Reentry Research and Support

The Justice Center provides ongoing research and support  on a wide range of issues relating to reentry and an individual’s reintegration into the community following incarceration. Since publishing the 2013 report “Criminal Records in the Digital Age: A Review of Current Practices and Recommendations for Reform in Texas,” Helen Gaebler, senior research attorney at the Justice Center, has worked with city and county departments, including the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, the City of Austin’s Office of Equity and Office of Civil Rights, and the City of Austin’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department, to address barriers to housing and employment, and expand access to city services for those who are in reentry.

In addition to working with governmental entities, Gaebler provides research and technical assistance to local organizations working on reentry issues, including the Texas Center on Justice and Equity, Texas Voices, and the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable (as a board member). Gaebler also teaches a class on Topics in Reentry which involves students in community-based research projects. Most recently, students in the class provided research and design support to the City of Austin’s first one-stop reentry organization, Building Promise USA.

Gaebler has also provided support to legislative committees, including meeting with committee members to discuss research on best practices in reentry and providing resource testimony when requested, and co-authored publications with the Reentry Roundtable, including a report on housing policies and related landlord guide and a data brief assessing gaps and needs in the local reentry community.

Focus Area: Criminal Legal System