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Urban Institute Finds Allegheny County Jail Collaborative Reduces Recidivism

The Urban Institute of Washington, D.C. has released its 12-month evaluation of the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative re-entry programs, concluding that they do in fact reduce recidivism. Members and supporters presented the findings at the jail.

Reducing recidivism saves tax dollars and enhances public safety. The collaborative works with those accepted into the program before and after they get out — with jobs, family support, cognitive behavioral intervention, and mental health or substance abuse issues.

One person who’s been through the program is James Drum. He’s 32 and has been in and out of the jail since he was 18. He said this is the first time he’s had a place to go when he got out — he’s getting help with housing and job training. 

He said speaking at the press conference in the jail was a new experience.  

“I've never come in the front door … just walking in and knowing like I’m going somewhere in the jail and I’m not coming in from downstairs in a police car," Drum said. "Coming in and seeing the COs and telling them I have to go somewhere in the jail, and they’ll take me there instead of treating me like an inmate. It definitely was a good feeling.”