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Life After Lockup - Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community, UIJPC, 2008

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Amy L . S olomon
J enny W. L . Os borne
Stefan F. L oB uglio
Jeff Mellow
D e b b i e A. Mukamal

Title of Section

00-monograph-frontmatter.indd 1

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4/29/08 11:10:25 AM

2100 M Street NW

Washington, DC 20037

www.urban.org

© 2008 Urban Institute

On the Cover: Center photograph reprinted with permission from the Center for
Employment Opportunities.

This report was prepared under grant 2005-RE-CX-K148 awarded by the Bureau of
Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of
Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National
Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and
the Office for Victims of Crime. Opinions expressed in this document are those of the
authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S.
Department of Justice, the Urban Institute, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, or the
Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Correction and Rehabilitation.

About the Authors

A

my L. Solomon is a senior research associate at the Urban Institute, where she
works to link the research activities of the Justice Policy Center to the policy and
practice arenas. Amy directs projects relating to reentry from local jails, community
supervision, and innovative reentry practices at the neighborhood level.
Jenny W.L. Osborne is a research associate in the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center,
where she is involved in policy and practitioner-oriented prisoner reentry projects and
serves as the center’s primary contact for prisoner reentry research. Jenny is the project
coordinator for the Jail Reentry Roundtable Initiative and the Transition from Jail to
Community project.
Stefan F. LoBuglio has worked in corrections for over 15 years, and is the division chief for
the Pre-Release and Reentry Services Division for the Montgomery County Department of
Correction and Rehabilitation in Maryland. He oversees a community-based work-release
correctional program that provides reentry services to approximately 180 inmates from
county, state, and federal systems who are returning to Montgomery County and who are
within six months of release.
Jeff Mellow is an associate professor in the Department of Law, Police Science, and Criminal
Justice Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Jeff’s research includes
examining the barriers ex-inmates face when utilizing services after release. His work has
been published recently in Federal Probation, the Journal of Criminal Justice, and the
Journal of Urban Health.
Debbie A. Mukamal is the director of the Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College
of Criminal Justice. The Institute’s mission is to spur innovation and improve practice in
the field of reentry by advancing knowledge, translating research into effective policy and
service delivery, and fostering effective partnerships between criminal justice and non­
criminal justice disciplines.

iii

Acknowledgments

T

he authors could not have written this report without the invaluable contributions of
many people. First and foremost, we are grateful to Arthur Wallenstein, director of the
Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (MCDOCR). Director
Wallenstein has been a leader in the decades-long effort to increase recognition of the
scope of local corrections and the role it can play in public safety. Not only has the MCDOCR
been a full partner in this initiative and a leader in the field, but Director Wallenstein has
personally played a significant role in shaping the content and direction of this project. He
served as the chair of the Jail Reentry Roundtable Advisory Group as well as guide and
sounding board for the project team.
We also want to thank the practitioners and researchers from around the country who
participated in the Jail Reentry Roundtable in June 2006. This report draws heavily on the
two-day forum and the commissioned papers and presentations. TonyThompson, clinical
professor of law at New York University School of Law, served as facilitator of the roundtable
and was masterful at keeping the discussion focused, substantive, balanced, and productive.
The roundtable participants, papers, and presentations are listed in full on pages xviii and
xix.
During the development phase of the project, we convened an advisory group to help plan
the roundtable content and participant list. We reconvened the advisers after the roundtable
to help shape this report and its companion document, The Jail Administrator’sToolkit for
Reentry. Most of our advisers, listed below, reviewed early drafts of these products and
provided valuable feedback.
Michael Ashe, Hampden County Sheriff’s Office (Massachusetts)
Jim Barbee, National Institute of Corrections
Jane Browning, International Community Corrections Association
Robert Davis, Police Foundation (formerly)
Mary Jo Dickson, Allegheny County Department of Human Services (Pennsylvania)
John Firman, International Association of Chiefs of Police
Robert Green, Montgomery County Correctional Facility (Maryland)
Kermit Humphries, National Institute of Corrections, U.S. Department of Justice
Virginia Hutchinson, National Institute of Corrections, U.S. Department of Justice
Gwyn Smith-Ingley, American Jail Association
Michael Jackson, National Sheriffs’ Association
Nicole Maharaj, U.S. Conference of Mayors
Rachel McLean, Council of State Governments Justice Center
Andrew Molloy, Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice
Donald Murray, National Association of Counties
Tim Ryan, Miami-Dade County Correction and Rehabilitation Department (Florida)
Tony Thompson, New York University School of Law

v

Arthur Wallenstein, Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation
(Maryland)
Kevin Warwick, Alternative Solutions Associates, Inc.
Jeffrey Washington, American Correctional Association
Deirdre Mead Weiss, Police Executive Research Forum
Carl Wicklund, American Probation and Parole Association

In addition to these advisers, we would like to thank the following people for their insightful
and detailed feedback on drafts of this report: William Sabol of the U.S. Department of
Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, Paul Mulloy of the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office in
Tennessee, as well as Nancy La Vigne, Christy Visher, and Laura Winterfield of the Urban
Institute.
There were also dozens of practitioners from jurisdictions large and small who took the time
to participate in interviews and e-mail questionnaires. Their input shaped our scan of practice
(Section 3) and informed a special emphasis on probation and rural jail systems—two
areas with little research literature. We would like to thank the following people for being so
generous with their time and expertise:
Alphonso Albert, Second Chances (Virginia)

Rona Bambrick, Broome County Sheriff’s Office (New York)

Gordon Bass Jr., Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (Florida)

Michael Bellotti, Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office (Massachusetts)

Wanda Berg, Dodge-Fillmore-Olmsted Community Corrections (Minnesota)

Barbara Broderick, Maricopa County Adult Probation (Arizona)

Richard Cho, Corporation for Supportive Housing (New York)

Gary Christensen, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office (New York)

Donald Coffey, Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department (Florida)

Kathleen Coughlin, New York City Department of Correction (New York)

Carol Dabney, Richmond Sheriff’s Office (Virginia)

Erin Dalton, Allegheny County Department of Human Services (Pennsylvania)

Christopher Dawley, Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office (Massachusetts)

Anthony Dawsey, Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department (Florida)

Randy Demory, Kent County Sheriff’s Department (Michigan)

Kamilah Drummond, Bunker Hill Community College (Massachusetts)

Patrick Durkin, Cook County Sheriff’s Boot Camp (Illinois)

Jack Fitzgerald, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department (Massachusetts)

Bob Flynn, Bunker Hill Community College (Massachusetts)

Sarah Gallagher, New York City Department of Correction

Elizabeth Gaynes, The Osborne Association (New York)

David Gillert, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (Florida)


vi

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Kathy Gnall, Pennsylvania Department of Correction

Miriam J. Gomez, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department (California)

Kristina Gulick, Broward County Sheriff’s Office (Florida)

Shane Hagey, Jackson County Department of Community Justice (Oregon)

James Harms, Snohomish County Corrections (Washington)

Ruth Howze, Allegheny County Bureau of Corrections (Pennsylvania)

Matt Jaeky, Cook County Sheriff’s Boot Camp (Illinois)

Liv Elsa Jenssen, Multnomah County Department of Community Justice (Oregon)

Danny Jordan, Jackson County Administrator (Oregon)

Gail Juvik, 6th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services (Iowa)

Patricia Kane, Newburyport District Court (Massachusetts)

Robert E. Kelsey, Bucks County Adult Probation and Parole Department (Pennsylvania)

John Kivlan, Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office (Massachusetts)

Steven Lessard, Maricopa County Adult Probation (Arizona)

Judy Lorch, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (Arizona)

Kenneth Massey, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (Kansas)

Terrie McDermott, Cook County Department of Women’s Justice Services (Illinois)

John McLernon, Atlantic County Department of Public Safety (New Jersey)

Charlene Motley, Virginia Department of Corrections

Paul Mulloy, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office (Tennessee)

Nory Padilla, Westchester County Department of Correction (New York)

Kiki Parker-Rose, Klamath County Community Corrections (Oregon)

Jim Petrosino, Essex County Sheriff’s Department (Massachusetts)

Marcy Plimack, Maryland Division of Probation and Parole

Rodney Quinn, Westchester County Department of Correction (New York)

Jacqueline Robarge, Power Inside (Maryland)

Jose Rodriguez, Tarzana Treatment Centers (California)

Christina Ruccio, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department (Massachusetts)

Wesley Shear, Broome County Sheriff’s Office (New York)

James Sheridan, Broome County Sheriff’s Office (New York)

James Shirley, Johnson County Community Corrections (Kansas)

John J. Sikora, Lehigh County Probation Department (Pennsylvania)

Rachelle Steinberg, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department (Massachusetts)

Alison Taylor, Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Dennis White, Orange County Corrections Department (Florida)

Ethel White, Richmond Sheriff’s Office (Virginia)

C.T. Woody, Richmond Sheriff’s Office (Virginia)

Acknowledgments

vii

Michael Wright, Douglas County Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment
(Oregon)
Janet Zwick, Iowa Department of Public Health

The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) generously agreed to develop a brief,
online survey to gather additional information about the role of community supervision.
Many thanks to Carl Wicklund and Diane Kincaid of APPA for their collaboration on this
survey.
Finally, the authors are grateful to the Bureau of Justice Assistance for its support of the
project. A. Elizabeth Griffith, Andrew Molloy, Robert Hendricks, and Sharon Williams have
offered enormously valuable guidance and input for the life of the project.

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Contents
About the Authors ......................................................................................................................................iii

Acknowledgments .....................................................................................................................................v

Figures and Tables ....................................................................................................................................xi

Sidebars ........................................................................................................................................................xiii

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................xv

Report Roadmap .....................................................................................................................................xvi

References ................................................................................................................................................xx


Section 1: Facts about U.S. Jails and the Jail Population .....................................................1

What Do We Know about U.S. Jails? .....................................................................................................3

What Are the Characteristics of Jail Inmates? ..................................................................................13

Putting It All Together: The Unique Challenges and Opportunities of Reentry from Jail .............19

References ................................................................................................................................................22


Section 2: Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making the Most of a Short Stay ...........27

Targets for Intervention ..........................................................................................................................30

Systems-Level Strategic Planning ........................................................................................................50

References ................................................................................................................................................55


Section 3: Examples from the Field .................................................................................................59

Examples at a Glance ..............................................................................................................................63

Jail Reentry Profiles ................................................................................................................................67

References ..............................................................................................................................................161


Section 4: The Role of Probation in Reentry from Jail ........................................................163

Facilitating the Transition Process .....................................................................................................166

Reducing the Population Flow from Probation to Jail .....................................................................171

References ..............................................................................................................................................173


Section 5: Looking Forward ...............................................................................................................175


Introduction

ix

Figures and Tables
Figure 1: Jail Population Growth, 1990–2006 ........................................................................................4

Figure 2: Conviction Status of U.S. Jail Inmates, 2006 ........................................................................5

Table 1: Length of Stay ............................................................................................................................6

Table 2: Jail Facilities and Inmates, by Size of Facility: 1993 and 1999 ...........................................8

Table 3: Treatment Capacity in Local Jails ........................................................................................12

Table 4: Jail Population Characteristics ............................................................................................14

Table 5: Criminal Justice Status of Jail Inmates at Arrest, 2002 ..................................................165


Jail Reentry Initiative Program Matrix ..................................................................................................64


xi

Sidebars
Reentry Defined and a Note on Language ..........................................................................................xvi

The Jail Reentry Roundtable................................................................................................................xviii

The Role of Pretrial Services in Reentry from Jail ................................................................................6

Rural and Indian Country Jails .................................................................................................................9

Jail Stock and Flow ..................................................................................................................................13

Women in Jail ............................................................................................................................................17

The Role of Jails in Incarcerating the Mentally Ill ..............................................................................18

Multiple Social Systems Involved with Chronic Offenders ...............................................................20

Reentry from Jail: An Emerging Field ....................................................................................................30

Strength-Based Approaches ..................................................................................................................33

The APIC Model ........................................................................................................................................34

“What Works” and Evidence-Based Practice in the Jail Setting ....................................................37

Correctional Culture .................................................................................................................................40

Community-Based Correctional Reentry Programs............................................................................41

The Brad H. Case ......................................................................................................................................44

Domestic and Family Violence ...............................................................................................................47

The Role of Law Enforcement in Reentry from Jail.............................................................................47

Local Jail Reentry Roundtables..............................................................................................................51

Designing Interventions: Starter Questions for Jurisdictions...........................................................52

What’s Your Recidivism Rate? ................................................................................................................53

A Costs-and-Benefits Analysis of Jail Reentry Efforts .......................................................................55

Employing Evidence-Based Supervision Strategies in the Transition Process ...........................167

Conditions of Probation .........................................................................................................................169

National Initiatives and Resources......................................................................................................178


xiii

Introduction

T

he challenges associated with reentry from jail are daunting—large in scale and
complex in task. Each year, U.S. jails process an estimated 12 million admissions and
releases. That translates into 34,000 people released from jails each day and 230,000
released each week. In three weeks, jails have contact with as many people as prisons do in
an entire year, presenting numerous opportunities for intervention.
The lives of many who cycle in and out of jail are unstable at best. Substance addiction, job
and housing instability, mental illness, and a host of health problems are part of the day-to­
day realities for a significant share of this population. Given that more than 80 percent of
inmates are incarcerated for less than 1 month—many for only a few hours or days—jails
have little time or capacity to address these deep-rooted and often overlapping issues.
Moreover, no single organization or political leader in the community is responsible—or held
accountable—for improving reentry outcomes.
A decade ago, jail administrators could plead ignorance or might respond “not my job” if
asked how they assist inmates’ transition from confinement to community. Care, custody,
and control were their operational directives and providing timely and accurate intakes,
transports, and discharges of inmates their chief priorities. In the intervening years, with
increasing awareness about the effects of reentry on public safety and community well­
being, many of the field’s leading practitioners have begun to consider jail reentry programs
and strategies as essential to the mission of jails. And they recognize they cannot do it alone;
many jails are collaborating with community-based organizations that have the expertise,
commitment, and capacity to work effectively with this population.
Collaboration across disciplines and jurisdictional boundaries is at the core of jail reentry,
and in recent years, the field has seen an explosion of creative and productive partnerships
between jails and law enforcement, probation, faith-based organizations, mental health
clinics, victim advocate groups, the business community, and a variety of other social service
and community providers. In many cases, such as the treatment of mental illness, individuals
in jails are past or current clients of community-based organizations, and reentry strategies
can maintain continuity of care. Reentry information sharing among law enforcement and
public safety agencies can lend support to programmatic interventions and also serve to
reduce victimization.
At the individual level, short lengths of stay and locally sited facilities translate into
relatively little time away from—and even continued contact with—family, friends, treatment
providers, employers, the faith community, and other positive social supports. If jail reentry
efforts can help strengthen the ties between incarcerated individuals and these important
social networks, the efforts could yield substantial gains in terms of safer communities,
improved public health, and a reduced burden on taxpayer dollars.
Since 1998, criminal justice policymakers, practitioners, and researchers have focused
substantial attention on the issue of prisoner reentry, people released from state and federal
prisons. For a variety of reasons, until recently the policy discussion largely ignored the
reentry issues of the millions released from local jails. Through the efforts of many in the

xv

field, that is no longer the case, and interest and activity in jail reentry has grown remarkably
in the past several years. Though jail reentry can build on many of the ideas and approaches
of prisoner reentry, the distinct differences in the nature of the operations and the status of
the jail population require a new set of strategies.
In an effort to build knowledge on the topic, in 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau
of Justice Assistance invested in the Jail Reentry Roundtable Initiative, a joint project of
the Urban Institute, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the Montgomery County
(Maryland) Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. Over the past two years, we have
commissioned seven papers, convened a Jail Reentry Roundtable and two national advisory
meetings, conducted a “scan of practice,” and interviewed dozens of practitioners around the
country. This report aims to synthesize what we have learned through these efforts.

Reentry Defined
For the purposes of this report, reentry is defined as the process of leaving jail and returning to society. Virtually all inmates
experience reentry, irrespective of their method of release or the presence of community supervision. “Transition” has also been
used to describe the reentry process, and in this report we use the terms interchangeably.
Our assumption is that successful reentry strategies would translate into public safety gains, in the form of reduced recidivism,
and the long-term reintegration of the formerly incarcerated individual. Successful reintegration outcomes would include
increased participation in social institutions such as the labor force, families, communities, schools, and religious institutions.
There are financial and social benefits associated with both public safety and reintegration improvements.
Reentry is not a program, not a form of supervision, not an option.

Note on Language
People in jail are incarcerated under a number of different legal statuses. They are often referred to as “detainees” if they are
on pretrial status or “inmates” if they are convicted and sentenced to jail. In this report, we refer to all people held in local jails
as inmates to distinguish them from people incarcerated in state and federal prison (prisoners). We refer to former inmates and
prisoners as “individuals” or “people” whenever possible.

Report Roadmap
Section 1 presents an overview of U.S. jails and the people who cycle through them. The
section begins with a description of the varied characteristics, functions, organizational
structures, and capacities of the 3,365 jails around the country. The second half of the section
details the demographics, criminal histories, and challenges of the jail population, including
substance abuse, mental and physical health, employment, and housing. The section ends
with a discussion of the unique challenges and opportunities of reentry from jails compared
with prisons.
Section 2 examines a variety of ways that jurisdictions can address reentry from jail. We
identify a series of opportunities on the jail-to-community continuum where reentry-focused

xvi

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

interventions can make a difference. From distributing reentry resource guides to more
involved assessment, planning, and case management, jurisdictions can take a number of
approaches to improve reentry outcomes for individuals, their families, and communities.
Although the reentry concepts are straightforward, operationally they are difficult to
implement and far from “business as usual.” A reentry orientation is out of step with both
traditional correctional missions and the expectations of community-based organizations
that are best positioned to receive and assist individuals after release. For jail reentry efforts
to be successful, they must rely on new relationships among jails, community-based service
providers, and the individuals involved in the multiple systems. Accordingly, the section
ends with a brief discussion about the systems-level planning that may be necessary to
support reentry strategies over time.
Section 3 profiles 42 jail transition efforts around the country, representing a diversity
of approaches in a variety of settings. Most initiatives involve some type of jail-based
intervention, community “in-reach,” discharge planning, and community-based followup of two weeks to two years. All of the efforts involve jail-community partnerships
with both public and private organizations, and many use volunteers and formerly
incarcerated mentors. These established reentry efforts are a testament to jails, sheriffs’
offices, community corrections, and community-based agencies—large and small—that
seek to expand their work beyond their own organizational missions and responsibilities.
Though few of these initiatives have been evaluated, we think they offer inspiration—in the
most practical sort of way—to other jurisdictions around the country. In addition to brief
descriptions and contact information for each of the examples, a companion document—The
Jail Administrator’sToolkit for Reentry—is available as a resource for those who are working
to improve reentry in their jurisdictions.
Section 4 explores the role of probation in reentry from jail. Unlike the prison-to-parole
trajectory, there is often no community-based supervision following a jail term—a reflection
of the diverse (often unsentenced) populations housed in jails and the local justice
system’s functions. At the same time, there is a substantial overlap in the jail and probation
populations: about 61 percent of inmates have been sentenced to probation supervision
at some point in the past, and almost half were on probation or parole at the time of their
arrest. Further, in some jurisdictions, probation departments do supervise a large share of
the released sentenced population. This section focuses on a few counties with active jailprobation collaborations, describing the various ways such partnerships can affect reentry
from jail.
The report concludes optimistically, in Section 5, that jail administrators will embrace jail
reentry as the next logical and inevitable step in the evolution of jail practice throughout the
country. The number of individuals affected by jails is so large, the needs of the population
are so compelling, and the opportunities to intervene and improve public safety and public
health are so vast that improving reentry from jail has the potential to become a focused
goal in the field for years to come.
For as long as jails have incarcerated people, jails have released them back to their
communities. Some leaders in the field have long advocated that jails be seen as integral
community partners in maintaining public safety and community well-being, rather than as
isolated institutions that provide a temporary time-out for individuals passing through them
(Wallenstein, 2000). More than 20 years ago, in The Jail, scholar John Irwin emphasized
the importance of this local institution and the obstacles associated with reentering society
(Irwin, 1985). Now more than ever, jurisdictions recognize that inmates will soon return

Introduction

xvii

to their home communities and that, without active involvement of the community, even
the most advanced jail system cannot effect long-term change. There is also a growing
recognition that reentry from jail involves more than preparing individuals for release; it also
involves preparing communities for their return.
The field of jail reentry is still nascent, and this report does not contain all the answers. It
is too early in the discussion and there are still many unknowns. But this report is intended
to provide a foundation, a starting place, on the important topic of reentry from jails, and
to provoke cross-agency discussions at the local level. If a brief jail stay could, in the end,
improve the odds of stabilizing individuals’ lives after release, the benefits would extend to
families and communities throughout the nation.

