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Participatory Research: What Is It and How Can It Strengthen Your Reentry Program Evaluation?

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2022
11 pages

This brief presents an overview of “participatory research,” an approach to knowledge creation that recognizes forms of experience from research professionals, communities, and people with lived experience.


This brief highlights different ways that reentry programs can strengthen the evaluations of their programs by involving—as members of the research team—people affected by the criminal legal system and incarceration, and it highlights the value that doing so will add to a program and evaluation. This brief is intended to be useful for reentry programs that are considering using participatory research and would like some guidance on getting started, as well as for programs that are already implementing this approach and would like to enhance their efforts. In addition, it can be used by reentry programs that currently involve individuals with lived experience in their program delivery and are interested in building on this role to include research and evaluation activities.

Date Published: April 1, 2022