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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice

Reentry, Probation and Parole Library Guide

For more detailed information on reentry, probation and parole, please consult our library guide entitled Reentry, Probation and Parole.

Reentry Defined

Reentry centers on an individual's return to family, community and society after incarceration.

An era of mass incarceration along with America's shift in sentencing policy have led to a reduction in both prison rehabilitation and parole programs. More prisoners are completing full sentences in prison, and being released with little or no legal or social support or supervision on the outside. As Jeremy Travis states in But They All Come Back, this reality of mass incarceration has translated into a reality of reentry (2005, p.xx). Record numbers of inmates are being released with minimal to no preparation behind bars or support services in their communities to make it on the outside.

Thus, criminal justice experts, academicians, policy makers, and practitioners have turned their focus to prisoners returning to society, or what has become known as "prisoner reentry" or the issues related to a prisoner's release from incarceration to his or her reintegration into their families, communities and society at large. A focus on reentry encourages the coordination of programs, services, and human resources--both inside and outside prison walls--in order to ensure the successful assimilation of prisoners into new lives, roles, jobs, families and communities.

Parole and Probation Defined

Parole, according to West's Encyclopedia of American Law is defined as,

The conditional release of a person convicted of a crime prior to the expiration of that person's term of imprisonment, subject to both the supervision of the correctional authorities during the remainder of the term and a resumption of the imprisonment upon violation of the conditions imposed.

Probation, according to West's Encyclopedia of American Law, is defined as,

A sentence whereby a convict is released from confinement but is still under court supervision; a testing or a trial period. Probation can be given in lieu of a prison term or can suspend a prison sentence if the convict has consistently demonstrated good behavior. The status of a convicted person who is given some freedom on the condition that for a specified period he or she act in a manner approved by a special officer to whom the person must report.

Selected Readings in Reentry, Probation and Parole

Selected readings from online encyclopedias on prisoner and/or offender reentry, probation and/or parole.


Abadinsky, H. (2002). Parole.  In D. Levinson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of crime and punishment (pp. 1128-1132). Sage Publications.

Bivens, N. (2012). Probation. In W. Miller (Ed.), The social history of crime and punishment in America: An encylopedia. (pp. 1432-1438). SAGE Publications.

Clear, T., & Dammer, H. (2002). Probation. In D. Levinson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of crime and punishment.(pp. 1260-1265). SAGE Publications.

Coleman, M. & Spiropoulos, G. (2005). Prisoner reentry. In M. Bosworth (Ed.), Encyclopedia of prisons & correctional facilities (Vol. 2, pp. 760-763). Sage Publications.

Grattet, R. (2020). Back-end sentencing and parole revocation. Oxford Bibliographies in Criminology. Oxford University Press.

Hoskins, K. M. (2018). Women, girls, and reentryOxford Bibliographies in Criminology. Oxford University Press.

Immarigeon, R. (2005).  Probation.  In M. Bosworth (Ed.), Encyclopedia of prisons & correctional facilities (Vol. 2, pp. 777-782). Sage Reference.

Inderbitzin, M. (2014). Felon disenfranchisement. Oxford Bibliographies in Criminology. Oxford University Press.

Jenkins, M. J. (2009). Prisoner reentry.  In H.T. Greene & S. L. Gabbidon (Eds.), Encyclopedia of race and crime (Vol. 2, pp. 652-655). Sage Reference.

Koehler, J., Rothschild-Elyassi, G., & Simon, J. (2018). The new penologyOxford Bibliographies in Criminology. Oxford University Press.

Lutze, F.E., and Kigerl, A. (2013). The psychology of prisoner reentry. In J.B. Helfgott (Ed.). Criminal psychology (Vol. 4. pp. 287-306). Praeger.

Petersilia, J. (2005). Parole.  In M. Bosworth (Ed.), Encyclopedia of prisons & correctional facilities (Vol. 2, pp. 676-682). Sage Reference.

Rengifo, A. F. (2009). Prisoner reentry. Oxford Bibliographies in Criminology. Oxford University Press.

Soyer, M. (2020). Defining "success" in corrections and reentry. Oxford Bibliographies in Criminology. Oxford University Press.

Evaluating Internet Resources

In this section, you will find links to our research guides related to criminal justice.  These research guides have internet links which have been selected by librarians and are considered appropriate for the study of certain topics within criminal justice and ancillary disciplines. When searching the web and finding resources that have not been selected by information professionals, you want to make sure that the information you've found is valid and from a reliable source.

Use our Library guides to help you find reliable sources on the web:

Evaluating Information Sources on the Web

Information Literacy: What is it?

Use these tutorials and instructional videos from Credo Instruct to help you in evaluating your sources:

Why Information Literacy Matters

Video: Evaluating Sources

Internet Resources: Reentry

Corrections & Reentry,

A National Institute of Justice site with research on and evaluation of programs and practices related to corrections and reentry.

