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Joseph Carroll

Research study validates early success of Day Reporting Center program from Sentinel 

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This is an update on previously published articles about the Day Reporting Center (DRC) in Nevada. The DRC is a program offered through Sentinel Offender Services by the State of Nevada which provides people on parole and probation access to life-changing skills and counseling services.


Earlier this month the Center for Crime and Justice Policy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, published a research brief on the Day Reporting Center (DRC) program operated by Sentinel Offender Services. This was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted among approximately 400 program participants. The group was selected from Nevada’s probation and parole program.

The Nevada Division of Parole and Probation opened  the first DRC in partnership with Sentinel on October 31, 2017.  Subsequently, a second DRC has opened in Reno. The DRC includes classes on anger management, family values, employment preparation, GED preparation, substance abuse and related topics. According to the research brief, primary objectives of a DRC are to:

  • Reduce recidivism among at-risk parolees and probationers
  • Provide an alternative to incarceration
  • Reduce the cost of offender management


Results at the one year mark

The results of this RCT after 12 months suggest that DRCs can achieve these objectives. The study is ongoing. Overall, DRC participants (as compared to those who did not go through the DRC):

  • Exhibited better outcomes
  • Were significantly less likely to abscond
  • Tended to have lower proportions of new charges and violations
  • Were significantly more likely to be successfully discharged
  • Were more likely to attain and maintain employment and a stable residence

The positive results of these programs thus far are driven by many factors. Many DRC graduates comment on the importance of personal interactions and personalized services and programs they receive.

Melissa Starr has been heavily involved with the Nevada DRC program since the very start. As Sentinel’s Vice President of Field Operations, she has seen the program evolve. She has also seen how individuals have progressed. She shares her perspective:

 “The use of progressive methods as an alternative to traditional incarceration is highly effective with stakeholders who are invested in positive outcomes. When community corrections agencies pivot from a reactive to a proactive approach, data supports the idea that providing positive cognitive skills training will reduce recidivism.”


Officials are optimistic

Officials from the state of Nevada who are involved with the DRC stated optimism with these promising results.  According to Natalie Wood, Chief of Nevada’s Department of Public Safety, Parole and Probation Division, if even one person completed the Day Reporting Center (DRC) and committed one less crime with one less victim it would be a success. Thus far more than 150 people have graduated. She estimates the DRC has saved Nevada well over $3 million.


Sentinel Offender Services has been a leader in community-based offender management solutions for more than 25 years. We support all stakeholders – the local community, the authorities responsible for programs and the offenders who are working diligently to reenter society as positive, law abiding citizens.


New Law Reinforces Value of Reentry Programs

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Extends benefits of 2008 law which had excellent results 

The First Step Act offers significant changes to federal sentencing laws and improvements to programs. The aim is to reduce recidivism and support the criminal justice system.

The new law builds on the Second Chance Act.  Each year, $100 million will be available through grants for programs to promote successful reentry for people returning to the community after incarceration. Programs can take many forms. Skills to support reentry and reintegration which can reduce recidivism include:

  • Personal growth programs for substance abuse, anger management, and problem resolution
  • Practical matters like budgeting, money management, and GED preparation
  • Relationship development through better parenting skills and family values
  • Employment services

Most local and state agencies are eligible to apply for funding through this federal grant program.  The National Criminal Justice Initiatives Map has information on where grantees of the Second Chance Act and other federal grant programs are located.

The  Second Chance Act has been in place for over 10 years. It has been deemed very successful.  Reentry Matters: Second Chance Act 10th Anniversary Edition recounts several success stories of programs and individuals supported by the Second Chance Act. From the introduction:

“After years of developments in thinking about the purpose and impact of incarceration, the concept of successful reentry has become a critical aspect of correctional missions to improve public safety and is now deeply entrenched in criminal justice policy and practice.

Enacted with bipartisan support, SCA helps state, local, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations in their work to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes among people who have been in the criminal justice system. Since its passage 10 years ago, SCA has supported more than 900 grants for adult and youth reentry programs, as well as systemwide improvements to help jurisdictions better address the needs of people who are incarcerated.”

For more information about this and related topics visit The National Reentry Resource Center.



To learn about the Cognitive Skills Programs from Sentinel please visit our webpage.