Stars and Stripes Re-entry Program

Policy problem

The Stars and Stripes Reentry Program has provided services aimed at the successful reintegration of incarcerated veterans at Harris County Jail since 2014. Unfortunately, a growing number of veterans–particularly those who have been involved in combat- have untreated mental health conditions and substance abuse problems. The Stars and Stripes program addresses these issues through an innovative combination of non-clinical case management, life skill classes, mental health education, and substance abuse counseling. The program is operated by the Office of Reentry Services (ORS) at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.  

Our approach 

The ORS seeks to evaluate the impact of the Stars and Stripes program on recidivism, employment, and psychosocial well-being of formerly incarcerated veterans. Through a close collaboration with the  ORS team, TPL designed a study protocol which includes surveys and assessments of incarcerated veterans upon their arrival to Harris County jail, as well as after their release. Because randomization was not a feasible strategy to evaluate the program, we are using cutting-edge quasi-experimental methods. With the support of the ORS, TPL applied for and received funding for data collection from a JAG grant through the Office of the Governor of Texas. 

Results and Impact 

While this project is on hold due to COVID-19, we anticipate that evaluation results will inform program design, improvement and/or expansion decisions for the Stars and Stripes program. Furthermore, if the program is found to be effective, the Stars and Stripes model can guide programming in jails, prisons, and other correctional facilities across the country.

“Working with TPL has been such a wonderful experience for staff and the clients of Stars & Stripes.  This collaboration has been a step in the best direction, with jails and universities partnering to expand the knowledge and understanding of the effectiveness of programs inside of jails and prisons.  We look forward to the results!”

Jennifer Herring                                                                            Manager, Reentry Services, Harris County Sheriff’s Office


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