I’m here in Boston for the NADCP Annual Conference to learn what i can and hopefully pass useful information on to you as the week progresses.
For the first time ever, there will be four full days of Focus Groups, Skills Based Symposia, and workshop trainings on Reentry Court topics. I believe that the extraordinary level of expertise and experience brought together (with substantial financial assistance of the Bureau of Justice Assistance) will make this an important and memorable event.
And there’s good reason to celebrate too. Over $20 million in reentry court funding will be distributed to reentry court pilot programs in the next few months (California alone has a $10 million pilot program). There’s a lot riding on these pilot reentry courts. An incredible opportunity to establish the effectiveness of reentry courts….. and an opportunity for failure as well. While the whole world is definitely not watching, the small world of criminal justice evaluators, scientific researchers, and state administrators and legislators certainly will be.
We need to make the most of this incredible opportunity. Turning away from the traditional and conventional, and relying on evidence based practices and scientifically proven processes and procedures to make our case; Reentry Courts will become the mainstream approach to high risk offenders leaving our prisons and jails, because they work.