RTI’s study builds on North Carolina’s existing re-entry program to reduce recidivism and ensure returning citizens have every chance for success

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, today announced a partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NC DPS) to test a promising new approach to facilitate prisoner re-entry. The study -- funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), within the U.S. Department of Justice -- is a randomized controlled trial of Pokket℠, a web-based re-entry planning and management tool developed by Acivilate, Inc.

“This study will provide the first empirical test of the effectiveness and cost savings of Pokket,” said Christine Lindquist, Ph.D., program director at RTI International and principal investigator of the study. “The results of this research will help corrections agencies around the country, many of whom are looking for technological solutions to assist with re-entry planning and facilitate information-sharing among corrections stakeholders, make informed decisions about which solutions to consider.”

The Pokket℠ app connects justice-involved individuals returning to the community with service agencies to enhance re-entry programming and reduce recidivism. RTI’s study will provide an assessment of Pokket’s impact on recidivism and other re-entry outcomes, along with process and cost components for correctional and community supervision entities.

“Ninety-five percent of all incarcerated individuals will be released from prison and we are focused on making sure their re-entry into the community is successful," said Nicole Sullivan, director, re-entry, programs and services at NC DPS. “This study will help us and other correctional facilities determine the value of new technology like Pokket℠ as we continue to make the best use of tools and processes for effective, efficient and successful re-entry.”

The study builds on NC DPS’ existing re-entry model, the Re-entry Strategic Transition Engagement Plan, or R-STEP, which was designed to reduce recidivism rates, enhance public safety and strengthen local communities. Taking place in the R-STEP units in five NC DPS correctional facilities, which are key elements in the department’s re-entry initiative, the study will document Pokket’s effectiveness in re-entry and recidivism outcomes.

Specifically, RTI’s study will evaluate Pokket’s implementation, effect on recidivism rates and other re-entry outcomes, and criminal justice savings. It will also measure client engagement in re-entry planning and staff and service-provider collaboration.

“Pokket℠ assists in the de-institutionalization process by implementing educative principles to gradually transfer autonomy and agency to returning citizens, so they can manage their own lives,” said Louise Wasilewski, CEO of Acivilate, which developed the Pokket℠ app. “We are pleased to be the subject of this vigorous, independent study on the efficacy of this technology. With Pokket, we know we have the potential to make an enormous impact on recidivism rates and successful re-entry.”

RTI International

North Carolina Department of Public Safety
Greg Thomas

Acivilate, Inc.
Donya Hengehold

Louise Wasilewski

About RTI International

RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition. Clients rely on us to answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach—one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development. We believe in the promise of science, and we are inspired every day to deliver on that promise for the good of people, communities, and businesses around the world. For more information, visit www.rti.org

About the North Carolina Department of Public Safety

The overall mission of the Department of Public Safety is to improve the quality of life for North Carolinians by reducing crime and enhancing public safety.

DPS employees supervise approximately 35,000 offenders in prison, another daily population of about 300 in youth development or juvenile detention centers and more than 90,000 on community supervision. State troopers enforce North Carolina highway laws for about 78,000 miles of roadways and Emergency Management personnel support counties and the state in helping train, plan for and recover from man-made or natural disasters. Its all-volunteer force of nearly 12,000 soldiers and airmen serve in federal and state capacities with the North Carolina National Guard.

About Acivilate

Acivilate, Inc. created Pokket℠, a leading web-based re-entry collaboration platform connecting justice agencies and human services providers with returning citizens to help break the cycle of re-incarceration. By supporting justice agencies in reducing recidivism through information-sharing, service coordination and re-entry planning, along with empowering justice-involved individuals to transition towards self-sufficiency, Acivilate transforms second chances. The Pokket app is currently in use by justice agencies in Georgia and Utah to manage the re-entry process and reduce recidivism. Acivilate is a Delaware C Corporation based in Atlanta.