Erie County, New York, has long prioritized efforts to improve outcomes for people in the criminal justice system. In 2005, the county established New York’s first reentry task force, with funding provided by the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services and support from the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. To gain further insight on the needs of the community and how to improve reentry efforts in Erie County, the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable partnered with Erie County officials in 2016 to request an assessment of the county’s reentry services and resources. To fulfill this request, The CSG Justice Center—with financial support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance—conducted a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the county’s reentry services and focused its efforts largely on four overall core challenges:
- Lack of coordination across reentry agencies, providers, and populations.
- Unequal access to high-quality, evidence-based services across the reentry populations.
- Lack of evidence-based practices in the selection of reentry service provider contracts.
- Low participation in pre- and post- release programs due to lack of funding, incentives to participate, and promotion.
This assessment highlights these challenges and provides recommendations to assist county leaders in the development of a coordinated, comprehensive strategy to improve the quality and delivery of reentry services to people returning to Erie County after incarceration.