Urban Institute

The Elected Official’s Toolkit for Jail Reentry

Nine million individuals are released from local jails each year, many struggling with mental illness, homelessness, and substance abuse. Jail reentry initiatives work to address these needs, thereby reducing both recidivism and criminal justice costs.The Elected Official’s Toolkit for Jail Reentry provides information and resources for local elected officials interested in launching or expanding a jail reentry initiative. The Toolkit includes an overview of jail reentry, first steps for developing a context-appropriate jail reentry initiative, essential facts and data to engage stakeholders, sample legislation, profiles of elected officials who have championed jail reentry, and a guide to additional resources.

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Each year, US jails process an estimated 12 million admissions and releases. Substance addiction, job and housing instability, mental illness, and health problems are daily realities for a significant share of this population. Given that more than 80 percent of inmates are incarcerated for less than a month, jails have little time or capacity to address these deep-rooted and often overlapping issues. Life After Lockup synthesizes key findings from the Jail Reentry Roundtable and examines opportunities on the jail-to-community continuum where reentry-focused interventions can make a difference.

Jail Reentry Roundtable Meeting Summary

Little attention has been paid to the issue of reentry from local jails, despite the fact that jails process more than 12 million admissions and releases each year. With support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Urban Institute, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation partnered to convene a Jail Reentry Roundtable. The two-day meeting, held June 2006, brought together leading jail administrators, researchers, corrections and law enforcement professionals, county and community leaders, service providers, and former inmates to discuss the unique dimensions, challenges, and opportunities of jail reentry. This document summarizes the Roundtable presentations and discussion.

The Transition from Jail to Community (TJC) Initiative

Over nine million people pass through America’s local jails each year. These people often don’t receive services, support, or supervision as they leave jail and reenter the community. To address these issues during transition, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) partnered with the Urban Institute in 2007 to launch the Transition from Jail to Community (TJC) initiative.

The Role of Screening and Assessment in Jail Reentry

In 2007, the National Institute of Corrections partnered with the Urban Institute to develop and test the Transition from Jail to Community (TJC) model for effective jail-to-community transition. The TJC model and initiative advance systems change and local reentry through collaborative, coordinated jail-community partnerships. This brief details the two-stage screening and assessment process to determine risk and need levels in the jail population. It describes the importance of screening and assessment in an evidence-based jail transition strategy, including selecting screening and assessment instruments, implementing a screening and assessment process, and integrating risk and need information into comprehensive jail intervention strategies.