The United States District Court for the District of Delaware’s Re-entry Court (“REC”) began operation in September 2012. It is a voluntary federal re-entry program for Delaware residents on supervised release who present a significant risk of recidivism. Specifically, it is intended for candidates who score moderate- to high-risk on the United States Probation Office’s Post-Conviction Risk Assessment (“PCRA”). Risk assessment screening begins while candidates are residents of the Federal Residential Re-entry Center (“RRC”), where they are serving the final portion of their term of imprisonment.
Once selected for inclusion in the program, participants in Re-entry Court appear before a United States Magistrate Judge every two weeks, to discuss their progress on supervision. Each REC session takes approximately one hour. During their time in REC, the participants receive intensive supervision and mentoring by the Probation Office, while also receiving priority services in job training, job placement/retention, education, housing, treatment, and free civil legal services. Their progress is reviewed prior to their court appearance by REC team members, who include: U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher J. Burke, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Prettyman, Assistant Federal Public Defender Eleni Kousoulis, Supervisory U.S. Probation Officer Robert Henderson, U.S. Probation Officer Butch Williams.
After participants successfully complete 52 weeks in REC, they are eligible for a reduction of up to one year of their term of federal supervised release. They participate in a graduation ceremony attended by their families and friends, REC team members, other Court employees, service providers, and anyone else who contributed to the participant’s success. A reception with refreshments follows the graduation ceremony. As of the close of 2018, the REC has held seven graduation ceremonies and has recognized 15 graduates of the program.
More information about the REC can be obtained from United States Probation and Pretrial Services Office for the District of Delaware.