Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $59,618)
The State Justice Statistics (SJS) Program is designed to maintain and enhance each state's capacity to address criminal justice issues through collection and analysis of data. The SJS Program provides support to each state to coordinate and conduct statistical activities within the state, conduct research to estimate impacts of legislative and policy changes, and serve as a liaison in assisting BJS to gather data from respondent agencies within their states.
While research has recognized the importance of providing support services/programming and employment to ex-offenders reentering the community, there is still a limited number of programs actually offering these services. Furthermore, what programming is available has not been studied in depth. As state and Federal agencies dedicate resources to community-based reentry programs, these agencies would greatly benefit from the collection, analysis and publication of data on innovative reentry programs. The Nevada Statistical Analysis Center (SAC), located within the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), requests FY 2014 SJS funding to conduct Nevada's first evaluative research project on reentry to analyze the state's success of spending government referral dollars on community-based programs and of program effects on recidivism and other outcomes. Specifically, the SAC will examine ex-offenders who participate in the Hope for Prisoner reentry program that return to work and live in Clark County. The program participants will be selected through file review and participant survey. Mentors will also be selected via a survey about their participation. This site was selected for three reasons: first, this program has received over 200 ex-offenders a year from different state and Federal referring agencies and collects detailed case information about challenges and needs of their clients (e.g., participants or ex-offenders); second, this program has a unique alliance with local police providing the opportunity to poll first line responders about their observations about challenges for reentry success; and third, this program has received national attention for its alliances with local corrections, police, and court systems. Other jurisdictions have been enquiring about replicating the Hope for Prisoners program, making an evaluation and policy analysis well-timed. The SAC will complete the following tasks and publish the findings and policy recommendations in a Nevada State Data Brief that will be available online through the SAC website: 1. Create a description of ex-offenders reintegrating in Nevada; 2. Evaluate the effectiveness of the community based job readiness program; 3. Report on the role held by police and corrections mentor volunteers; and 4. Develop policies for program replication. (CA/NCF)