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The goal of reentry programs and reentry courts is to help returning citizens successfully reintegrate into society following their incarceration. Effective programs reduce recidivism, improve public safety, and save money.

Whether someone has been incarcerated for one year or twenty, the return to his/her neighborhood can be challenging. It is critical that returning citizens have the necessary resources to prevent them from returning to criminal activities.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the District of Massachusetts participates in a variety of reintegration programs:

County Jail Reentry

The USAO plays an integral role in the prisoner reentry/reintegration programs at seven county jails across Massachusetts by assisting these jails in developing and implementing a “high-risk reentry initiative” format modeled after the award-winning Boston Reentry Initiative. The result has been substantially lowered recidivism rates.

Reentry initiatives rely on collaborative efforts between service providers and law enforcement, engaging returning citizens with resources for employment training, education, housing, mental health and substance abuse treatment, child support modification, and other tools needed for success. Law enforcement and prosecution partners provide an education about the consequences of returning to criminal activity. The USAO also partners with the Department of Youth Services to present a modified program in juvenile facilities.

If your agency is interested in creating a county jail reentry program or needs assistance with a program, please call 617-748-3100 and ask to speak to the Prevention and Reentry Coordinator.

Federal Reentry Courts

Court Assisted Recovery Effort (C.A.R.E.)

The District of Massachusetts offers the Court Assisted Recovery Effort program: "Defendants serving terms of supervised release or probation with a significant substance abuse history may voluntarily enroll in the program subject to the approval of the Probation Officer... The C.A.R.E program aims to assist a supervisee in establishing a sober, employed, law abiding life in an effort to promote public safety, to more effectively use Probation's treatment resources and to promote rehabilitation. C.A.R.E. is a treatment program in which participants earn rewards of various types with their successes or consequences/sanctions for misconduct or failure to perform."

Reentry: Empowering Successful Todays and Responsible Tomorrows (RESTART)

The principal goals of the RESTART program are to reduce recidivism and promote successful community reintegration while maintaining public safety. RESTART is focused on men and women returning to their communities who are designated as being at high risk for recidivism. Participants attend a weekly support court session involving all court parties, including the RESTART Judge. Participants are encouraged to develop and achieve goals and to participate in relevant treatment and educational programs. All RESTART participants also participate in MRT - a manualized cognitive behavioral therapy group proven to reduce recidivism.

RESTART is designed to provide additional structure and support to participants during their first year of supervision, the time when they are at greatest risk to fail. After successful completion of 52 weeks in RESTART, participants earn a year reduction in their term of supervised release. Learn more.

Additional Resources

Updated January 9, 2020

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