FEBRUARY 10, 2000202/307-0703


New York, N.Y. - Attorney General Janet Reno announced today that the Justice Department will assist nine geographically diverse jurisdictions that plan to implement innovative programs that combine accountability and assistance for newly released offenders. These programs are designed to implement a new concept -- "reentry courts" -- which use the power of judicial authority to more aggressively monitor released offenders and provide essential assistance to support the offender's reintegration into the community. The reentry court initiative, which will be implemented by the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs (OJP), will provide assistance to reentry court programs in nine states: California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, New York, Ohio and West Virginia. The Attorney General made the announcement today at the John Jay College of the City University of New York.

"Too often, offenders leave prison and return to the community without necessary supervision, jobs, and housing," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "The reentry court would promote positive behavior by linking released offenders to agencies and community organizations that provide these services, while also using its powers of punishment to be sure .

The nine jurisdictions participating in the OJP reentry court initiative will tailor their reentry courts to state law and local needs. All court programs, however, will contain certain core elements, which include:

While there currently are no funds for the reentry court program, OJP will work closely with each jurisdiction to explore how existing federal, state, and local resources can be used to support these programs. In addition, the President has requested $60 million in the FY 2001 budget to expand OJP offender reentry initiatives, which would build on other OJP programs, as well as other Justice Department initiatives such as those supported by the Community Oriented Policing Services Office (COPS), the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). The FY 2001 budget request also includes $75 million for the Department of Labor for job-related programs and $10 million to the Department of Health and Human Services for substance abuse and mental health treatment for offenders reintegrating into the community.

An attached chart includes the communities selected to receive technical assistance in developing pilot programs and local contact information. Additional information about OJP may be found at:

Media should contact Liz Pearson at OJP's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at 202/307-0703.


The following jurisdictions will be provided reentry court training and technical assistance under OJP's Reentry Court Initiative:
Jurisdiction, Entity Contact Phone
Broward County, Florida Drug Court Melanie May 954/765-5105
State of Delaware, Superior Court Thomas J. Ralston 302/577-2400, ext. 252
El Paso County, Colorado, Pikes Peak Mental Health Association Marc Liebert 719/572-6136
State of Iowa, Department of Corrections W. L. Kautzky 515/242-5702
State of Kentucky, Administrative Office of the Courts Lisa Minton 502/573-2350
State of New York, Division of Parole Martin Cirincione 518/473-9672
Richland County, Ohio, Adult Probation Department David Leitenberger 419/774-5564
San Francisco County, California, Sheriff's Office Michael Hennessey 415/554-7225
State of West Virginia, Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Manfred Holland 304/558-6029