U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Reentry Preparedness Among Soon-to-be-Released Inmates and the Role of Time Served

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 40 Issue: 5 Dated: September/October 2012 Pages: 379-385
Date Published
October 2012
7 pages

This study investigated the reentry readiness of inmates was affected by the length of time incarcerated.


The study found that inmates who served the shortest time were, on average, better prepared for reentry back into the community than inmates who were incarcerated for longer periods of time. In addition, inmates with shorter time served were more likely to have instrumental resources necessary for stable reentry while long-term inmates were less likely to have instrumental resources and were more likely to report having less access to medical resources in the community. The study also found that inmates with a GED or higher education and with a conviction related to a drug or sex offense were more likely to have resources to support reentry. This study investigated whether the length of time served affected the reentry readiness of inmates. Data for the study were obtained from a survey of 4,000 soon-to-be-released male inmates. Hierarchical linear models were used to analyze the effects of demographic, criminological, and time served variables on reentry readiness outcomes of the inmates. The study's findings indicate that inmates with longer time served over their lifetime (10 years or more) are more likely to have higher levels of risks and more pronounced needs for successful reentry outcomes and that reentry funding should be targeted more towards this group of offenders. Implications for policy are discussed. Tables, appendix, and references

Date Published: October 1, 2012