"Spurring innovation, improving practice"

Welcome to the Prisoner Reentry Institute

The mission of the Prisoner Reentry Institute (PRI) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice is to spur innovation and improve practice in the field of reentry by advancing knowledge; translating research into effective policy and service delivery; and fostering effective partnerships between criminal justice and non-criminal justice disciplines.

The PRI works towards this mission by focusing its efforts on the following types of projects and activities:

  • Developing, Managing, and Evaluating Innovative Reentry Projects.
  • Providing Practitioners and Policymakers with Cutting Edge Tools and Expertise.
  • Promoting Education Opportunities for Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Individuals as a Vehicle for Successful Reentry and Reintegration.
  • Identifying “Pulse Points” and Creating Synergy Across Fields and Disciplines.


Higher Education in Prison

U.S. Department of Education Launches Second Chance Pell Pilot Program for Incarcerated Individuals


Three Quarter Houses

Mayor de Blasio has convened an emergency task force to investigate New York City’s three-quarter houses, saying that his administration will stop payments to landlords guilty of serious and repeated violations in their transitional housing facilities – the same abuses highlighted in PRI’s 2013 report “Three Quarter Houses: The View From Inside”. Check out our report below – then head to the New York Times for the full results of their own investigation or their recent follow-up piece.

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Three-Quarter Houses: The View from the Inside is the first systematic and comprehensive study of Three-Quarter Housing in New York City. In collaboration with MFY Legal Services and Neighbors Together, the Prisoner Reentry Institute (PRI) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice conducted focus groups and interviews with tenants of Three-Quarter Houses. The investigation revealed rampant building code violations, dangerous overcrowding, and illegal practices—including unlawful evictions without court process and dubious ties to programs that bill Medicaid. The report findings also stressed the lack of available alternatives, and the need to develop policy solutions that will protect residents’ safety and housing options. Click here for the press release and full report.


College Initiative Joins PRI!

Community-based organization College Initiative joined PRI in July of 2015. Click here to watch the video of PRI Director Ann Jacobs and CI Executive Director Michael Carey making the announcement at the May 2015 Occasional Series event, or click here to see the press release.

Reentry Research in the First Person

Cover_Final Higher Education and Reentry: The Gifts They Bring, a Participatory Action Research study conducted by Michelle Fine, Alexis Halkovic (CUNY Graduate Center) and a team of research assistants, explores the lived experiences of people with criminal justice histories as they attend and contemplate enrolling in college. The report highlights the journeys of these students and considers a number of important questions: What does it take for people with criminal justice histories to successfully transform the trajectory of their lives? What are the obstacles they face? What affirmative steps can we take to make our public and private colleges and universities more welcoming to this growing population of students?  Click here for the press release and full report.


PRI in the News

National Journal asks Ann Jacobs what to expect from Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address.

Ebony details the partnership that brings the Tribeca Film Institute to students of the Prison-to-College Pipeline – and beyond.

PRI’s Alison Wilkey weighs in on the public safety implications of NYCHA permanent exclusion practice in a letter to the NY Daily News.

The Nation asks PRI’s Alison Wilkey for perspective on the intentions – and collateral consequences – of the 1996 Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act.

Time asks Ann Jacobs about the reentry implications of the upcoming release of 6,000 federal prisoners.

Ann Jacobs is quoted in New York Magazine’s look at the early release of 6,000 federal prisoners.

P2CP Academic Director Baz Dreisinger reflects on the U.S. legacy of mass incarceration – now a world export – in The Atlantic.

BlackPressUSA quotes EI Director Bianca Van Heydoorn and P2CP Academic Director Baz Dreisinger in their story on the Second Chance Pell Pilot program.

Ann Jacobs is quoted in Pacific Standard’s coverage of the problems with money bail.

Tow Policy Advocacy Fellowship Director Professor Karin Martin is quoted in a Pew Charitable Trusts blog post on the growing problem of criminal justice debt.

