Report of the Re-Entry Policy Council: Charting the Safe and Successful Return of Prisoners to the Community
Council of State Governments. Reentry Policy Council. New York: Council of State Governments. January 2005
Life After Lock-Up: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community. Urban Institute Justice Policy Center. Urban Institute: Washington DC. May 2008
This report provides ideas for reentry programs and profiles 42 county jail reentry programs around the country, including in San Bernadino County, California.
Piloting a Tool for Reentry: A Promising Approach to Engaging Family Members,
Vera Institute of Justice, March 2011
This report describes the pilot application of the Vera Institute ‘Relational Inquiry Tool’ (RIT) in Oklahoma and New Mexico. The RIT assists corrections officers and case managers inquire into the social support networks of incarcerated people, to help them encourage inmates to access untapped sources of assistance. It shows benefits of family-focused approaches to re-entry planning, as well as to probation and parole.
‘A Courtroom Unlike Any Other’: Santa Clara County’s Parolee Reentry Court is a Case Study in Reducing Prison Recidivism
California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes, June 2011
This report highlights the Parolee Reentry Court in Santa Clara County, California. It looks at the makeup of the Court and provides observations from its integrated team of judge, parole agents, probation officers, public defender, prosecutor, and psychologists. It also presents a perspective from a parolee, the proposal for the Court, and views from other counties. A table of California counties with collaborative justice courts is also included.
Auglaize County Transition (ACT) Program
The Auglaize County Transition (ACT) Program of Ohio, one of the Nation’s first jail reentry programs, addresses the numerous problems faced by recently released offenders, such as medical and mental health issues, job placement, or drug and alcohol addiction. Case managers link inmates to resources that can appropriately address these issues both in the community and in jail. As soon as an inmate enters jail, correctional staff members perform an intake assessment, in which the inmate reports any problems he or she is experiencing that might require treatment or services. Case managers design a Reentry Accountability Plan based on inmates’ individual needs and assist them during their time in jail and after release. On top of reducing recidivism, the ACT Program screens participants for drugs, monitors program attendance, and conducts compliance reports.
Assessment: A 2010 study reported that the Auglaize County Transition (ACT) Program successfully reduced recidivism rates among program participants. The study’s findings showed that only 12.3% of program participants were rearrested during the one year follow-up period versus 82% of the control group. Miller & Miller, Community In‐Reach through Jail Reentry: Findings from a Quasi‐Experimental Design, Justice Quarterly 27:893, 893-910 (May 2010).
The Boston Reentry Initiative (BRI) helps adult offenders at risk of committing violent crime upon their released from jail to transition back to their neighborhoods. While in custody, program participants attend a panel that includes representatives from criminal justice agencies, social service providers, and faith-based organizations. After attending the informative panel, interested inmates are assigned a case manager who they begin working and meeting with immediately. The inmate and case manager create a customized transition accountability plan that helps address a range of participants’ individual needs, including help obtaining identification, access to health and mental healthcare, shelter, transportation, employment, education, substance abuse treatment, and permanent housing.
Assessment: One year after release 36.1% of BRI participants were arrested for a new crime, as compared to 51.1% of the control group. The difference between the groups narrowed over time. Two years after release, 67.6% of BRI participants were arrested for a new crime, compared to 78% of the control group. And three years postrelease, 77.8% of BRI participants were arrested for a new crime, compared to 87.7% of the control group. Braga, Piehl & Hureau, Controlling Violent Offenders Released to the Community: An Evaluation of the Boston Reentry Initiative, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 46:411, p. 426 (September 2008).
Community Education Centers, Inc.
Community Education Centers, Inc. (CEC) is a highly structured, individualized and gender responsive treatment program with the capacity to house up to 80 women for approximately 60 to 90 days after their release from prison in New Jersey. The program includes parent-child reunification; housing and employment assistance; domestic violence, substance abuse, and trauma treatment; and mental and physical health services. It was developed to respond to the unique challenges faced by women offenders—such as the impact of trauma—by providing individual, group, and family counseling sessions. CEC involves participants in the development and implementation of their individualized treatment and re-entry plans.
