The aim of this review is to assess the effectiveness of reentry programs designed to reduce recidivism and ensure successful reintegration among adult, male offenders. Studies were included if they (a) evaluated a reentry program incorporating elements dealing with the transition from prison to community for adult, male offenders; (b) utilized a randomized controlled design; and (c) measured recidivism as a primary outcome. In addition, secondary outcomes measures of reintegration were also included. The systematic search of 8,179 titles revealed nine randomized controlled evaluations that fulfilled eligibility criteria. The random-effects meta-analysis for rearrest revealed a statistically nonsignificant effect favoring the intervention (odds ratio [OR] = 0.89, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.74, 1.07]). Similar results were found for reconviction (OR = 0.94, 95% CI [0.77, 1.12]) and reincarceration (OR = 0.90, 95% CI [0.78, 1.05]). Studies reported mixed results of secondary outcomes of reintegration. The results of this review reflect the variability of findings on reducing recidivism. The challenges faced in conducting this review highlight a need for further research and theory development around reentry programs.
Keywords: interventions; meta-analysis; randomized controlled trial; recidivism; reentry; systematic review.