University of Virginia Launches Program to Improve Former Inmates’ Re-entry Into Society

A new program at the University of Virginia will use custom software and apps to address an issue in need of rigorous study and innovative solutions: how to improve recently released inmates’ re-entry into society.

“Two-thirds of released inmates will be re-arrested within three years,” said Jennifer Doleac, assistant professor of public policy and economics. “This high recidivism rate signals our collective failure to help formerly incarcerated individuals build stable lives after prison. By leveraging interactive technologies and behavioral insights, we can provide prisoners with more personalized information and supports during this often-challenging transition, and reduce the probability of recidivism.”

Along with Doleac, Ben Castleman, assistant professor of education and public policy, will lead the program’s research, development, and implementation. Their goal is to help formerly incarcerated individuals build personalized transition plans, reducing the likelihood of recidivism.

Read more about the program

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