Re-entry is the process of leaving prison and returning to the community intended to assist inmates to become law-abiding citizens. An inmate's transition back to the community begins as soon as he or she enters prison. Click here for more information
Reentry reduces recidivism by providing inmates and offenders with the programming and resources they need to succeed, as well as creating a seamless transition process from prison to the community. Click here for more information
What is the significance of using the standards as listed in the Core Programs?
In an effort to standardize our processes and examine a solid evidence base concerning our programming, it is necessary to develop a set of core programs with program guides for implementation and processing. Click here for more information
A portal site is implemented when local law enforcement or community organizations create a post-release site that connects ex-offenders to identified services needed for successful transition back into the community. Click here for more information
Is there a prescribed re-entry model that must be followed, or do the regions have the flexibility to tailor programs to meet specific needs? How can the field get more involved in the development of programs?
Prescribed Re-entry Model
The approach is now comprehensive to include: Education, Vocational, Substance Abuse, Inmate Transition, Chaplaincy Services, Library, Wellness and Betterment programs. The Department realizes that inmates have multiple program needs which necessitate providing program opportunities to each inmate appropriate to the identified needs.
This model is now standardized with the completion of the Correctional Integrated Needs Assessment System (CINAS). CINAS matches inmates to the programs that will best prepare them for successful return to the community. Needs Assessments are conducted for both inmates and offenders on community supervision and provide consistency in identifying the individual's needs throughout their term with the Department of Corrections. The needs assessment and program recommendations are based on several factors including, but not limited to: the individual's criminal history, education, work experience, family dynamics, substance use history, etc.
Flexibility to Create/Modify Re-entry Programs to Meet Specific Needs
Programs and services should be offered to the inmate population based on inmate need and availability of the programs/services listed above. If the institution does not provide access to all components of re-entry services, they can utilize volunteer services or local education agencies (e.g., local community colleges or school districts), as applicable, to provide the needed services. However, re-entry programs provided through use of outside resources must adhere to the same operating standards as departmental programs. To assist in ensuring appropriate re-entry programming, field staff should contact the Bureau of Re-Entry Programs & Education in central office. Program administrators in the Office of Re-Entry are available to provide technical assistance on such matters.
Institutional Involvement in Development of Programs
This can be accomplished through training and sharing of information and coordination with the Office of Re-Entry.
Recommend Establishing a Re-entry Program for Females and Youthful Offenders
The Department offers a large variety of programs for both females and youthful offenders, including academic, vocational, limited substance abuse and a large number of betterment programs. These populations have always received a great deal of attention and program opportunities from the department. Since most of these programs are a part of our re-entry model, the emphasis can now be more appropriately placed on when they receive the services (i.e. closer to release).
In addition...The Department currently operates three female transition centers (Hollywood, Bradenton & Shisa House-East). These programs follow the comprehensive re-entry model which incorporates substance abuse treatment, education/vocational programming and transition/ betterment programs. Once an inmate completes the intensive programming phase they then participate in the work release component.
How can we share ideas and participate in the development, as well as the implementation, of our re-entry initiatives? A thought was perhaps to develop “focus groups” in each region made up of a good cross section of staff (i.e. institutions, community corrections, support) to develop ideas and programs to advance our re-entry efforts.
The Department is currently implementing the nationally recognized Transition from Prison to the Community Initiative (TPCI), which includes the development of focus groups to provide recommendations in various decision point areas. Click here for more information
Most current research reflects that re-entry would work most effectively with pre-release treatment and post-release treatment for both substance abuse and criminogenic ideals to be cognitively charged. How can our agency do this?
Current pre-release and post-release substance abuse treatment programs are cognitive-behavioral based. Both community-corrections and in-prison contracts require the use of evidenced based practices and curriculums that address criminogenic factors.
For pre-release treatment, the existing automated substance abuse priority ranking system indentifies inmates most in need of substance abuse treatment. Institution staff utilize this system for appropriate substance abuse treatment program placement as space becomes available. Through substance abuse programming and when each inmate completes the 100-Hour Transitional Skills Program prior to release, they are exposed to these important program models.
Community Corrections has been involved with re-entry initiatives. Is there a plan for a more structured effort? For example: Create a statewide Life Skills program?
We currently have a standard life skills curriculum (100-Hour Transitional Skills Program) that every inmate completes. This program is mandated for all inmates prior to being released. The curriculum has recently been revised to improve the focus in several key areas. This program could be used for probationers and made available to staff for that purpose.
Additionally regional and circuit meetings can be held to allow for information sharing and standardization of re-entry efforts both in Community Corrections and Institutions. Community Corrections continues to develop innovative and effective approaches for re-entry programming. As this process continues in many cases standardization will occur once it is determined which ideas and programs are most effective.
Would it be helpful if inmates had access to re-entry information such as how to get birth certificates, social security cards, driver license, lists of employers that would hire ex-offenders, and professions appropriate for ex-offenders?
These items are very important for inmates and offenders and the Department continues to explore more effective ways to ensure inmates have what they need upon release. Currently inmates are assisted in the release process with many of these items. For example, through a Memorandum of Agreement with the Social Security Administration, the Department has now formalized the process to help inmates obtain replacement social security cards prior to their release. Additionally through the 100-Hour Program, Program Facilitators and guest speakers to the program and participation at a Re-Entry Seminar, inmates have opportunity to be better prepared for re-entry. Through these mechanisms inmates receive assistance in obtaining needed documents, information and make contacts with agencies and organizations that will further assist them upon release. Click here for more information
Can we use former inmates that have successfully re-entered society to come back into institutions for speak and motivate inmates nearing release?
A: Former inmates could be used for this purpose as long as they meet the guidelines set forth in the Department’s procedures concerning citizen volunteers. Please contact Chaplaincy Services for further information.