Impact of Neighborhood Opportunity Network on Recidivism in New York City
Current methods of supervising probationers rely on surveillance, though often, these strategies are ineffective or inadequate in terms of rehabilitating offenders. In response to the ineffectiveness of current supervision methods, the city of New York Department of Probation partnered with neighborhoods to encourage public safety, individual accountability, and successful reintegration through the Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON), though little is known about why this program has been successful in reducing recidivism. Using social learning theory as the foundation, the purpose of this case study was to evaluate NeON's programs and understand from the perspective of probationers whether the programs have a discernable impact on recidivism among adult probationers in NYC. Data were collected through interviews with 12 probationers enrolled in NeON programs and other publicly available policy statements and documents from the program. These interview data were inductively coded and subjected to a thematic analysis procedure. Findings generally suggest that the programmatic intervention of NeON programs and the indispensability of family and community partners in rehabilitating probationers holds the best promise for success in terms of reducing recidivism, which is consistent with social learning theory. Respondents reported law-abiding and productive lifestyles after they attained stabilization through the NeON program interventions. The findings in this study may serve to stimulate social cohesion among community members and encourage collaborative efforts in reducing recidivism. The findings may also create opportunities to review policies and programs to capitalize on what works in offenders' recidivism and add to repertoire of knowledge on the efficacy of programmatic intervention on criminal recidivism.