National Institute of Justice National Institute of Justice. Research. Development. Evaluation. Office of Justice Programs
Home  |  Help  |  Contact Us  |  Site Map   |  Glossary
Reliable Research. Real Results.
Additional Resources:

Program Profile: New Jersey Community Resource Centers

Evidence Rating: Promising - One study Promising - One study

Date: This profile was posted on June 14, 2011

Program Summary

Nonresidential multiservice centers that facilitate parolees’ successful reintegration back into the community. The program is rated Promising. Participants had lower reconviction rates than parolees who received no community supervision, did not participate in community programs, or participated in a Halfway Back program. Participants also had significantly lower rates than parolees who either did not receive community programming or any community supervision.

Program Description

Program Goals

Community Resource Centers (CRCs), also known as Day Reporting Centers, are nonresidential multiservice centers that facilitate parolees’ successful reintegration back into the community by offering a combination of services and supervision. They serve as community-based alternative sanctions for technical parole violators or as a condition of parole on release from prison. The New Jersey State Parole Board (NJSPB) uses CRCs as one approach to parole supervision.


Program Components

The centers are open 7 days a week and offer educational services; assistance in obtaining a GED; vocational and skills training, employment preparation and job placement; substance use education and programming; family counseling; and life skills training. Typical participation in the CRCs is 90 days.


There are several CRCs located throughout the State of New Jersey. Although the various centers follow the same model of parole supervision, the programmatic concentration and quality of services are not uniform from site to site. For example, the Essex County Day Reporting Center provides specialized reentry services for female offenders. The center provides transitional housing and case management services, including employment assistance, parenting skills, and vocational training.


Program Theory

During the 1980s and 1990s, New Jersey, like many other States, saw a dramatic rise in its State prison population. At the same time, the number of parole revocations that resulted in a return to prison for parolees also greatly increased. This significant growth of admissions to prison, especially the admission of technical parole violators, placed enormous pressure on the State correctional budget. In 2001, the NJSPB responded to this issue by developing a new approach to manage parole violators, especially technical violators, emphasizing the use of intermediate sanctions and evidence-based practices.


CRCs can serve as intermediate sanctions for parole violators who have not complied with conditions of supervision or as stipulation of parole on release from prison. In either case, CRCs are designed to keep technical parole violators out of incarceration—thereby not contributing to the prison population—while providing appropriate treatment services that help parolees reintegrate back into the community and reduce the chances of recidivism or parole violation.

Evaluation Outcomes

top border

Study 1


Ostermann (2009) found that 65 percent of the total sample were rearrested, 45 percent were reconvicted, and 32 percent were reincarcerated. Chi-square tests revealed significant differences for all measures of recidivism among all four groups.



Fifty-eight percent of parolees released to a Day Reporting Center (DRC) were rearrested following release from prison, compared with 59 percent of Halfway Back (HWB) program participants, 62 percent of parolees who did not participate in a community program, and 79 percent of parolees who maxed out their prison sentence and received no community supervision.


Survival tests indicated that max-outs were the quickest to be rearrested; they were arrested for a new crime on average 315.21 days after their 2004 release. Parolees who received no community programming were rearrested on average 347.23 days after release. DRC participants lasted longer, with an average time to rearrest of 360.53 days, and HWB participants lasted considerably longer, with an average of 455.81 days to rearrest.


The multivariate analyses, which controlled for demographics and criminal history, revealed that parolees who did not participate in community programs were about 58 percent less likely to reoffend compared to the max-out group. Those paroled to DRCs were 68 percent less likely to be rearrested than the max-out group, and HWB program participants were 64 percent less likely to be rearrested than the max-out group.


The final analysis using a Cox-proportional hazards test revealed that only the HWB program obtained statistically significant odds ratios, showing that those participants were roughly 38 percent more likely to stay arrest-free than the max-out group, when controlling for all predictor variables.



Participants in DRCs had the lowest reconviction rates. Thirty-two percent of DRC participants were reconvicted for one of their charges, compared with 59 percent of HWB participants, 62 percent of parolees who did not participate in a community program, and 61 percent of parolees who maxed out their sentence.


Multivariate analysis showed a statistically significant difference between the max-out group and the parolees who participated in community programs. The DRC participants were 73 percent less likely than the max-out group to be reconvicted, and the HWB program participants were 68 percent less likely to be reconvicted than the max-out group.



Although DRC participants did not have the lowest reincarceration rates, they did have significantly lower rates than parolees who either did not receive community programming or maxed out their prison sentence. HWB participants had the lowest rate of reincarceration (17 percent), compared with 20 percent of DRC participants, 39 percent of parolees with no community programming, and 46 percent of max-outs.


Multivariate analysis of the reincarceration data showed similar significant results to the reconviction outcomes. The DRC participants were about 73 percent less likely than the max-out group to be reincarcerated. The HWB program participants were less likely than the max-out group to be reincarcerated by roughly 76 percent.

bottom border

Evaluation Methodology

top border

Study 1

Ostermann (2009) examined the ways in which two community programs in New Jersey affected the recidivism rates of parolees reentering the community. The two programs were Day Reporting Centers (DRCs), also known as Community Resource Centers (CRCs), and the Halfway Back (HWB) program. Three measurements for recidivism were used: rearrest, reconviction, and reincarceration (except for parole violations). Rearrest was measured if study participants were arrested for a new crime after their release date. Reconviction was counted if participants were found to be guilty of one of their charges. Reincarceration was measured if participants served a custodial term in either prison or jail after their release. Time spent in the community was calculated by finding the difference in days between the study participant’s date of release from prison and the date of data collection (May 15, 2007). This allowed for a 3-year follow-up period. Data was gathered from multiple sources including the New Jersey State Parole Board, the New Jersey Department of Corrections, and the New Jersey State Police. Recidivism was determined by analyzing the study participant’s criminal case history and Interstate Identification Index.


The study sample included all individuals released from New Jersey Department of Corrections in 2004. A total sample of 714 participants made up four groups:


·         Offenders who maxed out their prison sentence and did not receive any community supervision following release from prison (n=200)

·         Offenders who were paroled but did not participate in any community programs (n=198)

·         Offenders who were paroled to a DRC on release (n=135)

·         Offenders who were paroled to a HWB program on release (n=181)


Control variables used were age, gender, race, number of previous arrests, and type of crime for which they were incarcerated and then released in 2004. The sample's average age was 35 years old and was 93 percent male, 67 percent African American, 17 percent white, and 16 percent Hispanic. Fifty-three percent of study participants were incarcerated for drug related offenses, 26 percent for property offenses, and 21 percent for violent offenses. No significant differences were found among groups.


The study used Chi-square tests and analysis of variance (ANOVA) analyses for variance to establish differences between the groups in relation to control variables. Sequential logistic regression was used to examine the impact of program membership on recidivism outcomes, including control variables. Further analyses were run by program types. Kaplan–Meier survival analyses were conducted to measure the differences in time to rearrest, with Cox-proportional hazards tests used to predict recidivism with control variables.

bottom border


top border
There is no cost information available for this program.
bottom border

Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

top border
These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1

Ostermann, Michael. 2009. “An Analysis of New Jersey’s Day Reporting Center and Halfway Back Programs: Embracing the Rehabilitative Ideal Through Evidence Based Practices.” Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 48(2):139–53.

bottom border

Additional References

top border
These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

New Jersey Association of Corrections. N.d. “Essex County Day Reporting Center.” Accessed March 11, 2011.
bottom border

Related Practices

top border
Following are practices that are related to this program:

Noncustodial Employment Programs for Ex-Offenders
This practice involves job training and career development for offenders with a recent criminal record in order to increase employment and reduce recidivism. These programs take place outside of the traditional custodial correctional setting, after offenders are released. The practice is rated No Effects in reducing criminal behavior for participants in noncustodial employment training programs compared with those who did not participate.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
No Effects - One Meta-Analysis Crime & Delinquency - Multiple crime/offense types
bottom border

Program Snapshot

Age: 18+

Gender: Both

Race/Ethnicity: Black, Hispanic, White

Geography: Suburban, Urban

Setting (Delivery): Other Community Setting

Program Type: Academic Skills Enhancement, Alcohol and Drug Therapy/Treatment, Aftercare/Reentry, Alternatives to Incarceration, Cognitive Behavioral Treatment, Conflict Resolution/Interpersonal Skills, Day/Evening Treatment, Diversion, Family Therapy, Probation/Parole Services, Vocational/Job Training, Motivational Interviewing

Targeted Population: Serious/Violent Offender, Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Offenders, High Risk Offenders

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: National Reentry Resource Center

Program Developer:
David Wolfsgruber
Asst. Director
NJSPB Community Programs Division
P.O. Box 862
Trenton NJ 08625
Phone: 609.777.0181

Program Director:
Lenny Ward
NJSPB Community Programs Division
PO Box 862
Trenton NJ 08625
Phone: 609.633.7703

Michael Ostermann
Evidence Based Institute, School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University
123 Washington Street
Newark NJ 07102

Training and TA Provider:
Todd Clear
School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University
123 Washington Street
Newark NJ 07102