This award supports a conference about applied research on innovative social and ecological approaches to prisoner reentry and recidivism reduction. It focuses on making connections between social scientific theory and the environmental sustainability programs, procedures, policies and practices that are improving correctional outcomes and community environments. The conference will bring researchers and practitioners together to share ideas about leading-edge prisoner re-entry services, create connections for future research and capacity-building, and articulate the theories, practices, and possibilities of a nascent field that has tremendous potential to strengthen systems of public safety and justice. Overall, the event will create a space where long-standing researchers share the state of the field, emerging practitioners and scholars are introduced to key issues in current research, and groups of scholars and practitioners strategize about advancing frontiers of social scientific theory. Research collaborations, knowledge, and training that are generated as a result of the conference will contribute to improving the delivery of educational, vocational, and therapeutic services for prisoner re-entry and recidivism reduction.
The conference will advance theory in an emerging field by introducing participants to key concepts, methods, objects, and sites of study across the multiple disciplines that relate to social and ecological infrastructure for recidivism reduction. Building on the research about "green" or "environmental" policies, programs, and practices related to recidivism reduction, the event will identify new areas for knowledge production through cross-fertilization of research perspectives. The conference will also lay the groundwork for methodological and theoretical innovations in the study of crime, recidivism reduction, and public safety from a social-ecological approach. In order to advance scientific theory, the event is intentionally structured with the following session types: integrative plenaries to highlight main themes; research presentations that share key findings; trainings for improving research effectiveness; focus groups that develop a research agenda; and networking to foster collaboration. These sessions will assist practitioners in improving data collection or evaluation, inform researchers about emerging practices for the development of empirically grounded theory, and enable participants from government to make well-informed connections across scales and places for effective recidivism reduction strategies.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.