County: Evaluation Report

    This report presents early findings on the progress of the Breaking Barriers program, which provides Los Angeles County adults on probation with a time-limited housing subsidy, case management, and employment supports.

    Mar 31, 2020

  • Tanya Beverly is part of a program that diverts people with mental illness out of the county jail and into supportive housing, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation


    Supportive Housing Can Help Keep People with Mental Illness Out of Jail

    Hundreds of thousands of people with serious mental illnesses cycle in and out of American jails every year. In Los Angeles, some of them are getting diverted into a supportive housing program where they can get the treatment they need. And the results are promising.

    Feb 27, 2020

  • U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to deliver his third State of the Union address in Washington, D.C., February 4, 2020, photo by Doug Mills/Pool via Reuters


    State of the Union 2020: Insights from RAND

    The final State of the Union address of President Trump's four-year term may be viewed through the lens of the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the evening. But the speech touched on a range of policy challenges that will remain, regardless of how politics play out in 2020.

    Feb 5, 2020