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Unlocking the Potential of Reentry and Reintegration

NCJ Number
Alan Rosenthal J.D.; Elaine Wolf Ph.D.
Date Published
October 2004
8 pages
This policy brief describes a new approach in reentry planning and practice for individuals returning to the community after or in the course of criminal justice processing.
Under the proposed model, reentry planning is incorporated into activities that occur at six points in criminal case processing and the serving of a sentence. These points are decisionmaking about pretrial release, plea bargaining and sentence negotiations, sentencing, jail and prison programming, the provision of supportive services at release, and decisionmaking regarding parole revocation. Reentry plans developed and implemented during pretrial detention offer the benefits of early reintegration and fewer days spent in jail. Once the foundation of a reentry plan has been established, it can be more fully developed and used during plea negotiations and for presentation to the judge at sentencing. This sentencing plan can be used to promote a more humane, less punitive, and individualized sentence. In cases where sentencing involves a period of incarceration, the reentry plan can be used as the basis for self-development and preparation for reentry while in prison. This model recognizes that if successful reentry into the community is not a primary focus throughout case processing, it is more likely that what happens to the individual in the course of case processing will either undermine successful reentry or be irrelevant to it. 1 figure and 9 references