The Jail Reentry Roundtable
The Urban Institute, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the Montgomery County Department of Correction and
Rehabilitation in Maryland—with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance—partnered to convene a Reentry Roundtable
on the topic of reentry from jails. The Urban Institute has previously held eight Reentry Roundtables, each focusing on a different
aspect of prisoner reentry with the aim of advancing knowledge and creating policy opportunities to improve outcomes. This
ninth Reentry Roundtable focused attention on the 12 million releases from local jails each year. The two-day meeting, held June
27–28, 2006, at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., brought together leading jail administrators, researchers, corrections
and law enforcement professionals, county and community leaders, service providers, and former inmates to discuss the unique
dimensions, challenges, and opportunities of jail reentry.

Meeting Participants
Jay Ashe

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department (Massachusetts)

Chris Baird

National Council on Crime and Delinquency

Allen Beck

Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice

Melissa Cahill

Collin County Community Supervision and Corrections (Texas)

Gary Christensen

Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office (New York)

Reverend Warren Dolphus

National Alliance of Faith and Justice

Robert Francis

Dallas County Criminal District Court (Texas)

Nicholas Freudenberg

Hunter College/City University of New York

Joanne Fuller

Multnomah County Department of Community Justice (Oregon)

Susan Galbraith

Our Place DC

Richard Goemann

National Legal Aid and Defender Association

Gregory Hamilton

Travis County Sheriff’s Office (Texas)

Frank Hecht

Tohono O’odham Nation Police Department (Arizona)

Gary Hinzman

1st Judicial District Department of Correctional Services (Iowa)

Susan Smith Howley

National Center for Victims of Crime

Robert Johnson

Anoka County District Attorney (Minnesota)

Stefan LoBuglio

Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (Maryland)

Martha Lyman

Hampden County Correctional Center (Massachusetts)

xviii

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Paul Mulloy

Davidson County Sheriff’s Office (Tennessee)

Lisa Naito

Multnomah County Commissioner (Oregon)

Marta Nelson

Center for Employment Opportunities

Dorsey Nunn

All of Us or None

Fred Osher

Council of State Governments Justice Center

John Roman

The Urban Institute

Ramon Rustin

Allegheny County Jail (Pennsylvania)

Timothy Ryan

Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department (Florida)

Harriett Spencer

Philadelphia Mayor’s Office for the Reentry of Ex-Offenders (Pennsylvania)

Mindy Tarlow

Center for Employment Opportunities

Faye Taxman

Virginia Commonwealth University, Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

Anthony Thompson*

New York University School of Law

Arthur Wallenstein

Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (Maryland)

Rhon Wright

Norfolk Police Department (Virginia)

*Roundtable Facilitator

Discussion Papers and Presentations Prepared for the Jail Reentry Roundtable
• 	 Coming Home from Jail: A Review of Health and Social Problems Facing U.S. Jail Populations and of Opportunities for
Reentry Interventions (Nicholas Freudenberg)
• 	 Short-Term Strategies to Improve Reentry of Jail Populations: Expanding and Implementing the APIC Model (Fred Osher)
• 	 ”Whys” and “Hows” of Measuring Jail Recidivism (Martha Lyman and Stefan LoBuglio)
• 	 Our System of Corrections: Do Jails Play a Role in Improving Offender Outcomes? (Gary Christensen and Elyse Clawson)
• 	 Does It Pay to Invest in Reentry Programs for Jail Inmates? (John Roman and Aaron Chalfin)
• 	 Jail Reentry and Community Linkages: Adding Value on Both Sides of the Gate (Marta Nelson and Mindy Tarlow)
• 	 Reentry Programs and Rural Jails (Frank Hecht)
• 	 The Gender-Responsive Strategies Project: Jail Applications (Susan McCampbell)*
• 	 The Importance of Successful Reentry to Jail Population Growth (Allen Beck)
• 	 The NCCD Zogby Poll—Public Attitudes Toward Rehabilitation and Reentry (Chris Baird)
*This paper was not commissioned for the Jail Reentry Roundtable. It was prepared under a cooperative agreement
(not connected to the Roundtable or the Urban Institute) from the National Institute of Corrections, U.S. Department of Justice,
in April 2005.
A summary of the Roundtable meeting and the Roundtable-commissioned papers and presentations are available at www.urban.
org/projects/reentry-roundtable/roundtable9.cfm. Most commissioned papers were revised and published in American Jails, a
magazine of the American Jail Association.

Introduction	

xix

References
Irwin, John, The Jail: Managing the Underclass in American Society (Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1985).
Wallenstein, Arthur, “Intake and Release in Evolving Jail Practice,” in Prison and Jail
Administration: Practice and Theory, ed. Peter M. Carlson and Judith Simon Garrett
(Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publications, 2000).

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

1
3
Facts about
U.S. Jails and 

the Jail
Population

Facts about U.S. Jails and the
Jail Population

1

T

o set the stage for a discussion on reentry interventions, this section describes the
characteristics and functions of the nation’s jails and the people who cycle through
them. Information on jails at the national level is scarce—the sheer number of
independently operated jail systems and the diversity of organizational structures make
it difficult to collect uniform and consistent data at the national level. In the absence of a
comprehensive data source on the topic, we draw on disparate sources, largely from the
U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), to sketch as broad and
accurate a picture as we can of jails and the jail population. At the end of the section, we
examine the unique challenges and opportunities of reentry from jail, compared with reentry
from prison.

What Do We Know about U.S. Jails?
According to BJS, there are 3,365 local jails around the country, processing an estimated
12 million admissions and releases each year.1 These 12 million admissions and releases
represent about 9 million unique individuals, most incarcerated for brief periods of time,
often only a few hours or days. As a result of this rapid turnover, the number of admissions
is more than 16 times the 766,010 held in jail at midyear 2006.2 Unlike prisoners in state and
federal institutions who are virtually all convicted and sentenced, more than 60 percent of
the nation’s jail inmates have not been convicted and are awaiting arraignment or trial (Sabol
and Minton, 2007).
The jail population has nearly doubled over the past decade and a half, from just over
400,000 in 1990 to nearly 770,000 in 2006 (figure 1) (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000; Sabol
and Minton, 2007). Accordingly, jail populations have increased even faster than state prison
populations. Accounting for more than two-thirds of the jail population growth is the rising
number of pretrial detainees, which has grown from 56 percent of the jail population in
1995 to 62 percent in 2006. Other factors associated with the growth in the jail population
include the use of detention space for other criminal justice authorities; a rise in the number
of felony offenders sentenced to jail; and increases in the number of community supervision
violators.

Organizational Structure
With few exceptions, jails are administered at the local level by counties and cities. In the
United States, there are 3,365 independently operated jails, compared with 50 state prison
systems. As locally administered systems, jails vary significantly in their organizational

1
Unless otherwise noted, the information presented in these two paragraphs comes from a Bureau of Justice Statistics
presentation (Beck, 2006).
2
The jail’s midyear 1-day count is different from the average daily population (ADP), which was 755,896 in the year ending June 30,
2006. We use the jail’s midyear 1-day count rather than the ADP because information on population characteristics from the Bureau
of Justice Statistics is based on this count.

3


Figure 1: Jail Population Growth, 1990–2006
Number of jail inmates (one-day count)
766,010

800,000
700,000
600,000
500,000
400,000
300,000
200,000

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics Correctional Surveys as presented in Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000, and the 

Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear series (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1998–2006).


structure. Traditionally, elected county (or city) sheriffs with backgrounds and priorities in
law enforcement operate local jails (Zupan, 1991, Keller, 2005). Indeed, sheriffs run more
than 80 percent of the nation’s jails, and most of them have additional responsibilities
including law enforcement, civil service, court security, and inmate transport (Matthews,
2006; Martin and Katsampes, 2007). In some urban and suburban areas such as New York
City or Montgomery County (Maryland), the county executive or the mayor may appoint a
corrections commissioner or director who oversees jail operations while the sheriff retains
some of the other duties described above. In Hennepin County, Minnesota, which includes
Minneapolis, the local sheriff runs the pretrial jail facility and the county executive oversees
the department that runs the “workhouse” for sentenced inmates as well as the county’s
probation, parole, and juvenile justice systems. In total, localities spend about $20 billion
annually to run their correctional agencies (Hughes, 2006).
In a few jurisdictions, jails are not run at the local level at all. In six states—Alaska,
Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont—the entire correctional system
is unified, and the state department of correction manages the jail function (Stephen, 2001).
In a number of tribal areas, the federal government’s Bureau of Indian Affairs oversees jail
operations.

Jail Functions and Broad Jurisdiction
Jails serve multiple functions. They are often described as the entry point to the correctional
system and also the backstop, housing individuals for multiple reasons and for multiple
agencies and jurisdictions. In broad terms, local jails are designed to serve two purposes:
to process and hold individuals awaiting arraignment, trial, conviction, or sentencing and
to hold convicted individuals whose sentence is typically less than one year. For those who
are sentenced, a jail term is meant to hold individuals accountable for their crime and fulfill
any other correctional goals, whereas the role of pretrial detention is primarily to protect the
public and ensure appearance in court (Martin and Katsampes, 2007).

4

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

In addition to these two traditional functions, jails also hold individuals who have violated
the conditions of their pretrial release and parole or probation supervision; house individuals
for state or federal authorities because of prison overcrowding (about five percent of state
and federal prisoners are held in local jails (Harrison and Beck, (2006)); and temporarily hold
inmates sentenced to prison, inmates in transit from one prison to another, and juveniles
awaiting transfer to juvenile authorities (Stephen, 2001). Many jails operate communitybased programs as alternatives to incarceration,3 and a few receive state inmates transferred
from prison as part of a step-down model to allow individuals to strengthen family and
community ties before release.
Jails also provide transportation to court. In fact, because they hold such a large pretrial
population, the movement of individuals to and from court is one of the chief responsibilities
of jails. In some large jurisdictions, such as New York City, the local correctional agency
moves as many as 2,000 individuals a day to and from court with a fleet of buses that rivals
most school systems’ (City of New York Department of Correction, 2006).
As noted above, the majority of jail inmates
have not been convicted of a crime (figure 2).
The charges for these unconvicted detainees
range from minor public order nuisances
and violations of probation or parole to
violent and serious crimes.4 Pretrial detainees
present unique challenges compared with the
sentenced population, one of the most basic
of which is the uncertainty of when they will
leave the facility. The pretrial population may
be detained for a few days or a few years and
are sometimes released directly from court
without returning to the correctional facility.

Figure 2: Conviction Status
of Jail Inmates, 2006

Convicted
38%

Unconvicted
62%

As a consequence of the multiple functions
they serve, jails are responsible for a
variety of individuals and accountable to
numerous justice system agencies, including
Source: Sabol and Minton, 2007.
law enforcement, prosecution, probation
and parole agencies, the courts, and state
departments of correction (Marin and
Katsampes, 2007). As such, jails are an integral component of local governments’ public
safety function. With high demands, limited resources, and a focus on care, custody, and
control, sheriffs and jail administrators often consider the correctional goals of rehabilitation
and reentry preparation as secondary.

Length of Stay
The vast majority of jail inmates are not incarcerated for long. BJS estimates that fewer than
20 percent of the annual admissions stay more than 1 month. Thirteen percent are estimated
to stay longer than two months, seven percent longer than four months, and just four
percent longer than six months (see table 1, page 6) (Beck, 2006).

3
Community-based alternative programs that jails may operate include electronic monitoring, home detention, weekend reporting,
day reporting, work release, and community service. In addition to the 766,010 held in jail, more than 60,000 individuals are
supervised by jail authorities in alternative community-based programs.
4

Further information about the characteristics and criminal histories of the jail population is described later in the section.

Facts about U.S. Jails and the Jail Population

5

Of those inmates who are convicted and sentenced to serve time in jail, the average time
served is about nine months. Length of stay is unpredictable for the pretrial population and
ranges from hours to days to years. Even among sentenced inmates, there is an element
of difficulty determining precise release dates because of credits that are applied against
sentences. We discuss implications of the unpredictable, often short lengths of stay that
characterize the majority of the jail population in Section 2.

Table 1: Length of Stay
Expected Length of Stay

Percentage of Total Admissions

> 1 month

19

> 2 months

13

> 4 months

7

> 6 months

4

Source: Beck, 2006.

The Role of Pretrial Services in Reentry from Jail
After an arrest, the court must decide whether to release the arrestee, either through recognizance or the setting of bail or bond,
or to detain him or her pending adjudication of the charges. A central factor in making this decision is the risk posed by the
arrestee of failing to appear in court or presenting a danger to the community. Pretrial services programs assist the courts
by conducting individual assessments of these risks and providing recommendations to the court. Should the court order an
individual to be released pending trial, pretrial services may oversee the conditions of the court-imposed release, including
reporting requirements, referrals to treatment or social services, or substance abuse testing. Accordingly, in the jurisdictions in
which it operates, pretrial services is often the first to identify the needs and risks of defendants entering the system, the first to
match defendants with needed services and supervision, and the first to monitor their compliance with court-ordered conditions
(Murray, 2006). Pretrial services also has contact with those on probation or parole if they are rearrested on new charges—yet
another opportunity to intervene with the reentry population (Murray, 2006).
Since the first pretrial services program was established in 1961 in New York City, urban, suburban, and rural jurisdictions have
established hundreds of them around the country. In some places, pretrial services was developed solely to reduce jail crowding;
in others, to provide supervision to those released pending trial or to serve targeted groups of arrestees.
About 18 percent of felony defendants released pretrial in the 75 largest counties for which data are available were placed
on conditional release in 2002 (Cohen and Reaves 2006). Most conditional releases include an agreement by the defendant to
maintain regular contact with a pretrial program through telephone calls or personal visits.
According to the most recent survey of pretrial services programs, conducted in 2001 by Pretrial Services Resource Center, 337
jurisdictions had a pretrial services program (Cohen and Reaves 2006). The overwhelming majority of pretrial services programs
are locally operated, serving either a county or municipality, and county governments are the largest source of funding for
these programs (Cohen and Reaves 2006). Probation is the most frequent administrative locus for pretrial services programs
(31 percent), followed by the courts (29 percent). However, pretrial services programs run by the jail or sheriff have grown
substantially since the first survey in 1979, from 4 percent to 19 percent in 2001 (Cohen and Reaves 2006). For more information
about pretrial services, see the Pretrial Services Resource Center web site at www.pretrial.org.

6

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

The population within small jails tends to turn over at a faster rate than that in larger jails.
Small jails with an average daily population (ADP) of less than 50 turn over in population
about 33 times a year. The average length of stay is 11 days at small jails and 27 days at
larger jails (ADP of more than 1,000) (Beck, 2006).

Intake and Booking
As a result of the high turnover in jails, the booking and intake process consumes a
substantial share of a jail’s activity. Jails process an average of 450 admissions each week,
and in some large, urban jails, the average can be 450 a day (O’Toole, 1996). Further, jail
admissions are heavily concentrated on certain days and at certain times of day, and most
of these new inmates will not stay longer than a few days (O’Toole, 1996). Pretrial detention
often swells on weekends, particularly holiday weekends, during which time courts are
closed and unable to make pretrial release decisions.
In prison, new admissions usually arrive at prescheduled times and with extensive
presentence reports prepared for the sentencing court. Because individuals often arrive at
jail at unpredictable times, with no background information and a variety of charges, the
booking and intake process is especially important to determine risks that individuals might
pose and needs they have in order to place them in the appropriate security level at the jail.

Complexity of Jail Population Flow
The population flow through jail is complex. The majority of people passing through
jails each year are charged with misdemeanor offenses, such as public drunkenness,
trespassing, shoplifting, and public disturbances.5 Movement through the system varies
across jurisdictions, but there is a basic process for new arrests that is common among most
jurisdictions. When individuals are arrested, they are usually taken to a processing unit in the
jail. Processing is typically performed in a section of the jail separate from the main holding
area, and sometimes in a separate facility altogether. Soon after processing the arrestee,
the court decides whether to release him or her on recognizance with no conditions, set a
bail in which money is required up front, set a secure bond, or set an unsecured bond with
or without conditions for pretrial release. Those accused of particularly violent offenses are
typically not released. Those who are ineligible for pretrial release or who are unable to post
secured bond are booked into the jail. The booking and intake process may take place in a
separate facility, along with processing. At the next business-day arraignment, the judge
can decide to lower or eliminate bail or bond, release the individual to pretrial community
supervision, or detain him or her.
From this stage, pretrial detainees go back and forth to court appearances and may be
released at various points in the process. Releases at court occur for a number of reasons
including circumstances in which the pretrial jail stay is seen as sufficient for covering
fines or other minor sanctions, a sentence of time served is given, bail or bond is lowered
or removed after review, or the case is dropped by the prosecutor or null processed (not
moved forward). Those who are convicted of charges may serve their sentence in the
local correctional facility provided that the time served falls below the locally determined
sentencing threshold. In many states, sentenced inmates can serve up to one year in a local

5
In May 2002, there were an estimated 56,000 felony cases filed in the 75 largest counties, which would equal about 672,000 felonies
filed in 1 year. BJS estimates that the 75 largest counties account for about half the felonies nationwide, which suggests that about
1.3 million felonies are filed in 1 year. This number is only a fraction of the estimated 12 million admissions to jail each year. Based on
this extrapolation, it is fair to conclude that misdemeanors account for a majority of the charges for which individuals are admitted
to jail each year (Cohen and Reaves 2006).

Facts about U.S. Jails and the Jail Population

7

facility, although this varies. For instance, Massachusetts’ Houses of Correction, run by the
state’s 14 sheriffs, incarcerate those sentenced up to 30 months.

Jail Size and Location6
Jails range in size from modest lock-up facilities with a handful of cells to large systems,
such as those in Los Angeles and New York City, that incarcerate more individuals than many
state prison systems. As shown in table 2, the vast majority of jails are small. Nearly half of
all jails (47 percent) hold fewer than 50 individuals at any given time, for a total of 5 percent
of the nation’s inmate population. Nearly two-thirds of all jails (63 percent) hold fewer than
100 individuals, totaling about 12 percent of the U.S. inmate population. Less than 10 percent
of jails hold nearly half of all inmates.

Table 2: Jail Facilities and Inmates, by Size of Facility: 1993 and 1999
Facilities
Number (Percentage)
Size of Facility

Inmates
Number (Percentage)

1993

1999

1993

1999

Total

3,304 (100)

3,365 (100)

549,804 (100)

605,943 (100)

Fewer than 50

1,874 (56.7)

1,573 (46.7)

34,322 (7.5)

32,788 (5.4)

50–99

545 (16.5)

544 (16.2)

37,135 (8.1)

38,044 (6.2)

100–149

253 (7.7)

265 (7.9)

31,293 (6.8)

31,851 (5.2)

150–249

218 (6.6)

256 (7.6)

41,472 (9)

47,632 (7.9)

250–499

209 (6.3)

241 (7.2)

73,938 (16.1)

72,865 (12)

500–999

129 (3.9)

188 (5.6)

90,481 (19.7)

92,189 (15.2)

1,000–1,499

35 (1.1)

98 (2.9)

44,000 (9.6)

68,196 (11.3)

1,500–1,999

18 (0.5)

44 (1.3)

30,764 (6.7)

37,871 (6.2)

2,000 or more

23 (0.7)

156 (4.6)

76,389 (16.6)

184,507 (30.4)

Source: Stephen, 2001.

The number of small jails is decreasing as county economies become increasingly unable to
support them and the prevalence of large jails continues to grow. The percentage of inmates
held in jails with an ADP of 2,000 or more increased from 17 percent in 1993 to 30 percent in
1999.
More than one-third of jail inmates are incarcerated in four states: California, Florida,
Georgia, and Texas. The inmates in these states along with those in Louisiana, New York, and
Pennsylvania account for nearly half of all U.S. inmates.

