This report is essential reading for individuals wanting to achieve "measurable reductions of pretrial misconduct and post-conviction reoffending" (p.6). Eight sections follow an introduction (a new paradigm for the justice system): underlying premises; the key decision points, decision makers, and stakeholders in the criminal justice system; examining justice system decision making through the lens of harm reduction; the principles underlying the framework; applying evidence-based principles to practice; key challenges to implementing this framework; collaboration—a key ingredient of an evidence-based system; and building evidence-based agencies.
While designed specifically for veterans returning to the community after incarceration, this manual is a good example for other states developing or revising their own veteran re-entry manuals. Sections cover: VA benefits during incarceration; getting started—Virginia Community Re-entry Initiative, Virginia department of Veterans Services, Virginia Wounded Warrior Program, healthcare, employment, financial assistance, legal assistance, women veterans, and additional services; resources available for emergency assistance, healthcare, Virginia services for veterans, housing (shelter and food), re-entry services, and additional information; a checklist of things to do by the justice-involved veteran; and addresses for Community Services Boards (CSBs) by Health Planning Region (HPR).
This report describes the “development of a correctional education reentry model illustrating an education continuum to bridge the gap between prison and community-based education and training programs. The goal of this model is to ensure that offenders can gain the knowledge and skills needed to obtain long-term, living-wage employment, and transition successfully out of the corrections system. It is based on a review of research studies and feedback from a panel of experts, including practitioners, administrators, and researchers in the fields of corrections and education” (p. 3). The reentry solution of an education continuum section covers: the model—strengthening and aligning education services, establishing a strong program infrastructure, and ensuring education is well integrated in the corrections system; and applying and validating the model.
“The ill-conceived War on Drugs and the overly harsh sentences imposed for low-level offenses have affected almost every area of our criminal justice system, from over policing to sentencing and re-entry. As a result, the disproportionate number of minorities and low-income individuals that encounter our criminal justice system face numerous barriers to successful re-entry when attempting to reintegrate into society. This report examines the consequences of these practices and makes a series of policy recommendations regarding their reform. While it is beyond the scope of the report to examine policy solutions to address racial disparities and the disparate impact on low-income individuals entering the criminal justice system, it examines some of the many challenges faced by individuals reintegrating into society and offers policy suggestions” (p. 5). Seven chapters comprise this report: introduction to the problem of mass incarceration; navigating life after re-entry; the dirty little secret of exorbitant prison phone rates; education works, there needs to be more of it; out of prison, out of work; and when millions of Americans aren’t allowed to vote, it’s bad for the citizen and bad for the community. A conclusion and recommendations finish off this report.
This guide will help offenders in determining where they are at in terms of preparing for release and in creating a plan to succeed once they leave prison. This handbook contains ten chapters: identification; life skills; housing; education; transportation; living under supervision; family; health; money management; and employment.
"The dominant narrative around recidivism in America is that most released offenders go on to reoffend and return to prison. In new research, William Rhodes argues that this impression is wrong and that two out of every three released offenders never return to prison. He argues that previous estimates about recidivism have failed to take into account the overrepresentation of returnees in prisons. Accounting for this factor, he finds that only 11 percent of offenders return to prison more than once, and that the total time that offenders actually spend in prison is overestimated as well." This article is based on "Following Incarceration, Most Released Offenders Never Return to Prison", from the journal Crime & Delinquency (published online before print September 29, 2014).
New York’s Better Living Center (BLC) (in Queens) is highlighted. “Regardless of an individual's reason for not seeking mental health treatment, their risk of recidivism increases greatly without the appropriate treatment. The Fortune Society’s innovative approach to addressing the problem of criminal justice-involved clients with mental illness not engaging in treatment was to create the Better Living Center” (p. 1). The Fortune society provides recently released inmate with a “one-stop model” that allows the individual to make a smooth transition from incarceration back into the community. This article describes the program’s development, implementation, funding, four critical keys to success, and future directions.
The Transition from Prison to the Community (TPC) Initiative, launched by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is described. This article covers distinctive elements of the TPC Model and major implementation components.
“Public safety is compromised when youth leaving out-of-home placements are not afforded necessary supportive services upon reentering their communities and are therefore at great risk to recidivate into criminal behavior” (p. 5). This report provides guidance and recommendations for achieving successful reentry services and programs. Sections following an executive summary are: introduction; characteristics of reentry youth; collateral consequences associated with out-of-home placement; essential components of youth reentry services; effective outcomes for youth reentry; federal support for reentry in the child welfare system; principles for effective youth reentry; and recommendations for federal leadership in youth reentry.
“The Social Security Administration (SSA), through its Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs, can provide income and other benefits to persons with mental illness who are reentering the community from jails and prisons. The SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery program (SOAR), a project funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is a national technical assistance program that helps people who are homeless or at risk for homelessness to access SSA disability benefits. SOAR training can help local corrections and community transition staff negotiate and integrate benefit options with community reentry strategies for people with mental illness and co-occurring disorders to assure successful outcomes.” This document addresses: mental illness, homelessness, and incarceration; incarceration and SSA Disability benefits; role of transition services in reentry for people with mental illness; access to benefits as an essential strategy for reentry; SOAR collaborations with jails; SOAR collaborations with state and federal prisons; and best practices for assessing SSI/SSDI as an essential reentry strategy—collaboration, leadership, resources, commitment, and training.