Making the most of second chances: an evaluation of Minnesota's high-risk revocation reduction reentry program

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Objectives: To assess whether a reentry program targeted towards high-risk offenders leaving Minnesota state prisons significantly reduced recidivism. Methods: Adult male release violators serving incarceration periods of 2–6 months in two Minnesota state prisons were randomly assigned to either the control group (n = 77) or the High-Risk Revocation Reduction (HRRR) program (n = 162). The latter group was provided with supplemental case planning, housing, employment, mentoring, cognitive-behavioral programming, and transportation assistance services, while the former group was given standard case management services. After 1–2 years of post-release follow-up time, event history analysis was used to predict the following four measures of recidivism: supervised release revocation, rearrest, reconviction, and new offense reincarceration. Results: The Cox regression analyses revealed that participation in HRRR significantly lowered the risk of supervised release revocations and reconvictions by 28 and 43 %, respectively. Regardless of treatment or control group membership, receiving more reentry assistance significantly reduced supervision revocation and rearrest. Analyses also revealed that employment assistance, including subsidized employment, was especially effective at reducing recidivism. Conclusions: Targeting resources towards this previously under-served population may be useful for lowering overall rates of recidivism. However, a later follow-up analysis is needed to ensure that these results remain over time.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Corrections
  • Evidence-based practices
  • Prisoner reentry
  • Randomized experimental design
  • Recidivism

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  • Valerie A. Clark

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