6

8

Statistics in this section come from Stephen, 2001.

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

By the Numbers—Jails
• 3,365 locally operated jails
• 9 percent of the jails hold 48 percent of all inmates
• 7 states account for nearly half of the country’s jail inmates
• $20 billion is spent on local corrections annually
Sources: Stephen, 2001; Hughes, 2006.

By the Numbers—Jail Population
• 12 million admissions/releases from jail each year
• 9 million unique individuals
• 766,010 in jail on any given day
• 81 percent of inmates stay less than 1 month
• 62 percent of inmates have not been convicted of a crime (for the current
incarceration)
Source: Beck, 2006.

Rural and Indian Country Jails
Given the nation’s focus on crime and justice in urban areas, little information exists on the unique characteristics of rural jails.
At the same time, rural jails make up a substantial share of the nation’s 3,365 jails. Generalizing about the unique circumstances
of rural jails is difficult because no single definition exists of what “rural” means. Although most definitions focus on population
density and distribution, the cutoff between urban and rural varies (Wodahl, 2006). Arriving at a definition for “rural” is further
complicated because rural communities are not homogenous; they vary culturally, socially, and economically (Wodahl, 2006).
Nonetheless, several themes emerge across rural jail systems that distinguish them from their more urban counterparts (Hecht,
2006).
It is safe to assume that the majority of the nation’s rural jails are small,1 and although it is less certain the extent to which small
jails are rural, the literature suggests a high overlap (Ruddell and Mays, 2006). These small and rural facilities face several of the
same challenges as their larger urban counterparts, such as a population characterized by special needs (e.g., substance abuse
and mental illness), crowding, and difficulty recruiting and retaining staff. However, some of these challenges may be even more
pronounced in rural jails (Wodahl, 2006; Ruddell and Mays, 2006).

1

There is little consensus as to what constitutes a small jail. Over the past few decades, there have been various definitions of small, from 10 beds or fewer
to 150 beds or fewer. As the number of small jails decreases, the definition seems to change. For our purposes, we use the National Institute of Corrections’
definition of small, which is 150 beds or fewer.

Continued on next page

Facts about U.S. Jails and the Jail Population

9

Rural and Indian Country Jails (continued)
Challenges to the Reentry Process
Rural jails are funded from a small and often disadvantaged tax base, resulting in few resources to operate efficiently, hire and
retain staff, and implement programming (Wodahl, 2006; Ruddell and Mays, 2006). Moreover, rural criminal justice systems often
lack referral resources to treatment, housing, employment, and other services, whereas larger jurisdictions typically have more
community providers and service organizations. The absence or limitation of public transportation in rural areas further restricts
access to community resources both in jail and after release.
The close-knit community that characterizes many rural areas can be both beneficial and detrimental to the transition process.
Returning inmates may find it difficult to be accepted into the community where everyone, including employers and community
members, knows the details of their past criminal behavior and social problems (Wodahl, 2006). Rather than seek government
assistance, rural residents tend to deal with problems, such as substance abuse, mental illness, and family disintegration, on their
own or through friends and family (Wodahl, 2006). However, the community closeness may also result in citizens joining together
to address the problems facing their neighbors. Moreover, the rural criminal justice community, whose employees know each
other professionally and in many cases socially, can foster cooperation and collaboration and share resources more efficiently by
reducing bureaucratic hurdles.
In most cases, county sheriffs operate rural jails and traditionally do so with substantial discretion and little oversight (Ruddell
and Mays, 2006). Efforts to change the way of doing business to focus on reentry may be especially difficult in rural jail systems,
where control and security are deeply ingrained as the primary mission.

National Institute of Corrections Small Jails Survey
In 2001, the National Institute of Corrections surveyed 251 small jails with a capacity of 150 or less to explore issues in smalljail management. Though not focused specifically on rural jails, this survey presents significant implications for understanding
rural jail operations given the high small-rural overlap. The surveys revealed that most small jails lack programming, especially
job-related training and preparation, experience high staff turnover, lack qualified job candidates and adequate funding to hire
and retain employees, and face crowding and difficulty managing special needs populations (Harding and Clem, 2001). Outdated
technology and equipment and inadequate physical space were also major concerns of small jails (Harding and Clem, 2001).
Small and rural jails are often older facilities designed with the sole intent of holding individuals and have not adopted the new
design philosophies of direct supervision aimed at increasing staff-inmate interaction. The National Institute of Corrections
survey found that nearly two-thirds of the small jails were built before 1980, and in the vast majority of small jails, inmates are
supervised by staff who make rounds past housing units or through visual surveillance from a control room. In direct supervision
facilities, a central surveillance room allows correctional staff to maintain visual contact with housing units at all times.

Indian Country Jails
Tribal governments operate a modest portion of rural jails. In 2004, 68 jails in Indian country held 1,745 people (Minton, 2006).
Most Indian country jails are small, with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) housing fewer than 25 inmates. In 2004, only 2 facilities

10

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

held more than 100 inmates. Indian country jail systems present their own distinct considerations and represent an important
component of the jail reentry discussion, but they have very limited jurisdiction over their own population and land. Tribal
government or council jurisdiction over crimes on Indian land depends on several factors, including the identity of the victim and
offender and the type and location of the crime. Generally, tribal jurisdiction covers crimes committed by Native Americans on
tribal land that would warrant a sentence of one year or less. However, a number of crimes specified under the Major Crimes Act
of 1885 and Public Law 280 are under federal jurisdiction and state jurisdiction, respectively. In 2002, 23 percent of tribal agencies
provided their own detention, but more than two-thirds (68 percent) rely on county or local agencies to provide a jail or detention
facility (Perry, 2005). Accordingly, city or county jails hold more than four times as many Native Americans as Indian country jails
(Minton, 2006).

Collaborative and Interjurisdictional Strategies for Rural Jails
One means of minimizing the economic burden of operating a jail in a rural county is to pool resources across neighboring
counties and create a regional system. In rural and less populated areas, reentry strategies can benefit from this kind of
regionalization that enables both a sufficient number of individuals to work with and the range of services to sustain a meaningful
effort. By representing the interests of multiple counties or jurisdictions, regional jail systems can contract for services at lower
prices. For example, shared resources could fund a substance abuse counselor or nurse practitioner who could travel between
sites to provide services.
One of the clearest examples of such a concerted collaboration involves the Minnesota counties of Olmsted, Dodge, and Fillmore,
which partnered to better serve their respective populations. This partnership did not merely colocate resources in a single
building or develop a single program in a centralized location, but the effort also knitted together the government and social
service networks in the three counties to determine where best to deliver what types of services across jurisdictional lines. Given
the historical role of cities in public housing and the role of counties in social services, interjurisdictional collaborations between
these levels of government can also improve access to needed resources. Kentucky, Ohio, Oregon, and Virginia are other states
that have made great strides in interjurisdictional collaboration and regionalization strategies.
For an overview of the challenges and opportunities of reentry from rural and Indian country jails, see Frank Hecht, “Re-Entry
Programs and Rural Jails,” which is available at www.urban.org/projects/reentry-roundtable/roundtable9.cfm.

Availability of Services in Jails
According to the BJS, many jails provide some services, such as drug and alcohol awareness
education, adult basic education, and basic psychiatric services; however, given the realities
of the jail system, the extent of these programs is extremely limited. Large jail systems are
more likely to provide various programming than smaller ones, and services that do exist are
generally targeted toward special needs populations, such as those with infectious diseases,
acute mental illness, and substance dependency and abuse problems (Steadman and Veysey,
1997; Hammett, Roberts, and Kennedy, 2001). Table 3 presents some statistics on the extent
to which jails around the country report that they provide services in a given area, according
to the most recent Census of Jails, conducted by the BJS.

Facts about U.S. Jails and the Jail Population

11

Table 3: Treatment Capacity in Local Jails
Percentage of Jails
Providing Service

Service
Employment and education
Any educational programming
Secondary education
Basic adult education
Job search training
Vocational training

60
55
25
15
7

Substance abuse
Alcohol programs (dependency, counseling,
or awareness programs)
Drug programs (dependency, counseling,
or awareness programs)

62
55

Mental health*
Suicide risk assessments at intake
Mental health screening at intake
Psychotropic medication

87
78
66

24-hour mental health care

47

Psychological counseling
Routine counseling or therapy
Psychiatric evaluation
Assistance obtaining community mental health
services after release

47
46
38
29

Personal development and skills building
Religious programming
Life skills training
Parenting training

70
22
12

Source: Adapted from Stephen, 2001. Percentages were calculated based on the appendix tables in Stephen, 2001.
*A total of 315 jail jurisdictions did not report data on inmate mental health and procedures.

For medical services, the assumption is that all jails provide at least basic health care for
inmates as mandated by law; however, the quality and depth of treatment is variable. Jails
use a variety of methods to provide health care to inmates, such as onsite delivery staff;
“fee-for-service,” in which medical care is billed by a contractor on a per-visit basis; managed
care, in which services are billed on a per-minute or retainer basis; and the use of local
government physicians.
As is evident from the statistics in table 3, the majority of jails provide some level of
programming for some share of inmates. However, the depth and capacity of these services
is limited. For example, more than half of jails provide some sort of alcohol- or drug-related
program, but these programs are most often in the form of awareness education or selfhelp groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous rather than formal
treatment. Similarly, a large share of jails provides mental health and suicide prevention

12

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

screenings at intake as well as psychotropic medication; however, less than one-third
provide assistance connecting people with mental illness to services upon release.
These statistics simply illustrate the share of jails that provide certain types of services, and
they do not reflect the share of inmates who receive any particular service, which is thought
to be much lower. For example, while a jail may offer one—or several—classes, the number
of inmates who could benefit from the classes may far exceed the available slots. The extent
to which jail inmates need and receive certain services is discussed in further detail below.

What Are the Characteristics of Jail Inmates?
The majority of the 766,010 people incarcerated in jail are men younger than age 34. More
than half are racial or ethnic minorities, and more than 1 in 10 are women (James, 2004).
The individual-level challenges for this population are substantial. What follows is a brief
description of the demographics and criminal histories of the inmate population, as well
as more detail about the prevalence of substance abuse, mental illness, health problems,
and other issues confronting individuals in jail. Where possible, we also report the extent to
which individuals receive services to address these issues while incarcerated.

Jail Stock and Flow
To develop the demographic profile and outline the associated needs of those in jails, we relied primarily on Bureau of Justice
Statistics data. Much of this information is based on those who are under the formal custody of a local jail and incarcerated in
a specific facility on a given day (this is called the “stock” population). This group, by necessity, excludes those who are admitted
and released on the same day, likely to be the least serious of all of those admitted to jails. Thus, much of the information
discussed in this section represents the more serious jail inmates—those who do not immediately make bail or bond or who are
sentenced to jail—and does not wholly characterize the 12 million who enter and exit the nation’s jails each year (the “flow”
population).

Demographics and Criminal Histories8
The majority of the jail population is male (88 percent), but women make up an increasing
share of the population (12 percent in 2002, up from 10 percent in 1996) (Harlow, 1998). Forty
percent of the jail population is black, 36 percent is white, and about 19 percent is Hispanic.
The jail population is relatively young. More than one quarter (28 percent) are between the
ages of 18 and 24, and one-third is between the ages of 25 and 34.
As noted previously, the majority of individuals who flow through jails are charged with
misdemeanor offenses. However, on any given day, the offenses for which inmates are
incarcerated are evenly distributed across four major types: violent, property, drug, and
public order (see table 4 for a summary of jail population characteristics).9

8

Unless otherwise noted, data on demographics and criminal histories come from James, 2004.

9

Those who have not been convicted are more likely to be charged with a violent offense and less likely to be charged with a public
order offense than the jail population in general.

Facts about U.S. Jails and the Jail Population

13

Table 4: Jail Population Characteristics
Characteristic

Percentage

Gender
Male
Female

88
12

Race/ethnicity
White
Black
Hispanic
Other/more than one race

36
40
19
5

Age
< 18
18–24
25–34
35–44
45–55
> 55

2
28
32
26
10
2

Charge/offense type
Violent
Property
Drug
Public order
Other

25
24
25
25
1

Source: James, 2004.
Note: Because the latest year for which data are available on certain characteristics varies, to be consistent, data in this
table are based on a 2002 inmate sample. More recent data on gender and race/ethnicity is available in Sabol and Minton,
2007.

With extensive criminal histories, the jail population is not unknown to the justice system.
Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of jail inmates (i.e., the stock population) have been
previously sentenced to either probation or incarceration.10 Nearly one-fifth have been
subject to a restraining order or order of protection. At the time of the arrest that led to their
current incarceration in jail, more than half of the jail population had a preexisting criminal
justice status: 34 percent were on probation and 13 percent were on parole. An additional
seven percent were out on bail or bond, and two percent were in the community on some
other form of pretrial release.
An inmate’s experience with the justice system may parallel his or her family members’,
many of whom have histories of criminal behavior and involvement in the justice system.
Nearly half of all jail inmates (46 percent) report having a family member who has been
incarcerated. Almost one-third (31 percent) report having a brother who has been in prison
or jail, and 19 percent report having a previously incarcerated father. Nearly one-third report
having a parent who abused alcohol or drugs. These family histories of criminal activity
suggest that the issues that result in contact with the justice system run deep and are often
multigenerational.

10
Of those three-quarters with previous sentences, 61 percent have been previously sentenced to probation and 58 percent to
incarceration.

14

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Individual-Level Challenges to Reentry
Most men and women enter U.S. correctional facilities with limited marketable work
experience, low levels of education or vocational skills, and many health-related issues,
ranging from mental illness to substance abuse histories and relatively high rates of
communicable diseases.11 Many of these problems co-occur and are exacerbated by the
simultaneous presence of other problems.
Below we discuss the prevalence of these issues in the correctional population and exposure
to treatment and services while in jail.12 It is important to note that even when individuals
receive adequate training, treatment, and care during incarceration, they often face limited
access and insufficient linkages to community-based resources and treatment services upon
release (Hammett, Roberts, and Kennedy, 2001). This community-based care is critical to
an individual’s long-term success after release, perhaps more important than institutional
treatment (Petersilia, 2004; Andrews et al., 1990; Gaes et al., 1999), and is discussed at length
in Section 2.

Employment and Education
Finding and maintaining a job is a critical dimension of successful reentry. Research has
shown that employment is associated with lower rates of reoffending, and higher wages
are associated with lower rates of criminal activity (Bernstein and Houston, 2000; Western
and Petit, 2000). However, formerly incarcerated people face tremendous challenges finding
and maintaining legitimate job opportunities because of low levels of education, limited
work experience and vocational skills, poor attitudes, and a general reluctance of employers
to hire people with convictions (Holzer, Raphael, and Stoll, 2004). These challenges are
further compounded by the arrest and incarceration period, during which individuals sever
professional connections and social contacts that could lead to legal employment upon
release (Western, King, and Weiman, 2001).
Nearly 30 percent of the 2002 jail population report unemployment in the month before
arrest.13 An additional 18 percent had only occasional employment and 11 percent part-time
employment before incarceration. Men were more likely than women (60 percent and 40
percent, respectively) to be employed in the month before arrest. In addition to employment,
jail inmates receive financial support from family and friends (16 percent); illegal sources (12
percent); compensation payments such as Social Security, Supplemental Security Income,
and Worker’s Compensation (9 percent); and welfare (6 percent). Sixty percent of jail inmates
lack a high school diploma or its equivalent (Harlow, 2003). These educational deficiencies
can present a barrier to securing gainful employment after release.
Very few jail inmates participate in vocational or educational programs while incarcerated.14
Indeed, just 14 percent of inmates report that they participate in educational programs in jail,
compared with 52 percent of state prisoners. Less than five percent of jail inmates participate
in vocational programs, compared with nearly one-third of inmates in state prison. These low
participation rates are not surprising as most individuals are in jail for less than one month.

11
For a detailed description of the challenges of prisoner reentry, see Travis, Solomon, and Waul, 2001 and Council of State
Governments and Re-Entry Policy Council, 2005.
12

For a further review of the challenges of the inmate population, please see Freudenberg, 2006.

13

Unless otherwise noted, statistics in this paragraph come from James, 2004.

14

Unless otherwise noted, statistics in this paragraph come from Harlow, 2003.

Facts about U.S. Jails and the Jail Population

15

Substance Abuse
Substance use among former prisoners and jail inmates presents significant challenges to
the reentry process. A small fraction of those with substance use histories receive treatment
during incarceration. Furthermore, for those who have access to and take advantage of
substance abuse treatment programs in prison or jail, relatively few continue to receive
appropriate treatment once they return to the community. Prison-based drug treatment has
been shown to reduce drug use and criminal activity, especially when coupled with aftercare
treatment in the community (Gaes et al., 1999; Harrison, 2000).
More than two-thirds (68 percent) of all jail inmates meet the criteria for substance abuse or
dependence, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth
edition.15 In comparison, only nine percent of the U.S. population abuse or are dependent on
drugs or alcohol. Substance-abusing and dependent inmates are more likely to have a prior
criminal record than other inmates and more likely to have been on community supervision
at the time of their arrest. These inmates are also more likely than other inmates to have
been homeless, to have been physically or sexually abused, and to have family members
who have been incarcerated or who have abused alcohol or drugs.
Despite the high rates of drug and alcohol involvement among the jail population, very few
participate in formal treatment.16 Less than one-fifth of convicted jail inmates who met the
criteria for substance dependence or abuse receive formal treatment or participate in other
alcohol or drug programs after admission to jail. Self-help and peer counseling are the most
common types of programs for this group; only seven percent receive treatment in a special
unit or facility that uses a therapeutic community model. Again, because of the short length
of most jail stays, formal treatment in the jail setting may only be feasible and appropriate
for a relatively small share of the population.

Mental Health
Although the prevalence of mental illness is difficult to estimate, it appears to occur at
higher rates among the incarcerated population than in the overall U.S. population (National
Commission on Correctional Health Care, 2002). Further, homelessness, unemployment,
substance abuse and dependency, and histories of physical abuse are more acute among
inmates and prisoners with mental health problems, and serious mental illness is correlated
with higher rates of violence and longer criminal histories (James and Glaze, 2006). As
with other continuity of care issues, inmates with mental health problems face limited
access to a system of care in the community. A period of incarceration often suspends or
terminates benefits depending on length of stay and can disqualify inmates from Medicaid
eligibility. Activating or reinstating benefits and restoring eligibility can take several months,
interrupting access to prescription drugs and putting individuals at high risk of relapse.
Because of the varying criteria used to determine mental health problems or mental illness,
estimates of its prevalence in correctional populations vary widely. A commonly cited
estimate for the share of prison and jail inmates with a history of mental illness is 16 percent.
This figure is based on self-reported mental conditions in surveys of prisoners and jail
inmates conducted by BJS in 1996 and 1997 (Ditton, 1999). A more recent BJS study based
on more current surveys of prisoners and jail inmates asked detailed questions about a
recent history and symptoms of mental health problems. According to this study, nearly a

16

15

Unless otherwise noted, statistics in this paragraph come from Karberg and James, 2005.

16

Unless otherwise noted, statistics in this paragraph come from Karberg and James, 2005.

