November 29, 2007

New study: Brooklyn, NY prisoner reentry program

Prosecutors push alternatives to crime

Today's New York Times features an editorial on a pioneering prisoner reentry program in Brooklyn, NY. The ComAlert program has been going strong for eight years, and was just the focus of a study by a criminal justice expert at Harvard.

No surprise, the study found that paroled prisoners are more likely to stay out of trouble if they undergo rigorous counseling and drug treatment along with immediate job training and work experience.

The surprise (which isn't mentioned by the Times) is who is running and promoting the innovative program: The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office. Indeed, ComAlert stands for "Community and Law Enforcement Resources Together."

The New York Times editorial is here. A longer article by researcher Bruce Western is online here. Western is the author of Punishment and Inequality in America, an enlightening look at crime, race, and employment that was published last year.