Assessment: A quasi-experimental study of 176 women who participated in the CEC and 241 women released from prison with no specialized transitional programming revealed that the proportion of women rearrested during the six month follow-up period was lower for the CEC group (11 arrests) than the comparison group (30 arrests). Heilbrun et al., Community Education Centers, Inc. & New Jersey Department of Corrections, Criminal Recidivism of Female Offenders: The Importance of Structured, Community-Based Aftercare (2008).
Reentry Partnership Initiative
The Reentry Partnership Initiative (REP) serves seven high-risk neighborhoods of Baltimore, Maryland. It is a coalition of community-based service providers and state corrections agencies that provide individualized assistance as well as a continuum of services for up to two years after release. Services begin with at least one pre-release meeting with a case manager and include housing assistance, substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, educational services, and vocational training. A case manager and community advocate works with each participant for up to two years or until services are no longer necessary.
Assessment: A quasi-experimental study of REP compared two groups of 599 individuals (REP clients, N=229; non-REP, N=370) released between 2001 and 2005 and indicated that REP participants were less likely to be arrested for a new crime and remained arrest-free for longer periods of time than the comparison group. Overall, they committed 68 fewer crimes during the study period than ex-prisoners in the comparison group. The REP program was cost-beneficial, returning about $3 in benefits for every dollar in new costs. The total net benefit, total benefits minus total costs, to the citizens of Baltimore from the REP program is about $7.2 million, or about $21,500 per REP participant. While there was a small and non-significant benefit to public agencies from REP, most of the program’s benefit accrued to the citizens of Baltimore, whose risk of victimization was reduced. Much of the difference in cost-effectiveness is due to a difference in the incidence of serious crimes. Roman et al., The Urban Institute, Impact and Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Maryland Reentry Partnership Initiative, p. i (2007).
Motivational Boot Camp Aftercare
This Pennsylvania-based aftercare program includes a structured gradual transition from prison to the community. In Phase One, graduates live for six months in a group home and receive intensive drug counseling, education and job training and placement. In Phase Two, graduates return to the community but continue to receive individual counseling on a weekly basis for three months. In Phase Three, graduates receive group-counseling sessions once a week for three months.
Assessment: Those who participated in the 90 day aftercare program had significantly lower rearrest rates at the six-month, one-year, and two-year follow-up points compared to those who did not participate in aftercare. The two-year arrest rate for the aftercare group was approximately equal to the one-year arrest rate of the control group, indicating that participation in aftercare appeared to lengthen the time of success. Kurlychek & Kempinen, Beyond Boot Camp: The Impact of Aftercare on Offender Reentry, Criminology & Public Policy 5:363 p. 363 (2006).
Project Return provides substance abuse treatment, family counseling, vocational skills training, job placement, academic instruction, and conflict resolution training. Clients receive a stipend of $2.50 per hour for the duration of their participation, which averages 33 hours per week over three months. The program includes individualized plans to meet participants’ needs and provides a structured gradual transition for re-integrating back into the community. Project Return is staffed primarily by ex-offenders.
Assessment: Those who participated in and completed the program experienced lower recidivism rates during each of the five years under review than those in the other groups. The findings also suggested that younger persons with prior convictions were most likely to experience recidivism. The Metropolitan Crime Commission, The Project Return Program Measuring Recidivism in the Reintegration Program for Ex-Offenders (May 2000).
Southside Day Reporting Center
The Southside Day Reporting Center Provides a central location for supervision, reporting, and intensive treatment for high-risk offenders in Chicago. Each program participant is matched with a case manager to assess the participant’s immediate needs—such as transportation and housing—and to develop an individualized plan that includes treatment and skill development, such as GED preparation, substance abuse treatment, and cognitive therapy.
Assessment: A 2002 evaluation of the SDRC reentry program followed 1503 offenders assigned to SDRC and a comparison group consisting of 871 parolees from Chicago’s West Side from April 1998 to April 2001. The evaluation looked at recidivism rates (defined as incarceration for a new arrest), substance use, and job placement at one-year, two-year and three-year time periods. SDRC participants reported better outcomes, with an estimated 84% of SDRC parolees abstaining from substance use each month and 24, 49 and 47.5% of SDRC parolees employed at the one, two, and three-year follow ups. Illinois Department of Corrections & Partnership with BI Incorporated, Overview of the Illinois DOC High-Risk Parolee Reentry Program and 3-Year Recidivism Outcomes of Program Participants, p. 3 (May 2002).
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