Project Abstract

This project continued the partnership between the Colorado Department of Corrections Division of Adult Parole, the Colorado Lab, and Mathematica. Under phase one, the partnership conducted an implementation study to examine the current landscape of reentry in Colorado and analyzed existing administrative data to better understand the pre- and post-release reentry services provided to individuals across the state.

Under Phase II, the partnership focused on capacity-building and further leveraging existing data to support state reentry efforts. As a key component of the second phase, the project used statistical methods to explore how the Level of Service Inventory (LSI) risk assessment and its component scores can help identify which groups of individuals would benefit most from specific reentry services. We also examined potential strategies for further embedding the use of LSI component scores into the process for connecting individuals to reentry services prior to and following release.

The Colorado Lab and Mathematica also provided capacity-building support to the Latino Coalition for Community Leadership, an organization that provides administrative oversight for Colorado’s Work and Gain Education and Employment Skills (WAGEES) community-based reentry program. In collaboration with the Latino Coalition, we explored future opportunities for building upon and enriching existing data collection and continuous quality improvement across the state’s network of WAGEES providers.

Program Partners: 

Colorado Department of Corrections, Division of Adult Parole

Latino Coalition for Community Leadership

Research Partners: 

Mathematica Policy Research

The Department of Corrections has a mission to help people on parole make positive changes and become law-abiding citizens. To this end, the agency targets high-risk/high-need people with intensive programs – such as housing and employment training – both prior to and upon release to the community.

Following implementation of reforms passed by the Colorado General Assembly in 2014, the Colorado Department of Corrections, in partnership with the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab and Mathematica Policy Research, has conducted a study to examine current implementation of state-level reentry services.

Among the key findings:

  • Colorado’s expansion of reentry services initiated new connections between prison, parole, and the community that build the foundation for more integrated system.
  • Targeting reentry services to the people who need them most is challenging but key to having efficient and effective services.
  • Modernizing and connecting data systems that evolved from different contexts for different purposes is a strategic priority for improving service delivery.
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