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Evaluation of North Carolina’s Pathways from Prison to Post-Secondary Education Program
Before 2013, incarcerated individuals in North Carolina could enroll in college correspondence courses, but there was no coordinated effort to provide a path toward a postsecondary degree or credential. Furthermore, there was no coordination around reentry. The Vera Institute of Justice’s Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary Education Project (Pathways) was a multistate demonstration project in three states—Michigan, New Jersey, and North Carolina—intended to create a continuum of higher education and reentry support services that begin two years prior to an individual’s release from prison and continue in the community for two years postrelease, with the goal of educational progression and degree attainment.
RAND and RTI International researchers conducted an independent evaluation of the North Carolina Pathways Program, examining the implementation of the in-prison and community components of the program, the experiences of Pathways students and staff, factors that facilitated or hindered their participation in the program, and lessons learned. The findings and recommendations will be of interest to other states, corrections officials, and educators interested in implementing postsecondary education programs for incarcerated adults.
Notably, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) continues to fund components of Pathways after the demonstration project ended. Pathways has led to more coordination between prisons and probation and parole officers and community resources. Because of Pathways, education has become the fourth pillar of the department’s reentry focus (along with housing, employment, and transportation).
From the Pew Public Safety Performance Project
Utah’s 2017 Juvenile Justice Reform Shows Early Promise
On March 24, 2017, Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) signed H.B. 239, a comprehensive set of research-based reforms designed to improve the state’s juvenile justice system. The bill, which was sponsored by Representative Lowry Snow (R) and Senator Todd Weiler (R) and passed with near-unanimous support in the Legislature, is intended to keep youth who can be safely supervised in the community out of costly residential placements, expand community-based programs, standardize practices to reduce outcome disparities across racial and geographic lines, and divert youth charged with less serious offenses from formal court proceedings.
The Legislature also appropriated approximately $1 million in initial funding for the expansion of evidence-based services and other provisions of the new law. By 2022, H.B. 239 is projected to reduce the number of juveniles in out-of-home placements by approximately 47 percent, freeing up $70 million for reinvestment in evidence-based services in the community.
We Know What Types of Supervision … Help Reduce Recidivism and Incarceration’
Arizona probation chief envisions smaller, less punitive, more effective system
Article January 8, 2019
Barbara Broderick has devoted most of her 40-year criminal justice career to improving state and local community supervision in Arizona and New York. Since December 2000, she has served as chief probation officer of the Maricopa County (Arizona) Adult Probation Department, the nation’s sixth-largest, with more than 1,100 employees, a budget of $118 million, and about 54,000 individuals under its jurisdiction.
Does Community Supervision Have a Future?
The nation’s probation and parole systems, usually grouped under the category of Community Supervision, were designed to help people navigate the transition from prison back to civilian life—and become productive, law-abiding citizens.
But they are more likely to make things worse for individuals—and by extension for their families and communities—say experts who believe it’s time for the U.S. to adopt a radically different approach that treats ex-inmates with the dignity they deserve as returning citizens.
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