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Women in Jail
During the past decade, the number of women involved in the justice system has grown substantially. The number of women
held in local jails nearly doubled from 51,600 in 1995 to 98,577 in 2006 (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000; Sabol and Minton, 2007).
As more women enter the justice system, it is apparent that their paths to crime differ from those of men, and their service and
programming needs are unique. Women in the justice system often have longer and more complex histories of criminal activity,
trauma, substance use, health, and other issues (McCampbell, 2005). Female inmates are more likely than men to be dependent
on alcohol or drugs and are more likely to have mental health problems (James and Glaze, 2006; Ditton, 1999). They also face
unique reproductive health needs and are often mothers of young children. Women who enter the justice system have high rates
of physical and sexual abuse in their past; more than half (55 percent) report abuse before admission (James, 2004). This physical
and sexual abuse is often correlated with substance abuse and mental illness. In addition, women in jail have HIV infection rates
twice those of men (National Commission on Correctional Health Care, 2002).
In recent years it has become increasingly clear that even evidence-based interventions for men in the correctional system are not
necessarily applicable to or appropriate for women. There is emerging research on women in the justice system and strategies
for their distinct risks and needs. The National Institute of Corrections has published a series of reports on gender-responsive
strategies for justice-involved women, including one that presents guiding principles for gender-responsive strategies in the jail
setting (McCampbell, 2005). These principles include the following:
• 	 Acknowledging that gender makes a difference.
• 	 Creating an environment based on safety, respect, and dignity.
• 	 Developing policies, practices, and programs that are relational and promote healthy relationships with family, children,
spouses, significant others, and the community; and taking this relational model into consideration when implementing
evidence-based practices.
• 	 Addressing substance abuse, trauma, and mental health issues through comprehensive, integrated, and culturally
relevant services and supervision.
• 	 Providing women with opportunities to improve their socioeconomic status.
• 	 Establishing a system of community supervision and reentry with comprehensive and collaborative community-oriented
services.
For more information, see The Gender-Responsive Strategies Project: Jail Applications (McCampbell, 2005).

quarter (24 percent) of jail inmates exhibit symptoms of psychosis, compared with 15 percent
of state prisoners (James and Glaze, 2006). This study also revealed that the prevalence of
mental health problems among the jail population is greater than it is among prisoners.
Although some large jail systems are in effect the largest providers of mental health services
in their states (Lurigio, Fallon and Dincin, 2000), only 18 percent of jail inmates with a
mental health problem report receiving treatment after admission (James and Glaze, 2006).
Treatment is most commonly in the form of medication alone without counseling or therapy.

Facts about U.S. Jails and the Jail Population

17

About 15 percent of those in jail who have a mental health problem receive prescribed
medication, and 7 percent receive professional mental health therapy (James and Glaze,
2006).

Physical Health
The occurrence of chronic and infectious diseases among the prison and jail population is
far greater than among the general population. Correctional populations account for a large
share of the total U.S. population that is infected with sexually transmitted diseases, HIV or
AIDS, hepatitis B or C, and tuberculosis. During 1997, those passing through U.S. prisons and
jails accounted for between 20 and 26 percent of the general population living with HIV or
AIDS, 29 to 32 percent of those with hepatitis C, and 38 percent of those with tuberculosis.
Many prisoners living with these infectious diseases receive health care during incarceration
because it is required by law; however, few continue to receive care once they are released.
The fact that such a substantial share of the country’s population with infectious diseases
passes through a correctional facility creates a sizable opportunity to improve public health.
In terms of disease prevalence in the jail population, 4.3 percent of inmates report having
tuberculosis, 2.6 report having hepatitis, and 1.3 report having HIV.17 These rates are more
than five times the estimated prevalence of each disease in the general population (National
Commission on Correctional Health Care, 2002). More than one-third of jail inmates (37
percent) report having a current medical problem, physical impairment, or injury needing
attention. The jail population is characterized by relatively high rates of chronic diseases,
including arthritis (13 percent), asthma (10 percent), hypertension (11 percent), and heart
problems (6 percent). Health problems are more common among inmates who were
previously homeless or unemployed and among those with a history of substance abuse or
dependence.
Most inmates report being questioned about their health problems at admission; however,
less than half (47 percent) receive examinations to see if they are sick, injured, or intoxicated,
and even fewer (43 percent) receive a medical exam after admission (Maruschak, 2006).
Of those who reported a current medical problem, 42 percent had met with a health care
professional about the problem since admission to jail (Maruschak, 2006).
17

Unless otherwise noted, statistics in this paragraph come from Maruschak, 2006.

The Role of Jails in Incarcerating the Mentally Ill
Since the Community Mental Health Centers Act was signed into law in 1964, the U.S. mental health system has shifted its
emphasis from isolated, institution-based care to the provision of community-based support for people with mental illness. Many
argue that this deinstitutionalization has resulted in an increase in the use of incarceration, especially in jails, to respond to the
behavior of people with mental health problems. Although there is no broad documentation that this population has transitioned
from one institution to the other, the number of people with mental illness who are incarcerated has increased significantly in
recent years. As a result of the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, many large jail systems, such as those in Los Angeles,
Chicago, and New York, have become primary providers of mental health care in their jurisdictions (Freudenberg, 2006; Lurigio,
Fallon, and Dincin, 2000).

18

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Housing
Securing housing is perhaps the most immediate challenge facing prisoners and jail
inmates upon their release. Many individuals plan to stay with family upon release, but
those who do not face limited housing options. The process of obtaining housing is often
complicated by a host of factors: the scarcity of affordable and available housing, legal
barriers and regulations (depending on conviction), prejudices that restrict tenancy for this
population, strict eligibility requirements for federally subsidized housing, and the fact that
the families of many former inmates may not accept them into the household when they are
released. Research has found that, among released inmates, those who do not have stable
housing arrangements are more likely to return to prison than those with stable housing
arrangements (Metraux and Culhane, 2004).
Fourteen percent of all jail inmates were homeless (living in a shelter or on the street) the
year before incarceration (James, 2004). Those with substance abuse or dependence (16
percent) and mental health problems (17 percent) are about twice as likely as other inmates
(9 percent) to have been homeless in the year before incarceration (James and Glaze, 2006;
Karberg and James, 2005).18

Chronic Offenders
Certain minor crimes and offenses that affect public safety and community well-being
are invariably dealt with at the local level and are often committed by a relatively small
number of individuals again and again. For instance, habitual misdemeanant offenders with
a multitude of substance abuse, medical, and mental health problems—intertwined with
issues of homelessness, unemployment, and disability—commit many public nuisance
crimes. As such, the individuals who cycle in and out of jail are also frequent users of other
human services, such as homeless shelters and mental health treatment (Fisher, White,
and Jacobs, 2007; Council of State Governments, 2002). These chronic offenders consume
a huge amount of public resources and are in and out of jail—and other social service
systems—repeatedly.
Chronic offenders—almost by definition—are already known to the criminal justice and
human service systems. Most jurisdictions have the capacity to determine who their chronic
offenders are through data matching across systems, creating an opportunity to intervene
with a small share of the population that plays a disproportionately large role in consuming
resources and affecting quality of life at the neighborhood level. Differentiating chronic
offenders from others can have important implications for interventions, as discussed in
Section 2.

Putting It All Together: The Unique Challenges and Opportunities
of Reentry from Jail
In many ways, the challenges of reentry from local jails mirror those of reentry from state
prisons. As discussed above, both the jail and the prison populations face substantial
challenges related to substance abuse, mental and physical health, employment, and
housing. However, there are several differences between the jail and prison context that
present unique challenges and warrant new approaches to reentry from jail.

18
Viewed through a different lens, a substantial share of the homeless population has been incarcerated. In New York City, for
example, recent studies reveal that 30 percent of single adults entering homeless shelters have recently been released from city
and state correctional facilities (NYC Department of Homeless Services, 2004).

Facts about U.S. Jails and the Jail Population

19

Multiple Social Systems Involved with Chronic Offenders
A recent analysis of chronic offenders in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, revealed that 38 percent of individuals booked by the
Allegheny County Bureau of Corrections between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2005, were booked more than once during
this period; 18 percent were booked 3 or more times and 5 percent were booked 5 or more times (Dalton, unpublished data). The
Allegheny County analysis found that 72 percent of chronic offenders—those booked 5 or more times over the 2 years—also
accessed the county’s Department of Human Services for substance abuse and mental health treatment and homelessness
services at some point before or after being incarcerated, compared with 46 percent of all individuals booked by the jail. Not only
are most of these repeat offenders using jail space over and over again, but they are also repeatedly using human services.
In New York City, a program targeting frequent users of the city’s jail and shelter systems matched records of the city’s
Department of Homeless Services and Department of Correction and Probation and identified a relatively small number of
individuals cycling through both of these systems, at least four times in each system, over a five-year period (Fisher, White, and
Jacobs, 2007). The Frequent Users of Jail and Shelter Initiative (FUSE) is profiled in Section 3 (page 97).

By the Numbers—Individual Challenges for Jail Inmates
• 68 percent meet the criteria for substance abuse or dependence
• 60 percent do not have a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma
• 46 percent have a family member who was incarcerated
• 30 percent of inmates are unemployed in the month before arrest
• 16 percent are estimated to have serious mental health problems
• 14 percent were homeless at some point during the year before they were
incarcerated
Sources: James, 2004; Karberg and James, 2005; Harlow, 1999.

The challenges include the broad variety of circumstances under which individuals are
housed in jails, their short lengths of stay, their high levels of service needs, and the minimal
jail capacity to provide treatment or training in the jail setting. When individuals leave jail,
there are few community-based systems in place to address the transitional problems that
many will face. Unlike the prison-to-parole context, community supervision is often not
a factor for many leaving jail, nor is it necessarily appropriate for millions who have not
been convicted of a crime or are serving a very short sentence for a minor offense. Further,
implementing broad-scale policy change to facilitate the reentry process is a complex
undertaking given the organizational diversity of the more than 3,000 independently
operated jails around the country.
At the same time, jails are also uniquely positioned to facilitate the transition process,
compared with state prisons. Shorter lengths of stay and the community location of most
jail facilities translate into less time away from—and even continued contact with—family,

20

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

friends, treatment providers, employers, faith institutions, and other social supports. The
proximity of the jail also allows for the possibility of community-based providers to begin
interventions with individuals prior to release, improving the chances that they will continue
to receive care after release.
Each of these unique challenges and opportunities is discussed briefly below.

Unique Challenges
Jails house a varied population. Local jails serve a variety of functions; among others, they
hold individuals awaiting trial, conviction, or sentencing; individuals convicted of a crime
whose sentence is typically less than one year; and probation and parole violators. This
broad jurisdiction over a diverse population, often with unknown release dates, various legal
statuses, and extreme variation in length of stay, makes targeted programming, release, and
reentry planning a considerable challenge.
Lengths of stay are short. Whereas state prisoners spend an average of two and a half years
behind bars, the vast majority of local jail inmates stay no longer than one month, many
detained only for a few days or hours. Short lengths of stay pose challenges to assessing
individual needs and risks and implementing effective and appropriate interventions during
the incarceration period. In addition, given that the majority of jail inmates have not been
convicted, they are subject to unpredictable release dates, making it difficult for the jail to
manage effective release planning.
Individual challenges are high; jail service capacity is low. Both prisoners and jail inmates
face substantial challenges around substance use, mental and physical health, housing,
and employment, but the ability to meet these challenges is more limited in a jail setting.
Most large jails do provide some interventions, such as self-help substance abuse groups
and education programs; however, the extent of services and feasibility for expansion are
limited. Jails typically do not have the capacity (or appropriate length of custody) to provide
extensive programming. Additionally, most jails are not accustomed to granting community
organizations access into facilities to begin the service delivery that could continue in the
community.
Jails are locally run and independently operated. Given that jails are locally administered
at the county or city levels, policy change aimed at jails is much more complex than reentry
reform at the state level. In the United States, there are 3,365 independently operated jails
and 50 state prison systems with more or less similar organizational structures. There is little
uniformity across jail systems: Jail capacity ranges from less than 50 to more than 2,000.
The communities in which jails are located vary from urban to rural and have very different
resources, needs, and populations. Even across jails of the same size located in similar
communities, county-level operation creates diverse policies and procedures surrounding
inmate supervision, management, and treatment.
There is no designated community-based system in place to facilitate the transition process.
When people leave jail, they often face challenges finding and maintaining employment;
accessing necessary medication, addiction treatment, and health care services; and
obtaining stable housing. Whatever progress the jail is able to make on these issues while
individuals are in their custody, lasting change is unlikely to occur without ongoing and
coordinated support in the community. However, there is no single agency or group of
agencies designated to provide postrelease support or supervision during an individual’s
community reintegration.

Facts about U.S. Jails and the Jail Population

21

Unique Opportunities
Short lengths of stay mean less time away from home communities. Given their short
incarceration periods, jail inmates are not disconnected long from their families, jobs, and
other positive social networks. Unlike with a longer prison stay, it may be possible for an
individual to return to his or her home, church, or even job following a brief jail stay. In
addition, federal benefits are less likely to be terminated or suspended for short incarceration
periods.
Jails are located in the communities to which inmates will return. Unlike state prisons, jail
facilities are locally situated and thus allow for continued contact with family, treatment
providers, employers, community and faith volunteers, and mentors. Centrally located in the
community, jails are also able to facilitate “in-reach” from community providers to maintain
relationships or begin treatment. In cases where individuals’ ties to the community are
weak or nonexistent, jails can serve a critical role in strengthening existing connections and
establishing new ones.
Jails can become part of a community network of providers. Jails are central to an effective
reentry effort, but they are only part of the solution. Because inmates will soon return
to their home neighborhoods, community-based organizations are key in the transition
process. Jail reentry will not be successful without jail-community collaboration. Given
jails’ location in the community, they are well-positioned to develop productive and longstanding partnerships with other community-based service agencies. These agencies, such
as departments of health and human services, workforce development, and family and child
welfare services, are likely already working with the many individuals who are cycling in and
out of jail and their families.

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org/url.cfm?ID=410098.
Western, Bruce, and Becky Petit, “Incarceration and Racial Inequality in Men’s Employment,”
Industrial and Labor Relations Review 54, no. 3 (2000): 3–16.
Western, Bruce, Jeffrey Kling, and David Weiman, “The Labor Market Consequences of
Incarceration,” Crime and Delinquency 47 (2001): 410–27.
Wodahl, Eric, “The Challenges of Prisoner Reentry from a Rural Perspective,” Western
Criminology Review 7, no. 2 (2006): 32–47.
Zupan, Linda, Jails: Reform and the New Generation Philosophy (Cincinnati, OH: Anderson
Publishing Co., 1991).

Facts about U.S. Jails and the Jail Population

25

Source: Center for Employment Opportunities

2
3
Addressing Reentry
from Jails:
Making the Most
of a Short Stay

Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making
the Most of a Short Stay

2

T

he time spent in jail, however brief, can be used to set in motion elements of transition
planning that can continue in the community after release. From distributing reentry
handbooks to more comprehensive assessment, planning, and case management,
jails can take a number of approaches to improve reentry outcomes for individuals, their
families, and communities. However, even the most advanced jails cannot address reentry
on their own. Effective reentry strategies require the active involvement of communitybased organizations that can provide services, training, treatment, case management, and
accountability in the jail setting and especially in the community after release.

In New York, we hold individuals for ... brief periods of time, so the
solution has to be in the community. They do all return to communities.
These are the children of our communities, ultimately—these are the
brothers and the sisters, the mothers and the fathers, the children and the
grandchildren. And unless communities take ownership of the manner in
which they return to their communities, we can’t do it by ourselves.19
—Martin Horn, Commissioner
New York City Department of Correction and Probation

At the individual level, there are various points along the jail-to-community continuum
where interventions can improve reentry outcomes, and ultimately, public safety. These
targets for intervention include the following:
• 	 Classification, screening, and assessment—to quickly assess an inmate’s risks and needs.
• 	 Reentry plans—to identify specific interventions that will improve the chances for
successful reintegration.
• 	 Jail-based interventions and community in-reach—to provide some level of prerelease
activity while the individual is incarcerated, ranging from formal treatment to, more
commonly, access to community-based providers, volunteers, or family members who
come into the institution to maintain or initiate contact.
• 	 Moment of release—to prepare individuals for those critical first hours and days after
release from jail.
• 	 Continuity of care in the community—to connect individuals to resources and
supervision, where appropriate, after release.

19

Published transcript from the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, 2005: 13.

29


Given the broad range of individuals who pass through the jail system, their often
unpredictable lengths of stay, and the realities of limited resources, it may not be feasible—
or even desirable—to comprehensively assess and “program” every individual who
enters the jail. Rather, jurisdictions will need to prioritize their goals, target populations,
and determine how to best make use of available tools (see the sidebar “Designing
Interventions” on page 52). For example, jurisdictions may choose to focus more intensive
and longer term interventions on a specific subset of the population, such as sentenced
inmates with mental illness or chronic offenders who cycle in and out of jails and other
social service systems. At the same time, even short-term detainees may benefit from a less
intensive intervention, such as access to a resource guide or reentry handbook.20
The bulk of this section describes the five major intervention opportunities listed above,
including a rationale for their importance and examples from the field. Because reentry
strategies—and the collaboration necessary to ensure their operation—are far from business
as usual, Section 2 concludes with a brief discussion about systems-level strategic planning.

Targets for Intervention
Classification, Screening, and Assessment
A period of incarceration in jail presents an opportunity to identify, perhaps for the first time,
an individual’s social and health needs and public safety risks and develop a plan to address
those needs and risks. These reentry plans need to work in conjunction with the basic
institutional classification process that serves to identify individuals who might be at risk to
themselves or to others and to correctly place them at the appropriate security level in the
facility.

Reentry from Jail: An Emerging Field
Information about reentry from jail is newly emerging. In developing this section we draw heavily on ideas from practitioners and
experts as well as the core elements of reentry efforts that are currently under way in jurisdictions around the country. At the
same time, few evaluations and no proven models currently exist.
In an effort to fill this void, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) has launched the Transition from Jail to Community project.
Over the next few years, NIC and the Urban Institute will work with practitioners from around the nation to develop and test a
transition model for jails and local communities to work collaboratively to reduce crimes committed by released individuals and
enhance their chances for successful reintegration. The transition model will provide guidance for various types of individuals,
jails, and communities.

Several jails operating reentry programs employ classification and assessment tools to
help them rapidly deploy their resources given the immediate needs of the individuals
detained and the speed with which jail processing occurs. For example, local corrections

20
The Jail Administrator’s Toolkit for Reentry describes “tracks” of interventions that jails can develop for various types of people in
their custody. For more information, see Section 4 of the Toolkit.

30

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

agencies in Montgomery County (Maryland) and Davidson County (Tennessee) have
attempted to provide some level of intervention for every individual booked into the jail.
This is an ambitious goal that is met through coordinated triage. In these jurisdictions, early
classification and screening enable the jail to quickly determine whether a resource guide or
appointments in the community are the extent of the intervention, or whether time must be
made for a comprehensive assessment and more intensive, tailored interventions involving
case management.

Classification
Over the years, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) has promoted the use of objective
jail classification systems that employ a point system based on a number of questions
concerning an individual’s offense, prior criminal history, and institutional behavior to
determine if individuals need to be housed at high, medium, low, or prerelease levels.
From a jail reentry standpoint, a good jail classification system will lead to the placement of
individuals at the lowest possible security level appropriate for their case and better position
them to receive reentry services.
According to some practitioners, the integration of the classification staff into the reentry
conversation is essential to the success of reentry. For example, during an initial intake,
classification staff can coordinate with the medical, mental health, and program staff to
assess the level at which an individual is functioning and determine how or if that level of
functioning can improve in the next hours, days, or months.
In Hampden County (Massachusetts), the sheriff’s department has developed classification
matrices for violent offenders, nonviolent offenders, and those serving mandatory sentences
that chart out their time at each security level by sentence length. For instance, a nonviolent
offender serving 18 months who complies with his reentry plan and demonstrates excellent
institutional conduct will spend 10 days at medium security, 1 month at minimum security,
2 months at secure prerelease, and the balance (or less) on day reporting (living at home
and reporting regularly to the day reporting center). The department’s matrices are adjusted
regularly on the basis of population levels at the facility and prove to be an effective
tool both to prevent jail overcrowding and to place individuals at security levels that will
allow them to work and receive community-based treatment prior to release. Thus, the
classification needs of the institution and the reentry needs of individuals are both served
with this process. Essex and Norfolk Counties, also in Massachusetts, employ similar
matrices to place individuals appropriately and develop dynamic reentry plans.

