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Public Policy and Administration


Glenn L. Starks


Research has primarily been centered around the reentry process and programs available to those incarcerated in prison; however, those incarcerated in jails and the reentry programs available has been underrepresented in the field of study. The Jails to Jobs initiative is intended to combat the reentry barriers faced by ex-offenders by offering reentry services while incarcerated as well as transitional services upon release to address the barriers to reentry. However, the problem exists due to the effectiveness of the reentry programs and their ability to provide adequate services that address the needs of African American, male ex-offenders, and, in turn, reduce the recidivism rate. The purpose of this qualitative, phenomenological study was to explore the effectiveness of reentry programming as well as the reentry experiences of 11 formerly incarcerated African American men who were detained in a city jail in the northeast United States and participated in the new Jails to Jobs initiative. Using Weible and Sabatier’s policy feedback approach as a theoretical framework, the research questions were developed to focus on exploring the impact of reentry programs on recidivism and the reentry experiences of African American men. Data were acquired through semi structured interviews with African American, male ex-offenders who participated in Jails to Jobs. Data acquired from the interviews were coded and categorized for analysis to find common themes. Taking into consideration the feedback from those who participated in the reentry program can shed light on future policy changes to the way reentry programs are implemented.

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