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Roadmap to Reentry

 Reducing Recidivism Through Reentry Reforms at the Federal Bureau of Prisons

Each year, more than 600,000 citizens return to neighborhoods across America after serving time in federal and state prisons. By issuing this Roadmap to Reentry and working vigorously to enhance federal reentry practices, the Department of Justice reaffirms its view that each and every one of the individuals committed to custody at BOP presents us with an opportunity to turn around a life, avoid a future victim, repair a family, and support a community.  All of these individuals deserve the federal government’s best efforts to help them start anew when they return home.

The Roadmap to Reentry identifies five evidence-based principles guiding federal efforts to improve the correctional practices and programs that govern the lives of those who will reenter society after incarceration.  The Department of Justice takes the view that “reentry begins on Day One.”  And, just as important, our involvement does not end at the prison gates.  As such, these corrections principles span the cycle of custody and beyond: from intake, to incarceration, through to release.  The principles are as follows:

  • Principle I: Upon incarceration, every inmate should be provided an individualized reentry plan tailored to his or her risk of recidivism and programmatic needs.
  • Principle II: While incarcerated, each inmate should be provided education, employment training, life skills, substance abuse, mental health, and other programs that target their criminogenic needs and maximize their likelihood of success upon release.[1]
  • Principle III: While incarcerated, each inmate should be provided the resources and opportunity to build and maintain family relationships, strengthening the support system available to them upon release.
  • Principle IV: During transition back to the community, halfway houses and supervised release programs should ensure individualized continuity of care for returning citizens.
  • Principle V: Before leaving custody, every person should be provided comprehensive reentry-related information and access to resources necessary to succeed in the community.

Read the full version of the Roadmap to Reentry: Reducing Recidivism Through Reentry Reforms at the Federal Bureau of Prisons

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[1] Criminogenic needs are characteristics, traits, problems, or issues of an individual that directly relate to the individual’s likelihood to commit another crime, such as low levels of educational and employment performance, or substance abuse.


Updated April 19, 2017