2002 National Forum Looks at Research on Prisoner Reentry

National forum on prisoner reentry

Nearly 600,000 individuals leave state and federal prisons each year, many of whom are unprepared for reentry to society.

In March 2002, criminal justice researchers and practitioners, community leaders, former prisoners and policy-makers convened in Washington at the Reentry Roundtable, a national forum to discuss research and policy regarding prisoner reentry and its impact on individuals, families and communities. The conference was the third in a national series of Reentry Roundtable meetings organized by the Urban Institute, a policy research and educational organization.

Key Results

  • Attendees at the meeting, entitled "Prisoner Reentry and the Institutions of Civil Society: Bridges and Barriers to Successful Reintegration," examined the role that communities, faith institutions, the business sector, public attitudes and the legal system play in prisoner reintegration.
  • Urban Institute staff commissioned seven papers from experts in the criminal justice field to serve as the basis for discussions at the meeting. (See the Bibliography for details.)
  • In addition to the core group of 27 roundtable participants, 78 invited representatives from the media, foundations, academia and criminal justice observed the conference.
  • Many of the commissioned papers are available on the Urban Institute Web site (see the Bibliography for URLs of available papers). The organization alerted more than 2,000 researchers, service providers and others when the papers became available.
  • The Urban Institute has convened three additional meetings of the Reentry Roundtable, one in December 2002 and two in May 2003. Urban Institute staff is planning additional meetings of the roundtable in 2004.


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided a grant of $22,792 in 2002 to the Urban Institute as partial support for the meeting. The Open Society Institute provided additional funding of $80,000.

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