Urban Institute

Evaluation Background

In the United States, over 600,000 individuals are released from prisons and jails each year, and it is estimated that approximately two-thirds are re-incarcerated within three years of their release. The recidivism of released prisoners poses serious challenges to communities and the criminal justice system. To address these challenges, in 2003, the US Departments of Justice, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services established the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI), a large-scale program providing over $100 million to 69 grantees to develop programming, training, and state-of-the-art reentry strategies at the community level. The SVORI programs are intended to reduce recidivism, as well as to improve employment, housing, and health outcomes of participating released prisoners.

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