Most Policy Initiative logo

Reentry Programs and Services

February 22, 2022
view pdf
WRITTEN BY Dr. Jill Barnas

Executive Summary

Reentering society can be difficult for incarcerated individuals, who may faceĀ  challenges such as finding employment, housing, and transportation; re-establishing family relationships; finding treatment for substance use, medical, and mental health conditions; and not reoffending. The purpose of the Missouri Reentry Process (MRP) is to improve the overall reintegration process of offenders leaving prison and returning to the community and to subsequently reduce recidivism. Currently, research on the effectiveness of reentry programs (such as housing, education, employment, and substance abuse specific programs) has been mixed, with only a few studies demonstrating positive impacts such as reduced substance use and reduced recidivism rates.


  • Almost 50% of Missouri offenders released between 2012 and 2016 have returned to prison within 5 years.
    • Of the 4,015 offenders released in 2021, 5% have returned to prison in 6 months.
  • Reentry programs aim to facilitate the transition from incarceration back into the community and reduce recidivism using multifaceted approaches such as by increasing access to community resources (e.g., housing, employment) or by directly providing treatment for areas of need (e.g., substance use).
  • In 2021, 15 states enacted legislation to improve reentry and reintegration programs including education, employment training and workforce reentry, release programs related to employment, and housing.


  • Randomized control trials of reentry programs are very limited and contain numerous limitations which include lack of individual-specific concerns within each plan based on needs and risks, lack of gender-responsive programs, potential needs for higher levels of training for treatment provided, and the emphasis on the importance of case-management and follow-up.
  • Additional research is needed to better understand the impacts of quality of life, support networks, family relationships, and community on recidivism.
Most Policy Initiative logo
238 E High St., 3rd Floor
Jefferson City, MO 65101

© 2022 MOST Policy Initiative | Website design and development by Pixel Jam Digital
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram