Thea Dowrich is a senior studying Public Policy with double minors in Chemistry and Statistical Science. She was born in Bridgetown, Barbados and grew up in Connecticut before relocating to Tokyo, Japan with her family. At Duke, she is an executive board member of Duke Tour Guides, a camp counselor through Duke’s chapter of Camp Kesem and a teaching assistant in the Statistical Science department. Off campus, Thea serves as the Children’s Coordinator at StepUp Durham and built a comprehensive program that encourages financial literacy amongst the children of the adult participants. After graduation, Thea will be working as an Associate Consultant at Mastercard in the Washington, D.C. metro area.
Coming Home to Bull City: A Program Evaluation of Durham’s Local Re-Entry Council
Faculty Advisor: Professor Gunther W. Peck
Abstract: Since the 1970s, the U.S. has seen a 500% increase in its total incarcerated population. Not only are people formally incarcerated, but as of 2016, there were about 6.6 million individuals under any kind of criminal supervision, including parole and probation. Although sentencing policies have changed such that people are facing longer sentences, more than 95% of them will eventually be released. Re-entry programs are designed to help returning citizens acclimate to society after their period of incarceration. Their goal is to decrease recidivism, maintain public safety and save money. Many re-entry institutions provide employment readiness training and access to post-secondary education. North Carolina began its efforts to aid formerly incarcerated individuals in 2009. The state’s programming for reintegration is led by local re-entry councils (LRCs). As of 2017, there were 14 re-entry councils serving 20 counties. According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice, local reentry councils are meant to “coordinate resources in the community for formerly incarcerated people and their families that will facilitate a successful transition from the criminal justice system back into society.” Looking specifically at Durham County, I sought to investigate how well its local reentry council is fulfilling its mandate to help justice-involved individuals reintegrate into society. Durham’s LRC does not effectively collect data, as such it is virtually impossible to determine their success rate. Therefore, I am recommending that the LRC adds a data analyst and begins collecting data at person-level, rather than the offense-level.