Screening and Assessment
Instruments used for classification purposes traditionally do not explore an individual’s
dynamic risks and needs beyond their relevancy for institutional placement. However,
depending on the time available during the initial intake process, certain screening and
assessment instruments can be used to enhance the basic classification process as well as to
identify reentry risks and needs and develop a transition plan. As appropriate, more in-depth
screening and assessment procedures can follow the initial classification process and occur
when individuals are initially placed in housing locations.
Research has demonstrated that assessment tools (reliable, validated, and normed) are a
better predictor of an offender’s risks and needs than clinical judgment (Andrews et al., 1994;

Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making the Most of a Short Stay

31

Andrews and Bonta, 1994) and increase the chances that individuals will be matched with
the appropriate type of treatment. Screens and assessments also flag the highest-risk people
and problems, which can inform jurisdictions about how to triage available resources as
noted above. Assessments can also identify those who are returning to stable arrangements
and intact supports and have little need for intervention.
Ideally, a jail’s initial assessment would be informed by relevant information gathered
from justice system agencies having previous contact with individuals, such as police,
prosecutors, pretrial services, the court, and probation and parole staff. In jurisdictions that
operate them, pretrial services programs serve a central role in initial assessment of risks
and needs before a defendant is formally booked into the jail (see the sidebar “The Role of
Pretrial Services in Reentry from Jail” for more information, page 6). For those in jail for
longer periods, assessments should be re-administered at regular intervals, including just
before release, to update reentry plans to reflect individual progress and change.
Although jails generally provide some sort of screening at intake, the thoroughness of
the screening process varies. Smaller jails tend to provide little other than initial health
and suicide risk screening at intake, whereas most large jails provide some kind of mental
health evaluation and crisis intervention (Steadman and Veysey, 1997). The large number
of admissions a jail processes each day and the short lengths of stay are perhaps the most
immediate barriers to more widespread screening and assessment.

Screening and Assessment Tools
There is no consensus on which assessment tool(s) would be best suited to the jail setting.
The Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) is an assessment instrument commonly
recommended in a prison setting where it has been validated for certain prisoner
populations. The instrument consists of 54 items, grouped into 10 categories: criminal
history, education/employment, financial, family/marital, housing, leisure/recreation,
companions, alcohol/drug problem, emotional/personal, and criminal attitudes/orientation.
The full survey takes about one hour to administer, making it impractical in many jail
settings. The LSI-R, or an abbreviated version, which is discussed below, may be a viable
option in jails, though it has not been tested for applicability in a jail setting.
Several jails also use the Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions
(COMPAS) assessment tool. COMPAS is an instrument that incorporates a theory-based

For more information about assessment tools, please see The Jail Administrator’s Toolkit for Reentry, which provides several
examples of screens and assessment tools being used by jails around the country. Additionally, the Council of State Governments
Justice Center will soon release A Guide to Improving Assessment Processes in Corrections Settings. This guide will provide a
framework for corrections administrators to consider in developing strategies for improving their assessment procedures. It will
be accompanied by an online, interactive tool that will include examples of common instruments and lessons from the corrections
field about assessment procedures in various jurisdictions.In an effort to fill this void, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC)
has launched the Transition from Jail to Community project. Over the next few years, NIC and the Urban Institute will work with
practitioners from around the nation to develop and test a transition model for jails and local communities to work collaboratively
to reduce crimes committed by released individuals and enhance their chances for successful reintegration. The transition model
will provide guidance for various types of individuals, jails, and communities.

32

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

approach to assessment. The assessment has 4 separate risk scales (violence, general
recidivism, failure to appear, and noncompliance) and 22 needs scales, which include
criminal attitudes, criminal personality, criminal associates, financial problems, vocational/
educational problems, criminal opportunity, and residential instability. A specific version has
been validated for use in jail settings.

Abbreviated Assessment Tools and Brief Screeners
Abbreviated assessment tools are especially relevant for jail application given the short
lengths of stay and the unpredictable nature of release. Designed mostly for screening
purposes, abbreviated assessments have been developed as a tool to determine the need
for crisis intervention and further assessment and to inform initial placement and referral
options. They also provide a time- and cost-effective alternative to a full assessment for
institutions with limited staff and resources. For those held in jail for only a day or two, this
brief initial assessment can prove valuable. If individuals are held for more than 48 or 72
hours, more in-depth assessments can refine and expand options.
Some jail systems, like the one in Hampden County, use the screening version of the LSI-R
(LSI-R: SV), which consists of 8 of the 54 items contained in the complete LSI-R. The eight
items cover four risk factors: criminal history, criminal attitudes, criminal associates, and
antisocial personality patterns. It also samples the domains of employment, family, and
substance abuse (Council of State Governments and Re-Entry Policy Council, 2005).
Another tool developed by the GAINS Center for specific application in jails is the Brief Jail
Mental Health Screen (Steadman et al., 2005). This short screening tool, which takes less than
three minutes to administer and score, is designed to centralize and effectively use information
to detect immediate or acute mental health issues and the need for further follow-up.

Strength-Based Approaches
Approaches to assessment and rehabilitation are heavily focused on identifying problems or underlying causes for negative
behavior. For example, the categories of the Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) explore negative behaviors and failures
in an individual’s life, such as criminal attitudes, emotional problems, lack of stable family structure, or lack of a high school
diploma, in an attempt to inform areas to focus intervention. Some argue that these problem-focused approaches fail to separate
an individual from his or her problems and place too much emphasis on the process of taking responsibility for past actions rather
than taking responsibility for change in the future (Clark, 1997; Clark, 1998).
Over the past decade, some criminal justice practitioners have incorporated the identification and encouragement of individual
strengths and healthy behaviors into their assessments of individuals in the justice system. This strength-based approach
to assessment focuses less on what is wrong with an individual and more on how to identify and take advantage of existing
strengths, abilities, and capacities (Clark, 1997; Clark, 1998). Proponents of strength-based practice argue that it provides more
strategies to exploit and build on positive qualities, enhance intrinsic motivation, and help people remain out of the justice system.
Strength-based assessments tend to ask the individual to identify his or her personal strengths and skills. These identified
strengths may also be informed or complemented by input from an individual’s case manager, counselor, or the assessment
interviewer.

Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making the Most of a Short Stay

33

The APIC Model
In an effort to address the reentry from jail of individuals with mental illnesses and dual diagnoses, the National GAINS Center
conducted a series of meetings with jail administrators and reviewed programmatic reentry efforts around the country. This
process resulted in the development of the Assess, Plan, Identify, and Coordinate (APIC) model to inform transition planning for
people with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders, improve the chances of successful reentry, and reduce
relapse and recidivism (Osher et al., 2002). Although the APIC model targets people with co-occurring disorders, its principles can
be applied to the general jail population. The following are key elements of the APIC model:
• 	 Assess: Using standardized instruments, quickly and comprehensively collect information on an inmate’s social and
clinical needs and public safety risks. Because length of stay is often uncertain at intake, the goal is to collect as much
relevant information as possible in a short amount of time. When possible, update information on inmates and reassess
their needs prior to release.
• 	 Plan: At both the system and individual levels, plan for the treatment and services required to address the identified
needs. Know the problems and resources unique to your own community to appropriately and efficiently match needs
with resources. Incorporate the inmate’s perspective in the transition plan to make it more real for him or her.
• 	 Identify: Identify the community and correctional programs responsible for providing postrelease services. Ask who,
what, when, where, and how. Provide those in jail for 48 hours or less with a resource card that includes pertinent
information, such as how to get a Social Security card, how to apply for federal benefits, and the contact information and
hours of various service providers and shelters.
• 	 Coordinate: Coordinate the transition plan to ensure that implementation occurs and gaps in the community are filled. At
the systems level, an oversight group must be responsible for coordinating the multidisciplinary action of all agencies
involved. Case management is a critical ingredient to successful transition plans, but because of limited resources, it may
have to be prioritized for those most in need.
The APIC model is a best practice guide that must be tailored to the context of a specific jail. What is practical and appropriate
in the urban mega-jails of New York City or Los Angeles may not be feasible in a small rural jail. A limited application of the APIC
model in the form of a reentry checklist has been tested in two jails: Rensselaer County Jail in Troy, New York, and Montgomery
County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation in Rockville, Maryland. The jails found that the checklist was helpful in
creating a centralized record of an inmate’s needs and the activities being done to meet those needs, but the jail staff recognized
that considerable resources and coordination are required to carry out the transition plan. Further, because of unpredictable
release dates, it was difficult to ensure that inmates had access to their reentry checklist.
For more information on the APIC model, see Osher, 2006, and Osher, Steadman, and Barr, 2002.

Reentry Plans
Assessments are only as useful as the plans they inform. Information gathered through
assessments about an individual’s areas of need, risk behaviors, strengths, and available
resources can provide the basis for the development of individually tailored reentry plans
that address addictions and other treatment needs, employment and education, health
diagnoses, housing, and the logistics of release. Reentry plans guide and manage reentry
preparation, the moment of release, and the reintegration process.

34

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

For short-term detainees, assessment and planning may need to occur in one sitting. Under
these circumstances, reentry planning will be brief, consisting of a review of needs and
referrals to people and agencies in the community who can help meet these needs. For longterm inmates—usually sentenced offenders whose length of stay in jail is more certain—
case management and structured reentry plans can identify necessary programmatic
interventions as well as the logistics of the discharge process and continuity of care in the
community. Ideally, reentry plans for this subset of the population will be developed with
input from the individual, monitored by a case manager to determine progress toward
identified goals, and periodically reviewed and adapted as necessary.
Transition accountability plans (TAPs), developed as part of the NIC’s Transition from Prison
to Community project (and therefore originally designed for the prison context), provide
a good example of a reentry plan. TAPs span the phases of the transition process, from
incarceration to release to community reintegration. TAPs are a product of and depend
on collaborative effort involving the individual, correctional staff, community supervision
officers, human services providers, and community organizations. The TAP is a formal
agreement that outlines the roles and expectations of all involved parties and holds each
one accountable for their respective responsibilities during each phase of the transition
process.21

The Importance of Case Management
To maximize the effectiveness of the reentry plan, individuals must be engaged, adhering
to the plan in jail and especially in the community. Further, all stakeholders must
understand their roles and responsibilities in implementing the plan, and they must work
with individuals to update the plan as individuals progress through the transition phase.
Case managers—whether jail- or community-based staff—can serve an important role in
planning and overseeing service delivery both in jail and in the community and in engaging
individuals in their own transition process. Although the research is limited, some studies
have illustrated the importance of case management in improving reentry outcomes.
For example, an evaluation of a community-based comprehensive aftercare program,
Opportunity to Succeed, found that participants who interacted with their case managers
were more likely to report full-time employment and maintain employment for a longer
time than those receiving no case management (Rossman and Roman, 2003). Similarly, a
study of substance-abusing arrestees found that those who had ongoing case management
were more likely to have access to drug treatment and less likely to commit crimes than
individuals in a control group who received only referrals or a single counseling session
(Rhodes and Gross, 1997).
Only a small share of jurisdictions support case managers with a jail reentry caseload,
but there are several exceptions. As part of the Allegheny County (Pennsylvania) Jail
Collaborative, intensive case managers from the Department of Human Services begin
working with inmates in the Allegheny County Jail to develop comprehensive and dynamic
release plans 60–120 days before release and meet with community providers to coordinate
postrelease services. This same case manager follows individuals up to one year after their
release, providing assistance with family reunification and access to housing, jobs, and
treatment.
In Montgomery County, a group of county agencies and nonprofit organizations, probation
and parole, and a consortium of faith-based groups and other postrelease service providers
make up the reentry collaborative case management team, which works with inmates on

21
It is worth noting that in the prison context, it may be easier to hold an agency or individual accountable for progress in the
community as most prisoners are released to a form of community supervision.

Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making the Most of a Short Stay

35

release preparation and is responsible for service provision and follow-up after release.
The team meets biweekly to discuss opportunities and gaps in linkages and referrals for
sentenced inmates who are within 90 days of release. Some local corrections departments,
like the Westchester County Department of Corrections in New York and the Broward County
Sheriff’s Department in Florida, have separate transitional services and reentry divisions, in
which correctional staff act as case managers and program planners for individuals while
they are in jail and provide initial follow-up after release.
Case management by the same person or team of people both in and out of jail is in
place in other jurisdictions as well, including Orange County (Florida), Snohomish County
(Washington), Dutchess County (New York), Norfolk County (Massachusetts), and New York
City, among others.22 Further discussion of how to facilitate continuity in the community
through case management is presented later in this section.

Jail-Based Interventions and Community In-Reach
Not only do jail administrators have little time to administer an appropriate assessment and
develop a reentry plan, they have perhaps even less time—and fewer resources—available to
implement an individual’s reentry plan and provide the level of services deemed appropriate
for fully addressing certain issues. Larger jails with inmate populations of more than 1,000
are more likely to provide certain services and provide them to a fuller extent than smaller
jails, yet the service capacity is generally low and reserved for specific groups of people,
especially those with mental illness.
Some jail-based activities—such as job interview preparation, orientation to community
resources, and financial management workshops—can be offered as stand-alone, one-day
sessions and can therefore reach large shares of the transient jail population who might
benefit from them. Programs that require a longer period of engagement, such as cognitive
behavioral therapy curricula, substance abuse treatment, adult basic education, and even
vocational training, can make considerable progress with individuals who remain in jail
for several weeks or longer and can provide the foundation for continued treatment in the
community. Correctional programs such as these can be beneficial both to inmates and to
correctional staff who may have an easier time managing the jail when individuals in their
custody are active and engaged.
Jails can, and sometimes do, provide in-house programs with their own staff. As discussed
below, jails can also contract with—or in many cases simply allow access to—community­
based organizations to provide treatment and training and begin engaging inmates in
services before release.

Community In-Reach
The central location of jails in the community to which the majority of inmates will return
provides a unique opportunity to open the jail to community-based organizations and
involve them in jail-based service provision, or community in-reach, and thereby facilitate
access to ongoing care after release. If community-based providers develop relationships
with individuals before release, there may be a greater likelihood of continuity of care in
the community. Paul Mulloy, director of Treatment Services in the Davidson County Sheriff’s
Office in Nashville, Tennessee, observes, “those agencies that come into the facilities on a
regular basis are the ones that see offenders making contact upon release.”23

36

22

See Section 4 of this report for more examples of jail reentry initiatives under way around the country.

23

Personal communication with Amy Solomon and Jenny Osborne, May 21, 2007.

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

“What Works” and Evidence-Based Practice in the Jail Setting
The use of evidence-based practices in the criminal justice system has gained increased attention among practitioners seeking
to reduce recidivism and enhance public safety through proven programs. Although there are still gaps in knowledge, there have
been substantial strides in the development of an evidence base to inform effective practices in correctional settings that can
reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for specific populations.
Recent meta-analyses show that offender recidivism can be reduced by a number of correctional and community-based
strategies, such as drug treatment and cognitive behavioral therapies (Aos, Miller, and Drake, 2006). A recent paper by Dr. Gary
Christensen, corrections administrator at the Dutchess County Jail in New York, and Elyse Clawson of the Crime and Justice
Institute, discusses the application of evidence-based practices in the jail setting (Christensen and Clawson, 2006). Faithful
implementation of evidence-based practices can result in reduced crime and cost savings (Andrews et al., 1990). However, there
is no magic bullet; implementation is difficult and requires staff training, buy-in, and practice.

Eight Evidence-Based Principles for Effective Interventions
1.

Assess actuarial risk/needs.

2.

Enhance intrinsic motivation.

3.

Target interventions.
a. Risk principle: Prioritize supervision and treatment resources for higher risk offenders.
b. Need principle: Target interventions to criminogenic needs.
c. Responsivity principle: Be responsive to temperament, learning style, motivation, culture, and gender
when assigning programs.
d. Dosage: structure 40–70 percent of high-risk offenders’ time for 3–9 months.
e. Treatment: Integrate treatment into the full sentence/sanction requirements.

4.

Skill train with directed practice (use Cognitive Behavioral treatment methods).

5.

Increase positive reinforcement.

6.

Engage ongoing support in natural communities.

7.

Measure relevant processes/practices.

8.

Provide measurement feedback.

Source: Crime and Justice Institute, 2004, as cited in Christensen and Clawson, 2006.

In many, if not most, large jail systems, at least a portion of the jail-based programs and
interventions are delivered by community-based providers and volunteers who begin service
provision while individuals are incarcerated. In many cases, staff from community agencies
come into the jail with their own resources to serve a population they may already be
serving in the community. Community volunteers are also a valuable resource to augment
jail-based interventions.

Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making the Most of a Short Stay

37

Jails can partner with a diverse group of community agencies to provide a comprehensive
array of services targeted toward specific needs while people are still in jail. Several
examples are illustrated below.
Community Health Centers
The Hampden County Public Health Model for Corrections is one of the best examples
of bridging the gap in health care through in-reach. In Hampden County, local health
clinics realized that many of their patients were missing their appointments because they
were incarcerated in the Hampden County Correctional Center. In response, the sheriff’s
department allowed health care providers to come into the jail to treat their chronically
ill patients and set up community appointments after release. The department realized
that most inmates return to four ZIP codes, and in 1996, it contracted for medical services
from the four community health centers in these high-return ZIP codes to promote the
establishment of a patient-doctor relationship in jail and the continuity of care after release.
As noted in the sidebar “National Initiatives and Resources” (page 178), jurisdictions around
the country are beginning to replicate this model.
Workforce Development in Jail
In San Bernardino County (California), the workforce development department dedicates two
employment services specialists to work in the jail to facilitate prerelease classes, organize
annual job fairs, and assist inmates with services necessary for gaining employment such as
obtaining driver’s licenses and Social Security cards and settling child support issues. These
employment services specialists also provide community case management after release.
Montgomery County has established a direct link between the jail and the county’s workforce
system through a partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Correction
and Rehabilitation and the Workforce Investment Board. The result is the creation of a fullservice One-Stop Career Center located within the jail, enabling inmates to start the job
search while incarcerated. The One-Stop Career Center offers a variety of resources in a
single location, including reading rooms, mock interview rooms, workspace, and a computer
lab where inmates have access to online career and labor market information and can
complete résumés, cover letters, and job applications.
Faith Community: Entering Jails to Mentor
Traditionally, church volunteers have entered jails and prisons to “minister to the fallen,”
but many churches around the country are encouraging their parishioners to move beyond
correctional ministries into mentoring relationships that begin in prison or jail and continue
after release. Some churches stand ready to “adopt” individuals after release. In MiamiDade County (Florida) the Faith Works! Aftercare Program is built around partnerships with
approximately 600 faith volunteers, 120 local houses of worship, the Archdiocese of Miami,
and the Aleph Institute. Through these partnerships, Aftercare Program has established
“church release,” a court-approved short-term release that allows individuals to attend their
local house of worship each week with their faith mentor and family.
Law Enforcement and Social Service Coalitions
Several local jurisdictions have developed community coalitions that consist of a variety of
justice system and community agencies. These coalitions involve the collaborative efforts
and resources of social service providers, faith-based organizations, and law enforcement
agencies that seek to prevent high-risk former prisoners from reoffending. For example,
the Boston Police Department, in partnership with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department,
developed the Boston Reentry Initiative in the summer of 2000 to focus reentry resources
on inmates who pose a public safety risk to the communities that they will reenter. Within 45
days of entering the Suffolk County House of Correction, program participants, whom police

38

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

have identified as high risk, begin working on a “transition accountability plan” and attend
one of the Initiative’s monthly community panel sessions. During the panels, representatives
from law enforcement agencies, probation and parole agencies, and prosecutors remind
the inmates that they are not serving time anonymously and that law enforcement agencies
and some community agencies share information on their criminal histories, current
incarceration, and planned release dates. The message is complemented by social service
providers and faith-based organizations that offer comprehensive and effective transitional
resources and ongoing support.

It is rare for police to be seen inside a correctional institution, so it has an
effect when they are seen. When someone is in custody, you have their
attention; they are clean and sober, so it is the best time to converse.24
—A.T. Wall, Director
Rhode Island Department of Corrections

Peer Mentors
Previously incarcerated individuals or those in recovery who have been successful at turning
their lives around can serve an important role in the transition process. Peer mentors
carry significant weight and influence. In fact, research has found that support from other
recovering peers, especially in the context of substance addiction, may be more effective in
reducing recidivism than clinical staff or correctional officers (Wexler, 1995; Broome et al.,
1996).
In Hampden County many senior mentors
are people with convictions who work
The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office recently
with inmates in jail and upon release
to instill hope and provide guidance.
asked female inmates with children whether
Those who have advanced in the Jackson
they would like assistance for their children
County (Oregon) transition program are
while they are incarcerated to help with their
responsible for assisting others beginning
transition once released. Out of more than 230
the program. Case managers for the Prison
respondents, 92 percent requested services
to Community Project in Philadelphia
and indicated that their families are critical to
must have personal recovery experience
to be considered for the role. According to
their own success.
Sheriff Hennessey of San Francisco, “you
can’t beat the credibility of an ex-offender
when trying to show offenders how their
lives can be different. They can look a prisoner in the eye and say, ‘I have been in your shoes.
There is a way out and a path for a brighter future’” (Drum Major Institute for Public Policy,
2005:9).
Family Engagement
The family serves a vital role for people returning from jail, providing housing, emotional
and financial support, and employment networks. Positive family connections may be a key
factor in preventing recidivism and relapse (Visher and Courtney, 2006; Lavigne, Visher, and
Castro, 2004). Accordingly, allowing family visits and encouraging ongoing contact can have
a substantial impact in the transition process. To facilitate such contact, the Davidson County

24

As cited in LaVigne, 2007.

Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making the Most of a Short Stay

39

Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) has set up a call center for family members to ask questions about
rules and guidelines for visitation. The sheriff’s office also trains its correctional officers in
customer service strategies when communicating with family members. In addition, the
DCSO, along with a local university, is piloting a program that targets families that have a
member incarcerated in one of the DCSO jails, and a local faith-based organization, Inner
City Ministry, is working with children who have incarcerated parents.
The Orange County Department of Corrections in Orlando, Florida, assesses the transitional
needs of both incarcerated individuals and their family members and coordinates
appropriate service provision with community providers. While individuals are incarcerated,
corrections department case managers assist their families in accessing needed services.
In Montgomery County’s prerelease program, family engagement is one of the core
elements of its reentry services. The program takes a broad view of family to include not only
immediate relatives but also friends and sometimes employers who are willing to take an
active role in supporting an individual. A key component of this program is the involvement
of family early on in the development of a reentry plan. Within days of the individual’s arrival
into the program, the case manager will typically arrange for a meeting between the family
member(s), the individual, and the case manager to develop a reentry plan that is formalized
as a signed program contract. If aspects of this contract are broken, the supporting family
member, called the sponsor, will participate in a discussion about the infraction and possible
courses of action.

Correctional Culture
Jail reentry strategies will only work if the culture of the institution supports the end goals and reentry programming, treatment,
and operations are thoroughly integrated into everyday activities. No education program or family intervention program will be
successful without available and willing correctional staff members to facilitate access to these services. If a facility’s schedule
and procedures are erratic and unpredictable, it is nearly impossible to arrange for outside providers to come in and provide
treatment programming. In the paramilitary correctional structure, the sheriff or commissioner, along with wardens and other top
jail officials, needs to clearly, consistently, and frequently remind staff why reentry is a priority and link this mission to promotions
and performance evaluations. Maintaining security and ensuring successful reentry need not be conflicting goals. Indeed, some
of the cleanest, safest, and most orderly jails are those that have incorporated effective reentry programming.
Not only is their acceptance of outside providers important, but correctional staff can also be an invaluable component of
service delivery and promoting successful transition. Best practice literature suggests that daily interactions between jail staff
and inmates are a crucial component to enhancing an individual’s intrinsic motivation and delivering services and treatment
effectively (Taxman, Soule, and Gelb, 1999; Taxman, 2002; Christensen and Clawson, 2006). The Dutchess County Jail in New
York has incorporated evidence-based practices and behavioral management techniques into its daily operations. They work
to enhance public safety through the management of criminogenic risk factors while also considering treatment and service
interventions. The Dutchess County Jail operates as a social learning environment in which individual outcomes are evaluated
and system processes are changed to improve outcomes (Christensen and Clawson, 2006).
For more information about correctional culture and strategies to improve it, see Building Culture Strategically: A Team Approach
for Corrections, available at http://nicic.org/Library/021749.

40

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Challenges to Community In-Reach
Although the proximity of the jail to the community suggests easy access to the facility,
community in-reach is often a challenge. As correctional institutions, jails are designed to
keep inmates in and almost everyone else out. They are not designed to allow individuals,
other than uniformed correctional officers, to move freely throughout the facility. Gaining
clearance for specified jail visits often requires requests several days in advance and a
significant amount of paperwork. Going through this cumbersome process for each visit can
be intimidating and frustrating for family members and impedes the work of communitybased service providers who lose staff hours and whose work is therefore disrupted. This
disruption can result in negative attitudes toward correctional staff, who can be perceived
as keeping community providers from their work.

Community-Based Correctional Reentry Programs
Complementing jail-based reentry strategies, some jurisdictions have developed community-based reentry programs (sometimes
referred to as work release or prerelease programs) that allow carefully selected portions of the jail population to live, work,
and receive treatment services in the community. In these programs, participants may live in contracted halfway houses or
prerelease facilities or at home under electronic monitoring surveillance.
The advantages of these programs are that clients are able to work and contribute to their own and their families’ financial
support, develop deeper ties with their families, and access community resources directly while remaining in a structured and
highly accountable setting. Individualized reentry plans developed in this community setting can better match the needs of
clients to the available resources in the community. These programs also contribute to reduced jail crowding and more efficient
management, allowing correctional systems to allocate their most scarce and valuable resource—a hardened and secure
cell—to the most dangerous and risky offenders in the jail population. In Montgomery County, the Department of Correction and
Rehabilitation manages almost 30 percent of its local sentenced population in its prerelease division.
However, the challenges of these programs are equally apparent: participants can commit new criminal offenses, escape
relatively easily, and—particularly for the addicted—succumb to the many temptations of the street. If not carefully designed
and implemented, these programs can be counterproductive and potentially embarrassing to the agency and dangerous for the
community.
Perhaps the most critical determinant in the success of community-based reentry programs is the screening, selection, and
enrollment process. If the criteria are too permissive and lacking in rigor, the program will enroll individuals who cannot safely
be managed in the community, which will jeopardize public safety. On the other hand, criteria that are too strict and involve too
many automatic disqualifiers may result in under-enrolled programs for individuals who have little need for the services provided.
Some of the common screening criteria for community-based programs include an individual’s instant criminal offense, criminal
history, institutional conduct, and family and work backgrounds. Some work release programs require that individuals secure
employment before they can enroll in the program. Others administer risk and needs assessments and conduct face-to-face
screening interviews to determine individuals’ motivations and needs for reentry services.

Continued on next page

Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making the Most of a Short Stay

41

Community-Based Correctional Reentry Programs (continued)
Judges often have the authority to determine eligibility and place individuals on work release as part of the sentencing process.
Such an arrangement ensures that the proportion of the sentence served in jail and served on work release is prescribed
at the outset of individuals’ entry into the correctional system following conviction. However, this judicial process can lead
to inappropriate placement decisions that result from plea bargaining rather than more objective processes informed by
assessments. In Montgomery County and other jurisdictions, the correctional agency retains the authority to determine program
eligibility and then seeks judicial consent for placement. Interestingly, judges are among the most fervent supporters of this
process as they recognize that the agency has the time, expertise, and resources to conduct a more thorough eligibility screening
than is possible in the course of judicial proceedings.
In addition to robust screening processes, agencies must acquire adequate staffing and financial resources to run these
programs properly. Staff must have the training, education, and commitment to assist a population with tremendous needs and
few resources and to work as mentors and monitors to help them complete their reentry goals. Likewise, regular drug screenings,
alcohol Breathalyzer testing, electronic monitoring, employment verification, and onsite community checks help maintain the
integrity of the program. A zero tolerance for escapes and the willingness and commitment of the agency to criminally prosecute
instances of major unaccountability as escapes rather than program walk-offs provide some of the best deterrence to program
noncompliance.
While the public may view community-based programs as low-cost alternatives to incarceration, they can actually be more
expensive for agencies to operate if they incorporate strong accountability safeguards and the proper array of services.
Managing a population within the confined space of a jail can prove easier, less risky, and more cost-effective than managing
a correctional population that is living and working in the community. Many of the considerable benefits of community-based
reentry programs accrue to taxpayers, families, and communities, while the costs and risks of these programs are often borne
solely by the correctional agencies.
As such, community-based reentry programs require significant political and citizen support to sustain operations and create
work and treatment opportunities for program participants. Programs must develop partnerships with the business community
and social service providers to promote the integration of the prerelease population into the workforce and treatment services.
Ideally, program participants would be able to seek and find appropriate work quickly and make connections to medical,
substance abuse, and counseling resources, such that their days are spent working, in treatment, and with family.
Finally, programs can expect some level of failure and noncompliance. They can best prepare for these inevitable instances
by garnering political and community support ahead of time by proposing that, despite program failures, community well-being
and public safety may be better served by releasing individuals through a community-based reentry program than from a jail.
An agency must take responsibility for program failures, learn from each occurrence to improve its policies and procedures,
and most important, be straightforward and provide a thorough accounting to the community. In the long run, community-based
reentry programs will earn greater respect and support by operating in such an open and transparent manner. Organizationally,
community reentry programs are at an enormous advantage if they maintain active community advisory boards comprising
diverse stakeholders who can be kept updated on the latest program developments, successes as well as failures.

42

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Some jurisdictions involved in jail-community partnerships, such as Essex County
(Massachusetts), and New York City, have developed streamlined procedures for entering
and exiting the jail, allowing these visits to become routine. Essex County uses a “frequent
users ID program” and New York City has created an “EZ-Pass” system, nicknamed after
the electronic toll collection system. Under these systems, community staff who have
already undergone security checks can enter and exit without having to obtain separate gate
clearances for each visit and can bypass extensive questioning.

The Moment of Release
The moment of release from jail, and the hours and days that follow, may be a pivotal point
in an individual’s transition to the community. A recent study documented the relatively high
risk of death to returning inmates in their first two weeks out of prison.25 Reoffending rates
for prisoners are also highest in the first weeks and months after release (Langan and Levin,
2002; Rosenfield, Wallman, and Fornango, 2005).
At discharge, individuals have basic and immediate needs. To varying degrees, they need
identification, personal clothing (i.e., not a jail jumpsuit), appropriate medication, housing,
and transportation.26 Through a tailored discharge plan, the jail can prepare individuals for
the first 24–48 hours after release—helping them access these basic necessities and plan
where they will go immediately upon release, how they will get there, where they will sleep
the first night out, and where they will go for initial health care or treatment appointments.
Specifically, jails can do the following:
• 	 Provide resource guides and reentry handbooks.
• 	 Identify community-based services and in some cases make appointments to carry out a
postrelease treatment plan.
• 	 Arrange transportation at the gate and, ideally, for a family member, mentor, or other
positive contact to meet the individual at release.
• 	 Prepare applications for identification documents.
• 	 Provide a temporary supply of medication or appropriate prescriptions and coordinate
the application or immediate reinstatement process for federal benefits.
Focusing on the discharge process is not a replacement for a more broad-based reentry plan;
rather, it is a specific tool for managing the discrete period immediately following release
from jail.
Notably, given the short stay for many detainees, the moment of release may also be the
moment of admission for many individuals. With unpredictable release dates, the pre­
trial population poses a particular challenge to discharge planning. Sometimes, pre-trial
detainees are released directly from court without returning to the correctional facility,
leaving no time to plan an orderly discharge. To prepare for this uncertainty, jails can map out
the various points of release from the system and have discharge plans—or at least resource
packets—available at each of its exit points.
Discharge planning opportunities are discussed in more detail below.

25

The study analyzed death rates of 30,000 prisoners released from Washington state and found that these individuals died at rates
13 times higher than the general population in the first 2 weeks after release. The deaths were due primarily to drug overdoses,
heart disease, homicides, and suicides (Binswanger et al., 2007).

26

At intake, individuals must deposit all personal belongings, such as identification and clothing, and in some jurisdictions it is not
unusual for inmates to be released in their jail jumpsuit or from court having retrieved none of these belongings.

Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making the Most of a Short Stay

43

Resource Guides and Reentry Handbooks
At a minimum, a discharge plan can ensure that every inmate is released with simple, easyto-read materials in hand that identify how to access services in the community, such as
drug treatment, health care, housing, employment training or placement, legal assistance,
and family services (Mellow and Dickinson, 2006). Several jurisdictions have developed
resource guides and handbooks to help individuals identify and navigate resources in their
communities. New York City has created a citywide jail release services hotline that released
inmates and their families can call for reentry assistance and referrals to service providers.
Resource guides must be periodically updated to ensure that the information on community
agencies is accurate, including contact information and hours of operation, whether they
serve a justice-involved population, and whether they provide the services specified in the
handbook.

Identifying Services and Making Appointments
A discharge plan can be more targeted than a resource handbook or hotline, functioning as
written directions for where to report for supervision or for service appointments, who to
report to, and how to get there. Ideally, a case manager sets up an initial appointment in the
community and notes the date, time, and location in the discharge plan.
To maximize the effectiveness of this type of discharge plan, staff should be familiar with
the community agencies they are using for referrals. Specifically, staff should know what
services the agency offers, and in some cases, staff may need to communicate directly with
the agency. Of course, identifying services and even making appointments does not ensure
that individuals will access them upon release. Establishing relationships with service

The Brad H. Case
Few jails provide extensive discharge planning services that involve a postrelease treatment plan. Those that do most likely
reserve this service for special-needs populations, such as the mentally ill or those living with HIV or AIDS (Hammett, Roberts,
and Kennedy, 2001). However, even among these populations, this intervention is still rare. A survey of mental health service
provision in jails revealed that very few jails, regardless of size or extent of in-house programming, provide discharge planning to
link individuals to mental health services in the community (Steadman and Veysey, 1997).
In August 1999, New York City jail inmates with mental illness filed a class-action lawsuit in the state’s Supreme Court against
the City of New York, including Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the City
Health and Hospitals Corporation, the City Human Services Administration, the City Human Resources Administration, the City
Department of Correction, and St. Barnabas Hospital, a private hospital contracted to provide mental health services to New
York City jail inmates (Brad H. v. City of New York, 729 N.Y.S. 2d 398 (Sup. Ct. 2001)). The Brad H. class members argued that the
absence of discharge planning services in New York City jails violated a New York State law requiring providers of inpatient
mental health services to provide discharge planning (Barr, 2003). The lawsuit claimed that each year, 25,000 inmates receive
psychiatric care in jail, and virtually none receive discharge planning services upon release to ensure continuity of care. At the
time that Brad H. was brought to court, no class-action case about discharge planning for jail or prison inmates had ever been
filed. As a result, the New York City Council passed a local law mandating that the City provide discharge planning for sentenced
inmates diagnosed with a mental illness.

44

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

providers and ongoing case management can increase the chances that individuals keep
appointments and follow a reentry plan.

Meeting at the Gate
One of the most basic logistical considerations upon release is where to go and how to
get there. Jail staff can arrange to have a family member, mentor, sponsor, probation
officer, caseworker, or appropriate volunteer meet an individual at the jail and take them
where they need to go, whether it be home, the probation office, or an appointment with
a service provider. The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with a diverse
group of community organizations on two initiatives that focus on the moment of release
and transportation issues immediately following release. Meet Me at the Door engages
the Nashville faith community in a mentoring program through which volunteer mentors
connect with inmates while they are still incarcerated and pick them up upon release. The
second initiative is a partnership with the local transit authority and a private taxi service to
provide released inmates with rides to various service providers in the community.

Identification
Identification is necessary to access treatment, secure jobs, drive a car, and apply for
benefits. Yet many inmates leave jail without any form of identification. Some larger jail
systems partner with the state government agency responsible for issuing identification
documents and bring these agencies in house to issue identification cards. For example, the
Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation partners with the Motor
Vehicle Administration to provide soon-to-be-released inmates who have a verifiable home
address with a county-issued temporary identification card that meets state and federal
guidelines. Called the “Community Reentry ID,” this card also functions as a 60-day bus
pass and library card and is accepted as a secondary form of identification to assist released
individuals until they are able to obtain a permanent Maryland identification or driver’s
license.
In smaller jail systems that are farther from government centers, some jail administrators
are seeking creative alternatives. For example, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department in
Kansas uses brief furlough-type leaves to take individuals to the closest town to apply for
state identification, obtain work clothes, or attend church services.

Medications and Federal Benefits
For additional information on discharge 	
planning, please see The Jail Administrator’s
Toolkit for Reentry, which provides several
examples of discharge plans, resource
guides, and reentry handbooks from around
the country.	

Jail inmates with mental illness and
infectious or acute chronic diseases who
receive necessary medication during
incarceration often risk lapses in treatment
after release when they no longer receive
care from the jail. For example, eligible
individuals may experience interruptions
in federal benefits27 after release or
they may face a delay in obtaining an

27

Many inmates have federal or state benefits upon their arrest or are eligible to receive them. Generally, if individuals are detained
for less than one month, benefits are neither terminated nor suspended and should continue uninterrupted upon release. If
individuals are held longer than one month but less than one year, benefits are simply suspended and can be reinstated immediately
following release. However, time in jail may unnecessarily interrupt an individual’s benefits or prevent them from claiming
entitlements. For example, the Social Security Administration must be able to verify that an individual is released for benefits to
resume and often such notification does not occur.

Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making the Most of a Short Stay

45

appointment with a community health care provider, preventing access to necessary
medications. An interruption in medication may result in relapse and instability, increasing
the risk of criminal activity (Council of State Governments, 2002). Many jails have addressed
this issue by ensuring that individuals leave with a supply of medication in hand that will last
them until their first appointment in the community. Some jails can also enter into prerelease
agreements with the Social Security Administration or bring in a benefits specialist from the
human services department to expedite the eligibility status for federal and state benefits
and begin the application or reinstatement process.

Continuity in the Community
The work that is done in jail to begin treatment, develop relationships with service providers,
and connect individuals to service appointments in the community will have little impact
without follow-up in the community. Accordingly, it is important that community-based
organizations and support networks provide continuity of care—or in many cases, initiate
care—through services, training, treatment, and case management when an inmate is
released. In some cases, community supervision agencies can play a role in managing
reentry from jail (discussed in Section 4).

Imagine the potential for breaking the cycle of crime and incarceration
if the focus would shift from just processing people at the local level
to one of linking people with services and programs that already exist
in the community. A public health agency most likely already interacts
with family members where one is in a county jail as do a host of other
community based human service providers. Expanding linkages while
in jail and then making solid linkages prior to release or at the time of
release offer true opportunities to engage persons when they are both
vulnerable and in need of help as they return to the community (House
Committee on the Judiciary, 2005).
—Arthur Wallenstein, Director
Montgomery County Department of Correction
and Rehabilitation (Maryland)

Localities and community-based organizations have a good reason to be invested and
engaged in the jail transition process—namely, that the majority of those incarcerated in
jails are residents of the local community and will soon return home (Billy, 2000). However,
in most jurisdictions, the community views jails and inmates as a criminal justice problem
and not a community issue. This perspective is evident in the absence of a designated
community network to bridge the jail-community divide and take responsibility for the
various dimensions of an individual’s transition process in the community.
Coordination between the jail and community networks upon release involves notification
of release and the transfer of information (in the form of a reentry plan) to a lead agency (or
agencies) that will be working with the population returning from jail. This basic coordination
allows community agencies to prepare for an individual’s return and make space available
in their programs, preventing, for example, a person with serious substance addiction
problems from having to wait two months for treatment.

46

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Domestic and Family Violence
Most incarcerated men and women, like most people, want to be good parents, spouses, siblings, and children to their respective
family members. Reunification is often a reintegration goal that is positive for both the individual and his or her family. Some
families, however, may have a history of family violence, in which case reunification would not be in the interest of the family.
Given the histories of domestic violence among inmates—some 19 percent have been subject to a restraining order or order of
protection (James, 2004)—it is important that case managers or other staff screen for domestic and family violence and take
these issues into consideration when developing reentry plans.
For more information about domestic violence and reentry, see two reports from the Vera Institute of Justice:
• 	 Domestic Violence and Prisoner Reentry: Experiences of African American Women and Men, by Creasie Finney Hairston
and William Oliver, available at www.vera.org/publication_pdf/367_660.pdf.
• 	 Safe Return: Working Toward Preventing Domestic Violence When Men Return from Prison, by Mike Bobbitt, Robin
Campbell, and Gloria L. Tate, available at www.vera.org/publication_pdf/368_661.pdf.

