The First Month Out Post-Incarceration Experiences in New York City


In 1999, researchers at the Vera Institute followed a group of 49 people who had just left a New York State prison or New York City jail to discover exactly what happens to them in the first month after release. Their stories reveal patterns of success and failure in the effort to find a place to live and land a job, to comply and feel satisfied with parole supervision, to reunite with family, to stay away from alcohol and other drugs, and to avoid a return to crime. This study reveals why and how the initial reentry period is so difficult. At the same time, it provides evidence of the strong desire among most recently released individuals to turn their lives around. The report offers concrete suggestions for how to prepare inmates for the predictable challenges they will encounter the moment they return home.