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Projects: Close to Home

Close to Home sought to improve reentry outcomes when people return to the community from jail. Program staff partnered with jails, community-corrections agencies, and community-based organizations in two jurisdictions to help them apply a family-focused approach to reentry planning. The project's lessons are applicable to jurisdictions throughout the country.

Why Does This Work Matter?

Most reentry initiatives in the United States focus on people who are leaving prison, often after an extended sentence. Because jail stays are usually far shorter, the challenges associated with returning to the community from jail may be underestimated. But after even a short time in jail, people often face the same hurdles as those coming home from prison. These may include, for example, unemployment, changes in family dynamics, and a need to reapply for federal benefits. Close to Home adapted the Family Justice Program’s methodology to suit jail staff and their community partners. As a result, these key service providers were better able to help jailed people identify family and community members who can serve as a resource for them—both while they are incarcerated and after they return home. 

Two sites—Montgomery County, Maryland, and Green Lake County, Wisconsin—were selected to participate in this project, which was funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

For more information about Close to Home, contact Ryan Shanahan.

Close to Home: Building on Family Support for People Leaving Jail
09/30/2011
Most research and programming about incarcerated people and their family support systems focus on prison settings. Because jail is substantially different from prison—most notably, time served there is usually shorter—it is not clear that policies and practices that work in prisons can be applied...
12/05/2013
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I’m thrilled to be writing my first Current Thinking blog post as Vera’s president and to reflect on some of Vera’s work this year and how closely it aligns with some unprecedented opportunities in criminal justice. When I returned to Vera this...
10/23/2012
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An article by Ryan Shanahan and Sandra Villalobos Agudelo of Vera’s Family Justice Program published in the new issue of American Jailsmagazine * describes Vera’s work to develop family-focused approaches for jail settings. Among the approaches...
12/13/2011
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Just in time for the holidays—traditionally a season for connecting with family—Minnesota’s Department of Corrections (DOC) published a research report that supports what many people know intuitively: contact with supportive people can help reduce...
10/28/2011
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Guest blogger Stefan LoBuglio is chief of Pre-Release and Reentry Services in the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. As the division chief of one of the pilot sites─the Montgomery County (Maryland) Pre-Release...