Smoothing the Path from Prison to Home An Evaluation of the Project Greenlight Transitional Services Demonstration Program


This report presents research findings about Project Greenlight, an ambitious prison-based reentry demonstration project that the Vera Institute of Justice conducted at the Queensboro Correctional Facility in Queens, New York, from February 2002 to February 2003. Drawing upon research literature and demonstrated best practices, Greenlight sought to reduce recidivism among soon-to-be-released men by working with corrections and parole staff to address a spectrum of reentry issues during the last 60 days in prison. Despite these efforts, however, Vera researchers found that arrest rates among Greenlight's 348 participants were higher than those of two different comparison groups. While disappointing, these findings present the field of prison reentry with a valuable learning opportunity. The technical report is supplemented by an edited transcript of an April 2005 roundtable discussion about the project that was attended by prominent researchers, expert practitioners, and former Greenlight and select Vera staff. The edited transcript covers many issues that could have factored into the disappointing outcomes and presents lessons for current and future programs that are designed to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for men and women returning to the community from prison.