Childhood Trauma, Criminality and Prison Reentry


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Welcome to “DC Public Safety” – Radio and television shows, blog and transcripts on crime, criminal offenders, and the criminal justice system.

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This is radio show 248.

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We interviewed Dana Goldstein, a writer for the The Marshall Project who wrote, “Meet Our Prisoners.”


“It is notoriously difficult for social scientists to study people who have recently left prison. They move often, don’t have stable phone numbers, rarely hold steady jobs, and often end up back behind bars.  And scholars who have attempted to follow a smaller group of former prisoners over a discrete period of time have struggled with high rates of attrition, with up to two-thirds of their subjects disappearing before a study ends.”

“That’s why the Boston Reentry Study, led by three leading scholars — sociologist Bruce Western of Harvard, criminologist Anthony Braga of Rutgers, and Rhiana Kohl of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections — is unique. The scale of the study is small, tracking 122 men and women who were released from state prisons to Boston neighborhoods between 2012 and 2013. But study retention over the course of 12 months, at 90 percent, was unprecedented.”

“The resulting working papers provide not only data, but an almost literary glimpse into the life histories of incarcerated people, from childhood through prison and beyond.”

Dana Goldstein writes Justice Lab and reports on the intersection of education and criminal justice. Her work has appeared in Slate, The Atlantic, and other magazines, and she is the author of The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession.

“Meet Our Prisoners” is available at

The Marshall Project is available at

Special Announcements:

A top priority for the Department of Justice is to invest in scientific research to ensure that the Department is both tough and smart on crime. The Office of Justice Programs’ website shapes rigorous research into a central, reliable, and credible resource to inform practitioners and policy makers about what works in criminal justice.

A new website lists and evaluates prisoner re-entry programs nationwide. Launched by the Urban Institute, the Council of State Governments, and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Prisoner Reentry Institute, the “What Works Clearinghouse” can be seen at

The National Reentry Resource Center is a project of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice. Please see the Center’s website at Please see “Federal Interagency Reentry Council Launches Website, Releases Myth-Buster Series” on the front page of the site (see announcements). CSOSA is a member of the Council. Several requesters have asked for national research on reentry.

The Office of Justice Program’s National Institute of Justice reentry research portfolio supports the evaluation of innovative reentry programs. To access these studies and NIJ’s entire reentry research portfolio visit .

The Office of Violence Against Women offers stalking response tips for corrections, prosecutors, judges, law enforcement, victims and victim advocates. They are posted on OVW’s website at .

The National Institute of Corrections Information Center is one of the largest repositories for corrections research and information in the country. See

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The program is hosted by Leonard Sipes. The producer is Timothy Barns.

Comments offered on “DC Public Safety” television and radio programs are the opinions of participants and do not necessarily represent the policies of CSOSA or other government agencies.