P2CP Academic Director Baz Dreisinger is quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Bianca van Heydoorn is quoted in NBC News coverage of the Second Chance Pell Pilot Program.

P2CP is featured on PBS NewsHour.

Ann Jacobs is quoted in an Al Jazeera article on mental healthcare for women in prison.

Ann Jacobs’ “Success in the Community” matrix is published in full in the Huffington Post.

Ann Jacobs tells MTV News why those 46 commutations matter – and what should happen next.

Ann Jacobs is quoted in a New York Times Magazine feature on navigating the practicalities of reentry.

CUNY TV’s Study with the Best features some excellent coverage of the Prison-to-College Pipeline (P2CP).

Director Ann Jacobs weighs in on Orange Is The New Black’s depiction of reentry.

City Limits quotes Director Ann Jacobs in their investigation of NYCHA Permanent Exclusions.

Director Ann Jacobs quoted in a Quartz profile of the potentially exploitative practice of video visitation.

The Atlantic features a column from Justice Corps Educator Irvin Weathersby Jr. on education’s role in reversing mass incarceration.

“Empire” star Malik Yoba and his company Iconic32 host a live screening of the hit show’s season finale to raise money for P2CP.

P2CP is covered in a special feature on Al Jazeera.

P2CP Learning Exchange Student Taniya Dewan is selected for prestigious White House internship.

PRI Director Ann Jacobs is quoted in a story from The Crime Report on 3/4 House Operators Accused of Fraud.

PRI’s Prison-to-College Pipeline is highlighted as one of five innovative programs that keep people out of prison.

Karin Martin, faculty partner, has letter to editor printed in the New York Times.

Jennifer Eberhardt, who will be speaking at PRI’s October 23rd Occasional Series, has been named a MacArthur Fellow

PRI Director Ann Jacobs named to Governor Cuomo’s New York State Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration.

PRI’s Prison-to-College Pipeline is featured in the New York Times.

PRI’s Three-Quarter House report is referenced in this Aljazeera America article

New York 1 speaks with members of the Queens Justice Corps.

The full text of NYC Probation Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi’s speech at our fall 2013 youth justice symposium is now available online here. Video of the event is pending.

PRI’s Prison-to-College Pipeline program is featured in the New York Business Journal. Full story here.

On Wednesday, September 4, 2013, Bianca Van Heydoorn, the Director of Education Initiatives at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, along with Krystlelynn Caraballo, visited The Doe Fund’s dispatch center to thank the organization for the important work that they do with the college’s Prison-to-College Pipeline program. Full story here.

Learn about about three quarters houses with this investigative piece by The Crime Report. The article includes a quote from PRI Director Ann Jacobs and was also featured on Salon.com. PRI released this research report on New York City three quarters houses in the fall of 2013.

Ann L. Jacobs is quoted in a Wall Street Journal article on recidivism. Read the article

Ann L. Jacobs featured at the Support Housing Network of New York’s annual conference. Read more and view video.

For more PRI press, click here.

PRI Spotlights

The Education from the Inside Out Coalition (EIO) has released a white paper on barriers to higher education for people with criminal histories.

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NYC Justice Corps: Program Expansion
The Prisoner Reentry Institute (PRI) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in partnership with the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity and the Mayor’s Young Men’s Initiative, is expanding the New York City Justice Corps reentry initiative to serve 300 young adults annually in the South Bronx, Jamaica, East New York and Harlem. See the Press Release. Learn More.

Pinkerton Fellowship Initiative
The Pinkerton Fellowship Initiative placed its second cohort of John Jay students in internships at youth justice community-based organizations. These promising Juniors and Seniors fulfill direct service roles, gaining valuable work experience while improving the operational capacities of the partner agencies. Learn More.

Prison-to-College Pipeline
In partnership with the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), this initiative engages public higher education as a partner in facilitating successful reentry for individuals leaving state prison. John Jay College offers college-level courses at Otisville Correctional Facility to individuals within three to four years of release. Learn more.