Corrections, Reentry, and Community Supervision, Urban Institute

The Justice Policy Center of the Urban Institute produces research briefs and reports combining quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze crime trends and evaluate prevention initiatives in order to provide objective data grounded in the experiences of victims, offenders, and practitioners.  A substantial resources related to the return of prisoners back to society.

Institute for Justice and Opportunity at John Jay College

Formerly known as the Prisoner Reentry Institute, the Institute for Justice and Opportunity has as its mission to serve as a "champion of institutional, structural, and personal transformation" in "open[ing] doors and eliminat[ing] barriers to success for people who have been involved in the criminal legal system." The Institute provides information on Educational and Career Pathways, in addition to Policy Advocacy to "create access to higher education and pathways to satisfying careers" and "advocate for the right to housing, employment, healthcare, and other human rights too often denied people with criminal convictions."  Institute Research and Publications are included.

The Last Mile

The Last Mile is a cooperative, non partisan effort to break the cycle of incarceration. Their focus is on helping incarcerated individuals prepare for successful reentry through business and technology as well as moving tax dollars marked for prison into higher education in order to provide educational opportunities for youth in underserved communities.

National Reentry Resource Center

The NRRC was established by the Second Chance Act and is administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice.  The Center provides education, training, and technical assistance to agencies working on prisoner reentry. Their mission is to advance and dissemination information in addition to promote evidence-based best practices in offender reentry.

Offender Reentry, National Institute of Justice

The National Institute of Justice's overview of offender reentry as well as links to their research reports and other web resources related to reentry.

Offender Reintegration, National Institute of Corrections

National Institute of Corrections' Digital Resource Library with online publications on offender reentry. Search the entire NIC site for more information.


This grass roots organization has as its mission to fight incarceration and addiction with technology. They wish to revolutionize the criminal justice industry by providing technology to solve the incarceration crisis and break the cycle of revolving door prisons by applying modern technology to this industry.

Reentry, Council of State Governments Justice Center

The Reentry Policy Council (RPC) was established in 2001 to assist state governments in dealing with issues of reentry through bipartisan policies and principles in order to facilitate and coordinate an exchange of information among organizations implementing reentry initiatives, research and funding.  RPC is a national nonprofit organization serving law makers at all levels of government.

Reentry Issue Areas, such as juveniles, mental health and mentoring are richly presented along with reentry Projects, Resource and Facts and Trends.


A National Institute of Justice site with research which rates the effectiveness of criminal justice programs and practices for practitioners and policy makers intended to figure out what works, what doesn't, and what's promising in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services.

Reentry/Release, National Criminal Justice Reference Service

National Criminal Justice Reference Service’s webpage on prisoner reentry.  Includes Q&As, National Institute of Justice publications as well as links to related websites and publications other than NCJRS.  Recidivism is also covered.

Reentry Resource Center: New York

Reentry Net/NY, a project of The Bronx Defenders and Pro Bono Net, is a collaborative education and resource center for individuals and organizations in NY that advocate for people with criminal records and their families.  The site serves as both a support network and clearinghouse for information on prison and jail reentry in NY.

Reform Alliance

Borne out of a "collective disgust with the current state of the American criminal justice system [REFORM] is creating a powerful, growing alliance that spans different backgrounds, industries and political beliefs." This organization brings together leaders from every industry to change the laws, policies, and practices that perpetuate injustice in the American criminal justice system, with special emphasis on probation and parole.

Second Chance for Ex-Offenders Act of 2007(H.R. 623 IH)

Bill summary and status for the Second Chance for Ex-Offenders Act of 2007, a piece of federal legislation on allowing criminal records to be expunged under certain circumstances for certain nonviolent offenders.


Internet Resources: Probation and Parole

American Parole and Probation Association

The APPA is a professional association including members from all levels of government and the private sector. The organization is aimed at reducing recidivism and keeping communities safe by strengthening the role of the community corrections industry through research, professional development and defining best practices.

Board of Parole. New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

New York State's parole process; preparing for parole; role of the parole board; parole appeals, decisions and rules & regulations; history and mission of the parole board.

New York City Department of Parole

NYC probation page includes information on the department--Commissioner, organizational chart, history of probation and a definition and discussion or their evidence-based policies and practicescommunity programs; some data reports, news and employment information.

New York State Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives

New York State FAQ on probation and correctional alternatives. A wealth of information including rules and regulations, standards and procedures, statistics and reports, specialized programing such as the Division of Criminal Justice Services' Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Project which focuses on reducing crime and improving outcomes for individuals with mental illness by enhancing criminal justice and behavioral health collaboration in specific areas. 

Parole and Probation, National Criminal Justice Reference Service

Q&A, National Institute of Justice publications, as well as links to other relevant websites and publications on the topic of parole and probation in the United States.