Panel Paper: Successful Reentry: A Holistic Guide for Cities

Friday, March 9, 2018
Room 24 (Burkle Family Building at Claremont Graduate University)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Sofia Espinoza, Isaac Bryan, Alvin Teng and Estefanía Zavala, University of California, Los Angeles

Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management: Student Conference Application

Successful Reentry: A Holistic Guide for Cities

Estefania Zavala, Isaac Bryan, Alvin Teng, and Sofia Espinoza

UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs

Our team has been commissioned by the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Reentry (M.O.R.E) for a policy project to address barriers to reentry within the City of Los Angeles. Our goal is to utilize a mixed-methodological approach to evaluate the current landscape of employment equity and other barriers to reentry in the City. The foundation of our analysis consists of a contemporary literature review, mapping of the current demographics of the re-entry population, focus group interviews with formerly incarcerated individuals, employer surveys, and key stakeholder interviews. We utilize quantitative data supplied by Million Dollar Hoods and other data sharing sources to map reentry within the City. Additionally, we conducted qualitative interviews of formerly incarcerated individuals and administered surveys to both system impacted individuals and employers. Our research will culminate in actionable policy recommendations for the City to implement for successful reentry and a decrease in recidivism.

California has one of the highest recidivism rates in the country. With nearly 7 out of 10 releasees recidivating within 3 years of their release, it is incumbent for policy makers on all levels to discuss, strategize, and implement successful reform interventions. Additionally, following AB109 and Prop 47, the City of Los Angeles has become a testing ground for innovative reentry policy solutions. With incarceration costing over $75,000 a year per person in California, both state and local policy makers are eager for alternatives to confinement that do not compromise public safety.

Our primary research question is: how can the City of Los Angeles best utilize reentry funds to successfully increase positive reentry outcomes? This question is essential to our policy recommendations. We map reentry patterns in the City of Los Angeles and suggest a comprehensive strategy for delivering targeted resources aimed at mitigating recidivism and improving public safety. Additionally, incarceration rates continue to disproportionately impact communities of color and low-income communities. This project seeks to enact social justice by offering a tangible and holistic pathway for reentry for people leaving the criminal justice system.