The Supervision to Aid Reentry Program (“STAR”) established by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 2007 has helped hundreds of people reenter society following their release from prison. Evaluations of the program demonstrate that STAR is successful under a traditional measure of success—recidivism—because it significantly reduces the likelihood of probation revocation for participants and the likelihood of rearrest and probation revocation for graduates. Recidivism rates alone, however, fail to accurately measure and, in fact, obscure some of STAR’s true successes. They fail to assess whether participants have progressed toward ceasing criminal conduct, a process known as desistance, and whether participants’ quality of life has improved. Although less quantifiable, it is important to examine whether STAR is a success based on these more holistic measures. Our analysis of STAR includes voices of participants and indicates that STAR advances desistance and improves quality of life by helping participants to strengthen their relationships with family and pro-social institutions, undergo cognitive transformation, and pursue opportunities for financial and educational advancement. STAR’s success demonstrates that reentry courts remain an integral tool in helping returning citizens reintegrate into society.
Reenvisioning Success: How a Federal Reentry Court Promotes Desistance and Improves Quality of Life
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Maya Sosnov, Leslie Kramer; Reenvisioning Success: How a Federal Reentry Court Promotes Desistance and Improves Quality of Life. Federal Sentencing Reporter 1 June 2022; 34 (5): 310–317. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fsr.2022.34.5.310
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