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Improve Public Safety and Save Money through Better Reintegration of Ex-Offenders

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Publication Date: November 2008

Author(s): Jesse Jannetta; Nancy LaVigne; Amy Solomon; Laura Winterfield

Special Collection: Presidential Advisory

Topic: Justice (Prisoners and imprisonment)

Keywords: Judicial policy; Prisoner re-entry; Presidential transition

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


U.S. federal and state prisons house some 1.5 million inmates. More than 700,000 are released each year, but half are back behind bars within three years. More than 5 million people are under community supervision on any given day, yet on average, only two in five complete their terms of supervision. The negative effects are enormous—undermining the safety and well-being of communities and families and draining federal, state, and local budgets.

President Obama has a unique opportunity, for the sake of public safety and public budgets, to guide released prisoners to productive and law-abiding lives by building on the momentum of recent successes in helping juvenile and adult ex-offenders successfully return to their communities.