Reentry Court Defined

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 209.488 defines “reentry court” as the court in a judicial district that has established a judicial program.

According to Wiley Online Library, Re-entry courts are criminal justice programs developed to help an offender transition from incarceration back into society.  They are based on the problem-solving court model and provide a support network for offenders to find treatment, housing,  and employment while using the court system to encourage offenders to desist from committing crimes.

What Does Re-entry Consist of?

The Nevada Department of Corrections governs the re-entry process.  It defines re-entry as a process that begins at intake and encompasses all efforts to assist offenders with acquiring skills to re-enter into society.  This includes skills, education, pro-social attitude and behaviors.  To be successful in re-entry of society, offenders are to focus on job acquisition, reunion with family, acquiring a place to live, access to medical and mental health services, and whatever means necessary to have a purposeful and meaningful life.

The Nevada Department of Corrections offers programming for re-entry, mental health, vocation, education, and substance abuse.  There are partnerships with Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, as well as God Behind Bars for managing additions and religious programming.

The Purpose of Re-entry

The Nevada Department of Corrections describes its vision for re-entry is to reduce the rate of re-incarceration with its re-entry process.  An offender is considered successful if an offender acquires stable employment, housing, effective treatment, positive personal relationships, support of the offender’s family, and appropriate post-incarceration supervision.

As part of this vision, the Nevada Department of Corrections states that:

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The returning citizen will:

  • Maintain a crime free life style;
  • Obtain employment or educational/vocational opportunities in the community;
  • Reconnect with family members or children; and
  • Have access to behavioral health and physical health services.

Nevada’s CLEAR Court Program

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada further describes Nevada’s reentry program.  Specifically, it states the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada coordinate with the U.S. District Court, U.S. Probation Office, and the Federal Public Defender to start the Court Led Efforts at Recovery (CLEAR) Court to help with the reentry process.

The CLEAR Court has two magistrate judges, a probation officer, and Assistant U.S. Attorney, an Assistant Federal Public Defender, a mental health therapist, and a substance abuse counselor.  Together, this staff combines supervision of offenders who are released with access to counseling and treatment, as well as resources for employment and education.  It provides incentives and consequences for those who continue to succeed or who demonstrate violation of terms.  Someone who is successful in the program may have their supervision decreased, while someone who commits violations may be placed in a halfway house, longer time in the program, or be incarcerated for a short period of time.  The most serious punishment a CLEAR program participant can face is being removed from the program and being ordered before the original sentencing judge for the violation.

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