The Role of Law Enforcement in Reentry from Jail
The role of law enforcement in promoting public safety and reducing crime at the community level makes law enforcement a
natural stakeholder in reentry from jails. Law enforcement agencies see the failure of reentry firsthand when they arrest the
same individual multiple times. Through their efforts to reduce reoffending among people coming out of jail, law enforcement
agencies can prevent future victimization and improve community-police trust. The involvement of law enforcement in reentry
programs can take many different forms, from participating in prerelease meetings with inmates to joining probation and parole
staff during home visits or leading problem-solving efforts in high-crime communities. Several law enforcement departments
around the country are incorporating reentry practices into their everyday activities.1
The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Police Executive Research Forum, with support from the Office of
Community Oriented Policing Services, have developed a self-assessment toolkit for law enforcement agencies looking to expand
their efforts in this critical area. The toolkit, “Planning and Assessing a Law Enforcement Re-Entry Strategy,” allows agencies
currently working in reentry to quickly rank the degree to which they feel their agency has achieved particular aspects of a
comprehensive reentry strategy and identify gaps and weaknesses that can be strengthened through collaboration with partners.
Agencies planning an initiative can use the tool as a detailed checklist of issues and tasks to consider, and as their work unfolds
can refer to the assessment questions to measure their progress.

1

For information on ways law enforcement agencies are engaging in reentry efforts around the country, see LaVigne et al., 2006.

Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making the Most of a Short Stay

47

Successful reentry strategies for certain individuals will also involve broader coordination
among community agencies and case management and a strategy to engage individuals
in their reentry plan. This higher level coordination is especially important given that most
people released from jail will be under no legal obligation to remain with a program or
comply with certain conditions. These issues are discussed below.

Notification and Information-Sharing
The process of coordinating a seamless transition and ongoing care in the community
begins with ensuring that community-based organizations, supervision agencies, family, and
in some cases law enforcement and victims are aware that an individual is being released.
Proper notification allows agencies to make room for individuals on their caseload or in a
program and prevent them from falling through the cracks.
The information that jails collect on individuals in their custody through their daily
interactions and official records can be very helpful to community organizations that will
be working with these individuals after release. This relevant material might be compiled
in a reentry plan and would include any assessments, program completion or enrollment,
experiences during incarceration, security levels, past involvement with the social service
system, if applicable, and areas of the transition process that need attention after release.
The Snohomish County (Washington) Jail Services Program seeks to avoid duplication of
services by performing daily cross-checks of jail bookings with the regional mental health
system’s database to identify inmates with mental health histories who are also under the
care of the public mental health system. The jail’s mental health staff and jail-based Human
Services Department service broker are then notified of an inmate’s history with the public
mental health system to facilitate continuity of care. Ideally, information will be collected
systematically with built-in consent procedures to follow privacy laws for information
protected through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) so it can
be shared with other agencies working with these individuals. This kind of information
sharing will save time spent gathering information on a new client and prevent duplication
of services.

Service Provision
Chances for a successful transition from jail in the long term will improve substantially if
individuals address substance abuse problems; employment, health, and housing needs;
and other factors that place them at high risk of relapse and reoffending. At a minimum,
any treatment begun in the jail should be continued in the community setting. And in the
multitude of cases where treatment is needed but has not yet begun, there is a major
opportunity for health providers, addiction centers, and others to provide appropriate
services.

For us, the underlying problem for the vast majority of the people who we
release is addiction, and we have to deal with their addiction. If we don’t
deal with that, everything else will fail (Drum Major Institute For Public
Policy, 2005:13).
—Martin Horn, Commissioner
New York City Department of Correction and Probation

48

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

With proper notification of release and coordination of information on individuals,
community service providers can immediately begin treatment or training programs, either
continuing treatment begun in jail or starting a regimen for the first time. Community-based
agencies involved in the treatment and training of people coming out of jail must both
stabilize individuals in the short term and create a platform for long-term reintegration to
include, for example, retaining employment and reunifying with family.
As part of local reentry initiatives, several community-based agencies, particularly substance
abuse treatment providers, maintain formal contracts with jails that allow for ongoing care in
the community. In Florida, several local jurisdictions, including Orange County, Palm Beach
County, and the City of Jacksonville, have contracted with local agencies that coordinate and
provide substance abuse treatment and a comprehensive array of reentry-related services,
both in jail and for a period of time after release.
The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) in New York City provides transitional work
programs and job training and placement to individuals returning from Rikers Island. Staff
from CEO’s Jail to Work Program meet individuals at the moment of release and transport
them directly to their transitional work site. CEO offers employment training classes and
works to find individuals permanent employment in areas that match their interests and
skills. Immediate placement in temporary employment quickly offers a paycheck, structures
individuals’ time, and boosts their morale while preparing them for long-term employment.

Encouraging Individuals to Stay Engaged with Community Providers
Most individuals coming out of jail have no legal obligations to stay involved in transition
programs after release. Accordingly, jurisdictions may have to rely less on sanctions
and more on incentives that will help keep an individual on track in the absence of legal
obligations and the threat of reincarceration. One study showed that small incentives
can greatly improve the odds that individuals will keep appointments in the community.
Specifically, in New York City, after a health department program offered incentives for
follow-up appointments for tuberculosis treatment, appearances at those appointments
increased from less than 20 percent to 92 percent (Frieden et al., 1995; Hammett, 2000).
The development of meaningful incentives will require creativity and will depend on the
presence of a case manager who monitors progress and encourages engagement. Incentives
can also be built into a type of contract between the individual and the case manager or
agency. Transition Accountability Plans, as discussed earlier, represent formal agreements
that outline the roles and expectations of all involved parties—including the former inmate—
and hold each party accountable for their respective responsibilities during each phase.
Tapping Informal Networks
It will take more than formal services to improve reentry outcomes. Services, case
management, and supervision can serve a key role in individuals’ transition plans, but
for many reasons—not the least of which involves limited capacity—it is important to
draw on other positive networks of support, such as family members, neighbors, the faith
community, and peer supports. These informal supports may have access to housing, jobs,
and transportation and can provide emotional support, stability, and accountability in the
days and weeks following release. Indeed, informal supports may have the greatest influence
on an individual’s behavior.
In Chicago, the Women of Power Alumni Association, a group of formerly incarcerated
women successfully transitioned out of the Cook County Department of Women’s Justice

Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making the Most of a Short Stay

49

Services (DWJS), serves as a community support group to other women who are released
from DWJS and as a resource that the jail can use to link released women to community
support. Family, peers, and faith networks are discussed in more detail in the community
in-reach section.

Engaging Community Providers
Just as individuals are under no obligation to engage in services, community organizations
are typically under no obligation to provide services, or case management in particular,
to individuals coming out of jail. Despite the fact that many government agencies and
community-based providers are already working with this population and their families
(see the sidebar “Multiple Social Systems Involved with Chronic Offenders,” page 20, which
describes service overlap), there is no obligation to continue to do so once individuals
are incarcerated or after they are released. Although community providers often serve
clients with jail histories, many do not view the criminal justice population, and especially
the reentry population, as a core constituency (Nelson and Tarlow, 2006). Rather, these
individuals represent a portion of the larger clientele they serve, and programs or
interventions may not be specifically designed to bridge that gap between jail and release to
the community. Unless there is an explicit commitment to serve the returning jail population
and adjust interventions accordingly, service provision will continue to be piecemeal,
sporadic, and uncoordinated.
While the solution might involve pooling resources and coordinating activities to increase
efficiency and service integration, few incentives are currently in place at the agency level
for justice system agencies and community organizations to work together, take collective
ownership over the issue, and be mutually accountable for successes and failures (Nelson
and Tarlow, 2006). In New York City, the Department of Correction enters into performancebased contracts with community providers that serve individuals leaving Rikers Island. Set
up to compensate community organizations insofar as they maintain engagement with
clients, these contracts help ensure that services will in fact continue after inmates’ release to
the community.
In the absence of such contracts, jurisdictions will need to rely on collective ownership of the
issue and cross-agency agreements, as discussed below.

There must be a consensus opinion between the jail and potential
community resources on matters of ownership and authorship. Each
also must hold a genuine belief that what is being done for an inmate
population ultimately benefits everyone and not just one segment,
organization or politician (Billy, 2000).
—Gerry D. Billy, Former Sheriff
Licking County (Ohio)

Systems-Level Strategic Planning
The jail has a central role in the reentry process, but because the duration of its jurisdiction
over individuals is often very brief and does not extend beyond release, a seamless
transition requires community-based partners. At the community level, rarely does one

50

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

organization have the authority, responsibility, or capacity to oversee returning inmates and
detainees. At the same time, jails and community-based organizations are often working with
overlapping caseloads and would benefit from further collaboration.
Additionally, service delivery in the areas of housing, addiction and health treatment, and
employment training are complicated by intergovernmental systems that result in city,
county, and state government responsibility for various criminal justice and social service
functions at the local level. Accordingly, in local jurisdictions it will take collaboration among
community and government agencies at multiple levels to improve transition from jail. At
its core, addressing reentry from jail may be more about systems change than program
implementation.
Where to begin? Jails and community-based organizations will benefit from jointly
establishing priorities and developing interventions tailored to local needs and resources.
More specifically, collective strategic planning to improve reentry from jail involves the
following actions:

Forming Local Reentry Councils that Enable Cross-Agency Discussion
Implementing strategies to improve reentry from jail requires buy-in from a variety of key
organizations. A first step is bringing all relevant stakeholders together to assess the local
problem and points of leverage. Stakeholders may include the jail administrator, sheriff, chief
of police, a county executive, local legislator, a judge, prosecutor and public defender, and
individuals representing treatment and service providers, public and mental health agencies,
housing agencies, economic development agencies, workforce development agencies,
probation and pretrial agencies, former inmates, and victim advocates. A representative
from the mayor’s or county executive’s office may be helpful to include—perhaps even as
chair—given the need to build bridges and develop cross-agency priorities. It is often useful
to include a research partner as well, to help analyze the problem and develop evidencebased interventions, as discussed below.

Local Jail Reentry Roundtables
Michigan Jail Reentry Forum
The Michigan Jail Reentry Forum, convened by the Michigan Department of Corrections, was held in September 2006, to
jumpstart the discussion on jail reentry and strategic planning strategies at the local level. The goal of the Forum was to provide
current information on jails and jail populations nationally, discuss the philosophy of offender transition and reentry and its
practical applications for local jails in Michigan, and encourage ongoing discussions and strategic planning efforts around the
state.

Texas Jail Reentry Roundtable
In January 2007, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office and the Travis County Law Enforcement Association convened the Texas
Jail Reentry Roundtable to discuss strategies to improve reentry from jails and provide an opportunity for Texas jurisdictions to
network with one another. The Texas Jail Reentry Roundtable brought together experts and practitioners from around the state as
well as national experts.

Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making the Most of a Short Stay

51

Defining the Local Problem and Assessing Resources
The design of any reentry strategy must reflect the nature of the problem in the area in
which the initiative will be implemented. An understanding of local barriers and assets is
especially relevant in the context of jail reentry, where most inmates come from and return
to a few nearby communities and where resources are often scarce and must be efficiently
targeted. Decisionmakers central to the development of jail reentry strategies can assess the
characteristics of the inmate population, local crime problems, and existing laws and policies
that govern various aspects of reentry and can identify resources that can be leveraged to
address the identified issues. A clear understanding of the local reentry landscape provides
a solid foundation for establishing effective policies and programs.

Identifying Joint Goals and Outcomes of Interest
There is increasing recognition that to be successful in the reentry arena, organizations need
to communicate, coordinate, plan, and prioritize shared goals and outcomes (Council of
State Governments and Re-Entry Policy Council, 2005; Osher, 2006). Still, many organizations
continue to operate as they have over time, with independent goals and missions. Jail
transition efforts may require collective goals—and maybe even altered missions—to identify
shared aims and rewards for individual agency accomplishments. Jurisdictions should also
identify outcomes of interest, or performance measures, that will help hold themselves
accountable to their goals. As the adage says, “What gets measured gets done.”

Designing Strategies for Intervention
Once jurisdictions analyze their local problem and identify shared goals and objectives,
the next step is to identify specific strategies to employ. Jurisdictions will need to decide
who the intervention will target, what the target group most needs and what services will
be provided, where the intervention will take place, when in the process services will be
provided, and how they will be delivered and evaluated. See the sidebar below.

Designing Interventions: Starter Questions for Jurisdictions
WHO will the intervention target—all inmates who will be returning to the community, or some specific subset such as chronic
offenders, sentenced inmates, those with mental illness, or those returning to a given neighborhood?
WHAT does the target group most need and what interventions will be provided? Depending on the level of need, strategies
for service provision may be comprehensive, including case management and direct services, or they may be less intensive,
involving referrals or self-help groups.
WHEN will services be provided—at intake, while incarcerated, at discharge, or once an individual is back in the community?
WHERE will the intervention take place? Will individuals be detained for lengthy periods, making initial jail-based intervention
feasible, or will the intervention need to begin upon release to the community?
HOW will services be delivered and by whom? Will individuals receive referrals or will services be directly delivered? Who will
ensure that the case plan is followed? How will outcomes be measured to gauge progress and maintain support for the initiative?

52

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Supporting the Collaborative
The Jail Administrator’s Toolkit for Reentry 	
elaborates further on strategic planning elements 	
and provides examples from around the country. In
addition, the Report of the Re-Entry Policy Council,
authored by the Council of State Governments and
10 partner organizations, provides comprehensive
guidance about convening key stakeholders,
developing a knowledge base about the local
reentry problem, developing strategies for funding
a reentry initiative, measuring performance
outcomes, and educating the public. For more
information, see www.reentrypolicy.org/reentry/
Ch_A_Getting_Started.aspx.

Given the multiple organizations
and nature of a new initiative, it will
be important to formalize roles and
responsibilities with memorandums
of understanding or other working
agreements. Agencies should develop
management information systems
and information-sharing protocols,
considering which data are essential
to capture, how they can best be
shared, and who—organizationally—is
responsible for what. Given the wideranging backgrounds and missions
of the various organizations involved,
there is a major opportunity to address
organizational cultures as well.

What’s Your Recidivism Rate?
This is the question of utmost interest to county commissioners and community members, policymakers, and the press. This
statistic is often narrowly sought as the main indicator of a correctional system’s success; however, at present there is no
national estimate of recidivism rates—no matter how it is defined—for those released from local jails. Jail administrators are
often unprepared to answer this question because jails rarely track recidivism or evaluate their programs.

What do we mean by “recidivism”?
Recidivism is defined in a variety of ways by researchers and correctional systems as a measure of return to criminal activity. It
is often used interchangeably to refer to rearrest, reconviction, and reincarceration. Some recidivism studies count all rearrests
as recidivism, others count only reconviction or only a return to incarceration, and some studies track all three events. More
sophisticated analyses might also explore the timing and offense type of the recidivist events to explore individuals’ long-term
success following incarceration and whether they are recidivating for a lesser offense.
The recidivism statistic has little meaning unless it is accompanied by a precise definition of what constitutes a recidivist event
and the period over which it is measured. Some argue for a national definition of recidivism to enable consistent measurement
across jurisdictions.

Why should a jurisdiction consider tracking recidivism?
While one could argue over whether it makes sense to identify a national measure of recidivism, there is no question as to the
benefit of developing a number of benchmarks that can help jurisdictions articulate their goals and measure their progress
against these goals. The value of recidivism analysis is not only as an institutional measure of performance, but also as a
diagnostic tool to better understand population trends and the flow of individuals through the local justice system. Such analysis
helps determine whether resources are being spent appropriately and where changes are needed.

Continued on next page

Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making the Most of a Short Stay

53

What’s Your Recidivism Rate? (continued)
Why don’t most jails track recidivism?
From a capacity standpoint, most jails are not equipped with the staff and resources to undertake such exploration into the
recidivism patterns of the transitory and complex jail population, most of whom are pretrial detainees. But more important, few jail
administrators see the purpose of tracking this kind of information on a population whose outcomes they believe they have little
control over. Jail administrators are primarily burdened with running safe, secure, and humane institutions.
Measuring jail recidivism is particularly challenging because of the nature of the inmate population and how it flows through the
justice system. Jail inmates are not always released directly to the streets but instead may be transferred to the custody of other
authorities (state, federal, military, or juvenile). The few jail systems involved in recidivism analysis generally limit the population
of interest to those individuals who will be released directly to the community.

What else is important to measure?
There are many measures beyond recidivism that are important to gauge the success of a jurisdiction’s reentry efforts. Some
examples include whether individuals have a job, are sober, remain in treatment, have received and are taking their medications
and continue to attend to their health needs, are not homeless, and are involved with their children and family networks.

Where can I go to learn more?
There are several systems around the country that are beginning to illustrate both the importance and the feasibility of collecting
outcome measures that can be used to identify ways to improve institutional management, operation, and release planning.
For example, Hampden County (Massachusetts) has been tracking and studying recidivism since 1998, and it is now part of
the sheriff’s department’s routine operation. Hampden County chooses to focus its data collection resources on sentenced
inmates who are returning to the street because these individuals occupy more bed space and are required to be involved in
programming and release planning. Hampden County is examining methodologies to track its pretrial population as well, and is
involved in a study of former inmates who succeed in the community.
For more information about the importance of measuring recidivism and the experience in Hampden County, see Martha Lyman
and Stefan LoBuglio, “’Whys’ and ‘Hows’ of Measuring Jail Recidivism,” available at www.urban.org/projects/reentry-roundtable/
roundtable9.cfm.
I have my deputy sheriffs come to me and they say ‘Sheriff, these programs don’t work, we see the same
people come back here time and time again.’ And I say ‘that’s right, and you don’t see the people who don’t
come back.’ Those are the people who were successful or we were successful with. . . . There’s not enough
recognition that many people go through the criminal justice system and never come back because of one form
of assistance or another. It may be their family, maybe a social service program, or it may be some community
program. But we don’t hear enough or know enough about people who don’t re-offend.1
—Michael Hennessey, Sheriff
San Francisco

1

Published transcript of the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, 2005:22.

54

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

A Costs-and-Benefits Analysis of Jail Reentry Efforts
A recent “think piece” prepared by John Roman and Aaron Chalfin for the Jail Reentry Roundtable explored the costs and
benefits of providing reentry services to jail inmates. The authors estimated average spending on jail-based reentry in a few
communities actively implementing these programs. They then estimated how much crime would have to be prevented for the
reentry investment to break even. They concluded that only modest reductions in offending—a decrease in recidivism of two
percentage points—are necessary to offset the costs of jail-based reentry.
For more information, see “Does It Pay to Invest in Jail Reentry?” available at www.urban.org/projects/reentry-roundtable/
roundtable9.cfm.

Evaluating the Effort
Jurisdictions will benefit from monitoring progress against expected outcomes in order to
improve reentry activities on the basis of this information. Local research partners can help
ensure that the effort is being implemented as conceived—are people doing what they are
supposed to be doing; is the right information being shared; are the right inmates getting
the right programs, services, and referrals consistent with the model? Most important,
is the reentry effort producing better short-term stability and long-term desistance and
reintegration outcomes for individuals? It will also be important to capture successes as well
as failures along these dimensions.
Collaboration such as this takes time and delays action. However, there is growing
recognition that if this type of investment is made up front, jurisdictions will have a greater
chance of efficiently targeting their resources and effecting long-term positive change
(Council of State Governments and Re-Entry Policy Council, 2005).

References
Andrews, D.A., and James Bonta, The Psychology of Criminal Conduct (Cincinnati, OH:
Anderson Publishing Co., 1994).
Andrews, D.A., et al., “Does Correctional Treatment Work? A Clinically Relevant and
Psychologically Informed Meta-Analysis,” Criminology 28, no. 3 (1990): 369–404.
Aos, Steve , Marna Miller, and Elizabeth Drake, Evidence-Based Adult Corrections Programs:
What Works and What Does Not (Olympia: Washington State Institute for Public Policy, 2006),
www.wsipp.wa.gov/rptfiles/06-01-1201.pdf.
Barr, Heather, “Transinstitutionalization in the Courts: Brad H. v. City of New York, and the
Fight for Discharge Planning for People with Psychiatric Disabilities Leaving Rikers.” Crime &
Delinquency 49, no. 1 (2003): 97–123, http://cad.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/49/1/97.pdf.
Billy, Gerry, “Local Corrections and Communities: Working Together,” Corrections Today,
October 2000.

Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making the Most of a Short Stay

55

Binswanger, Ingrid A., et al., “Release from Prison—A High Risk of Death for Former
Inmates,” The New England Journal of Medicine 356, no. 2 (2007): 157–65.
Broome, L.M., K. Knight, M.L. Hiller, and D.D. Simpson, “Drug Treatment Process Indicators
for Probationers and Prediction of Recidivism,” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 13, no.
6 (1996): 487–91.
Christensen, Gary, and Elyse Clawson, “Our System of Corrections: Do Jails Play a Role
in Improving Offender Outcomes?” (paper prepared for the Urban Institute Jail Reentry
Roundtable, June 2006), www.urban.org/projects/reentry-roundtable/roundtable9.cfm.
Clark, Michael, “Strength-Based Practice: The ABC’s of Working With Adolescents Who Don’t
Want to Work With You,” Federal Probation Quarterly (June 1998): 46–53.
Clark, Michael, “Strength-Based Practice: The New Paradigm,” Corrections Today 59, no. 2
(1997): 201–02.
Council of State Governments and Re-Entry Policy Council, The Report of the Re-Entry Policy
Council: Charting the Safe and Successful Return of Prisoners to the Community (New York:
Council of State Governments, 2005), www.reentrypolicy.org/reentry/THE_REPORT.aspx.
Crime and Justice Institute, “Implementing Evidence-Based Practices in Community
Corrections: The Principles of Effective Intervention” (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of
Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 2004).
Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, “DMI Marketplace of Ideas: The Power of Restorative
Justice,” May 16, 2005.
Frieden, Thomas R., P.I. Fujiwara, R.M. Washko, and M.A. Hamburg, “Tuberculosis in New
York City: Turning the Tide,” New England Journal of Medicine 333 (1995): 229–33.
Hammett, Theodore, Cheryl Roberts, and Sofia Kennedy, “Health-Related Issues in Prisoner
Reentry,” Crime and Delinquency 47, no. 3 (2001): 390–409.
Hammett, Theodore M., “Health-Related Issues in Prisoner Reentry” (paper prepared for the
Reentry Roundtable, Washington, DC, October 12–13, 2000).
Hammett, Theodore M., Sheryl Roberts, and Sofia Kennedy, “Health-Related Issues in
Prisoner Reentry to the Community,” Crime and Delinquency 47, no. 3 (2001): 390–409.
House Committee on the Judiciary, Offender Re-Entry: What Is Needed to Provide Criminal
Offenders with a Second Chance? Hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism,
and Homeland Security, 109th Cong., 1st sess., 2005, 46–96, http://judiciary.house.gov/media/
pdfs/printers/109th/24372.pdf.
James, Doris, Profile of Jail Inmates, 2002, Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report NCJ
201932 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2004).
Langan, Patrick, and David Levin, Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994, Bureau of Justice
Statistics Special Report NCJ 193427 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of
Justice Statistics, 2002).
LaVigne, Nancy, Christy Visher, and Jennifer Castro, Chicago Prisoners’ Experiences
Returning Home (Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 2004).

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

LaVigne, Nancy G., Mapping for Community-Based Prisoner Reentry Efforts: A Guidebook for
Law Enforcement Agencies and Their Partners (Washington, DC: Police Foundation, 2007).
LaVigne, Nancy G., Amy L. Solomon, Karen Beckman, and Kelly Dedel Johnson, Prisoner
Reentry and Community Policing: Strategies for Enhancing Public Safety (Washington, DC:
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, 2006).
Mellow, Jeff, and James M. Dickinson, “The Role of Prerelease Handbooks for Prisoner
Reentry,” Federal Probation 70, no. 1 (2006).
Nelson, Marta, and Mindy Tarlow, “Jail Reentry and Community Linkages: Adding Value on
Both Sides of the Gate” (paper prepared for the Urban Institute Jail Reentry Roundtable,
Washington, DC, June 2006).
Osher, Fred, “Short Term Strategies to Improve Re-Entry of Jail Populations: Expanding
and Implementing the APIC Model” (paper prepared for the Urban Institute Jail Reentry
Roundtable, June 2006), www.urban.org/projects/reentry-roundtable/roundtable9.cfm.
Osher, Fred, Henry J. Steadman, and Heather Barr, A Best Practice Approach to Community
Re-entry from Jails for Inmates with Co-Occurring Disorders: The APIC Model (Delmar, NY:
The National GAINS Center, 2002).
Rhodes, William, and Michael Gross, Case Management Reduces Drug Use and Criminality
Among Drug-Involved Arrestees: An Experimental Study of an HIV Prevention Intervention
(Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 1997).
Rosenfeld, Richard, Joel Wallman, and Robert J. Fornango, “The Contribution of Ex-Prisoners
to Crime Rates,” in Prisoner Reentry and Public Safety in America, ed. Jeremy Travis and
Christy Visher (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005).
Rossman, Shelli B., and Caterina G. Roman, “Case-Managed Reentry and Employment:
Lessons from the Opportunity to Succeed Program,” Justice Research and Policy 5, no. 2
(2003): 75–100.
Steadman, Henry J., and Bonita M. Veysey, Providing Services for Jail Inmates with Mental
Disorders, National Institute of Justice Research in Brief NCJ 162207 (Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 1997).
Steadman, Henry J., Jack E. Scott, Fred Osher, Tara K. Agnese, and Pamela Clark Robbins,
“Validation of the Brief Jail Mental Health Screen,” Psychiatric Services 56, no. 7 (2005):
816–22.
Taxman, F., “Supervision—Exploring the Dimensions of Effectiveness,” Federal Probation 66,
no. 2 (2002): 14–27.
Taxman, F., D. Soule, and A. Gelb, “Graduated Sanctions: Stepping Into Accountable Systems
and Offenders,” Prison Journal 79, no. 2 (1999): 182–205.
Visher, Christy, and Shannon Courtney, One Year Out: Experiences of Prisoners Returning to
Cleveland (Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 2006)
Wexler, H.K., “The Success of Therapeutic Communities for Substance Abusers in American
Prisons,” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 27 (1995): 57–66.

Addressing Reentry from Jails: Making the Most of a Short Stay

57

3
Examples
from the Field

Examples from the Field

3

T

o better understand how local jurisdictions are addressing reentry from jails, the
authors conducted a national “scan of practice.” Our aim was to identify a range of
jail- and community-based reentry initiatives from around the country. We used the
following criteria to determine which programs to include: jail-based programs had to focus
specifically on reentry preparation or transition planning (e.g., even an exemplary substance
abuse or education program would not qualify if there was no transition element) and
community-based programs needed to focus on the jail population and have linkages to a
particular jail facility. We did not include organizations that worked with ex-offenders in the
community more generally.28

To identify programs, we disseminated a “call for nominations” to national membership
associations and organizations that work in local corrections.29 We also polled Reentry
Roundtable participants and research, public policy, and technical assistance organizations
involved in reentry work. In addition, we reviewed existing reports and resources that
include information on reentry initiatives, such as the Report of the Re-Entry Policy Council
(Council of State Governments and Re-Entry Policy Council, 2005), Outside the Walls: A
National Snapshot of Community-Based Prisoner Reentry Programs (Solomon et al., 2003),
and Prisoner Reentry and Community Policing: Strategies for Enhancing Public Safety
(Solomon, Beckman, and Johnson, 2006).
For each of the identified reentry programs that met our criteria, we followed up via phone
interviews and e-mail questionnaires to gather further information. The descriptions that
follow are the result of this inquiry.30
The scan of practice revealed a wide array of jail reentry practices, varying in scale,
programmatic focus, types of partnerships, and service provision. The search also illustrated
several common themes across approaches. Several jails have incorporated a reentry
philosophy into their entire operation, providing every inmate—whether detained for one
day or one year, whether pretrial or sentenced—with some level of reentry preparation, from
resource guides to individualized case management. Many jails have dedicated reentry staff,
official policies and procedures for reentry, and comprehensive partnerships with a variety
of community agencies. In these cases, reentry has become a way of doing business as
opposed to a discrete program. Other jails have developed targeted programs that focus on
the transitional needs of certain higher risk inmates, such as those with mental illness.

28
Although pretrial services and diversion programs serve a prominent role in strategies to manage the jail population at the local
level, such programs and initiatives were not included in the scope of this scan of practice. For a comprehensive review of pre- and
post-booking jail diversion programs around the country, visit the GAINS TAPA Center for Jail Diversion’s database of communities
that are operating such programs: www.gainscenter.samhsa.gov/html/tapa/jail%20diversion/jd_map.asp.
28
The call for nominations was circulated to the American Jail Association, American Probation and Parole Association, American
Correctional Association, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Council of State Governments Justice Center, International Association of
Chiefs of Police, International Community Corrections Association, National Sheriffs’ Association, National Institute of Corrections,
National Association of Counties, and Police Executive Research Forum. It was posted on various electronic mailing lists, including
the Large Jail Network, and broad circulation to these organizations’ networks was encouraged.
30

The information on each jail reentry initiative in this report was last updated in April 2007.

61


Few of these reentry efforts are highly resourced; rather, most rely on local organizations
that are already serving the target population and see a benefit in establishing early
connections. These jails are often using their existing resources and staff and inviting
community organizations and volunteers—including successful former inmates—behind the
walls to begin building the relationships that will likely be necessary to keep people engaged
post-incarceration.
Notably, many of these reentry initiatives have developed innovative ways to keep
individuals engaged in their transition plan in the absence of legal obligations. By offering
a range of supports and incentives—and developing meaningful relationships—programs
have managed to keep many individuals in treatment, in training, in jobs, in church, and with
family long after their release from jail.
With more than 3,000 jails around the country, this scan of practice is in no way meant to
be exhaustive or to fully represent all of the reentry activity under way. However, given the
relatively broad scope of our inquiry, we believe that we capture and summarize many of the
country’s most developed jail reentry initiatives. It is also important to note that few of these
initiatives have been formally evaluated and therefore do not necessarily represent “best
practices” or model programs. Instead, they represent a variety of examples from around
the country of how local jurisdictions are approaching the specific challenges presented by
reentry from jail.
For each reentry effort, we have included the key elements of the initiative, including
the reentry services and transition planning provided in the jail, discharge planning, and
community case management after release, as well as the partnerships in place to facilitate
reentry preparation and transition. The descriptions also provide background information
on the jail system in which the initiative operates, contact information, and web sites where
available. Profiles of the initiative are organized alphabetically by name. On the following
two pages, we have also included a chart that highlights the key components of each
initiative, the jail system in which it operates, geographic information, and the page number
where the full summary can be found.
We are grateful to the practitioners managing these efforts—pioneers in the jail transition
arena—who took the time and effort to educate us about their work. Their experiences and
creative approaches to many of the challenges discussed in this report are an inspiration.
With their permission, much of the language that follows is in their words. Any errors are
our own.

62

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Examples at a Glance


Frequent User Services Enhancement
New York, NY
Fresh Start
New York, NY
Habitual Misdemeanor
Offender Program
Jacksonville, FL
Inmate Re-entry Program
Orange County, FL

Boston Reentry Initiative
Broome County Correctional Facility
Broome County, NY
Community Reentry Center
Kent County, MI
Community Reentry for Women
Suffolk County, MA
Cook County Sheriff’s
Boot Camp
Cook County, IL
Davidson County Sheriff’s Office
Davidson County, TN
Day Reporting and Reentry Division
Broward County, FL
Department of Women’s
Justice Services
Cook County, IL
Drug Farm Program
Palm Beach County, FL
Dutchess County Jail
Transition Program
Dutchess County, NY
FaithWorks! Aftercare Program
Miami-Dade County, FL

Allegheny County Jail Collaborative
Allegheny County, PA
BELIEF Program
Richmond, VA

Program Name

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community
Orange County Corrections Department

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office

The Osborne Association

Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office
Miami-Dade County Corrections and
Rehabilitation Department
Corporation for Supportive Housing; New
York City Department of Homeless Services;
New York City Department of Correction

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Davidson County Sheriff’s Office
Broward County Sheriff’s Office;
Department of Community Control

Cook County Sheriff’s Department

Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department

Kent County Sheriff’s Department

Broome County Sheriff’s Office

City of Richmond Sheriff’s Office
Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department;
Boston Police Department

Central Agency(s)
Allegheny County Bureau of Corrections;
Allegheny County Department of Human
Services

Jail

Community Corrections

X

X

X

X

X

X

X
X

X

X

X
X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Private Community-Based

X

X

Government Service Agency
X

Comprehensive

X

X

X

X

X

X

Substance Abuse
X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Mental Health
X

X

X

X

Physical Health
X

X

Employment
X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Housing
X

X

X

Sentenced
X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Pretrial
X

X

X

X

X

X

X

F
X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

M
X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

0–100
X

X

X

101–250
X

X

X

X

X

X

251–500
X

X

X

1,001–2,000
X

>2,000
X

X

X

<150

501–1,000

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Jail Size (Average
Daily Population)

150–500

Number Served
Per Year
501–1,000

Legal
Status Gender
1,001–2,000

Population Served

2,001–10,000

Programmatic Focus*

>10,000
X

X

X

X

Jail
Location

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Urban

Agency Type

X

Rural

Jail Reentry Initiative Program Matrix

Suburban

64

103

101

99

97

95

93

91

88

86

84

82

80

78

76

73

71

68

Page

Examples from the Field

65

Jail Transition Services
Snohomish County, OR
New York City Discharge Planning
Collaboration
New York, NY
Offender Re-entry Program
Suffolk County, MA
Offender Reentry Program
Various VA locations
Power Inside
Baltimore, MD
Pre-Release and Reentry
Services Division
Montgomery County, MD
Pretrial Release Mental Health
Reentry Program
Cedar Rapids, IA
Prison to Community Project
Philadelphia, PA
Project Second Chance
Atlantic County, NJ
Public Health Model for Corrections
Hampden County, MA
Re-Entry Continuum
Hampden County, MA
Re-Entry Matrix System
Essex County, MA
Reentry For All
Montgomery County, MD

Program Name
Inmate Rehabilitating Through
Occupational and Academic
Development Systems
San Bernardino County, CA
Jackson County Community Justice
Transition Program
Jackson County, OR
Jail-Based Assessment and
Treatment Project
Polk, Scott, and Woodbury Counties, IA

Essex County Sheriff’s Department
Montgomery County Department of
Correction and Rehabilitation

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

Atlantic County Department of Public Safety

Iowa 6th Judicial District Department of
Correctional Services
Mental Health Association of Southeastern
Pennsylvania

Montgomery County Department of
Correction and Rehabilitation

Power Inside

Iowa Department of Public Health
Snohomish County Department of
Corrections; Snohomish County Human
Services Department
New York City Department of Correction;
New York City Department of Homeless
Services
Bunker Hill Community College;
Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department
Virginia Department of Corrections; local
partner jails

Jackson County Community Justice

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

Central Agency(s)

Jail Reentry Initiative Program Matrix (continued)

Jail

Community Corrections

Private Community-Based

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X
X

X

X

X

Government Service Agency
X

Comprehensive
X

Mental Health

X

X

X

Substance Abuse

X

X

Physical Health
X

X

Employment
X

X

X

X

X

X

Housing
X

X

Sentenced
Pretrial
X
X

X
X

X

X

X
X

X

X

X

X
X

X

X

X

X
X

X

X

X
X

X

X
X

X

X

X
X

X

X

X
X

X

X

X
X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

F
X

M

X

X

X

X

X

0–100
X

101–250
X

X

X

251–500
X

X

X

1,001–2,000
X

X

>2,000
X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

150–500

<150

501–1,000

Jail Size (Average
Daily Population)

X

X

501–1,000

Number Served
Per Year

X

X

X

1,001–2,000

Legal
Status Gender

X

X

X

X

X

2,001–10,000

Population Served

>10,000
X

X

Jail
Location

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Urban

Programmatic Focus*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Rural

Agency Type

Suburban

138

136

133

131

128

126

124

121

119

117

115

113

111

109

107

105

Page

Jail

Community Corrections

X

X
X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Private Community-Based
X

X

Comprehensive
X

X

Government Service Agency

X

X

X

Substance Abuse
X

X

Physical Health
X

Employment
X

Sentenced
X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Pretrial
X

X

X

F
X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

M
X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

0–100
X

X

101–250
X

X

501–1,000
X

1001–2,000
X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

> 10,000

> 2,000

251–500

Housing

Mental Health

Jail
Location

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

*If an initiative is marked as comprehensive, it does not mean that it necessarily includes a focus on all other programmatic areas. Rather, the initiative offers a variety of services to a range of individuals. If a particular
programmatic focus is marked, it signifies that the initiative offers a variety of services but also includes a focus on a particular area of service.

Program Name
Central Agency(s)
Repeat Offender Public Safety Initiative
Norfolk County, MA
Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office; Douglas
Residential Substance Abuse Treatment County Community Corrections; Douglas
Get Real Program
County Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Douglas County, OR
Prevention and Treatment
Responsible Transition Program
Miami-Dade County Corrections and
Miami-Dade County, FL
Rehabilitation Department
Rikers Island Discharge Planning
New York City Department of Correction;
Enhancement Program
New York City Department of Homeless
New York, NY
Services
Second Chances
Norfolk, VA
STOP Organization
Transition Services Unit
Multnomah County Department of
Multnomah County, OR
Community Justice
Transitional Alpha Program
Maricopa County, AZ
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office
Transitional Case Management
Los Angeles County, CA
Tarzana Treatment Centers
Transitional Services
Westchester County Department of
Westchester County, NY
Corrections

< 150

Jail Size (Average
Daily Population)

150–500

Number Served
Per Year
501–1,000

Legal
Status Gender
1,001–2,000

Population Served

2,001–10,000

Programmatic Focus*

Urban

Agency Type

Rural

Jail Reentry Initiative Program Matrix (continued)

Suburban

66

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

159

157

155

153

151

149

147

144

141

Page

Jail Reentry Profiles


Allegheny County Jail Collaborative
Allegheny County Bureau of Corrections
Allegheny County Department of Human Services
Agency Type: Jail, government service agency

Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive, with focus on substance abuse, mental health, 

employment, and housing
Funding Sources
Federal:
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Justice

Local:
Allegheny County Department of Human
Services

State:
Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and
Delinquency
Department of Public Welfare, Labor and
Industry
Department of Education

Private:
Pittsburgh Foundation
Staunton Farms Foundation
Eden Hall Foundation
Birmingham Foundation
Maurice Falk Fund

Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 3,500/year
Jail System Information
Size: 2,500 average daily population (ADP)
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The Allegheny County Bureau of Corrections, Department of Human Services, and Health
Department established the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative in 2000 to enhance public
safety and successful reintegration by coordinating services and reducing duplication
throughout government agencies within the county. The Collaborative focuses on
comprehensive reentry planning that includes family reunification, housing, substance abuse
and mental health treatment, employment, and community engagement. The Collaborative
partners meet monthly and work together to plan all in-jail, transitional, and postrelease
services.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
The Collaborative focuses on reentry planning from the moment an individual enters jail.
Individuals are screened to identify strengths and weaknesses and referred to jail-based
programs such as job training, general equivalency diploma (GED) preparation and testing,

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

computer training, life-skills classes, mental health treatment, and inpatient drug treatment
that follows a continuum of substance abuse treatment model.
The Collaborative is involved in several initiatives geared toward the reentry of people with
mental illness or co-occurring disorders. Forensic Services, a division within the Department
of Human Services, works with the county jail, the district courts, service coordination
units, and other community providers to assist individuals released from jail prior to their
preliminary hearing, provide coverage at the jail intake area for processing involuntary or
emergency commitments, appropriately divert individuals from incarceration or extended
jail stays, and develop and present service plans to the court. Forensic Services also runs
the Community Reintegration of Offenders with Mental Illness and Drug Abuse initiative,
a therapeutic community in a separate facility that supports men with co-occurring mental
illness and substance use disorders who are on probation or parole.

Transition Planning
Case managers begin working intensively with inmates to develop a comprehensive and
dynamic service plan 60–120 days prior to release that addresses all life domains and
identifies necessary wraparound supports. Case managers meet with service providers for
soon-to-be-released inmates to plan for and coordinate postrelease services and prepare the
continuum of care in the community. The Collaborative’s Employment Committee works to
encourage employers to hire people coming out of jail through education, training, and peer
support.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
Upon release, most inmates follow their service plan and go to a treatment center,
alternative housing in the Collaborative’s three-quarter way house, transitional housing, or
their own home. The case manager follows released inmates up to one year after release to
assist with family reunification; employment; legal matters, such as child support; permanent
housing; education and job training; and logistical items that are necessary to restore basic
life liberties, such as a driver’s license or photo ID, emergency food, clothing for a new job,
or a bus pass.

Partnerships and Collaboration
In addition to the Collaborative’s inherent partnership, there are several other coordinated
partnerships within the Collaborative. The Allegheny County Reintegration Advisory
Committee is a group of community- and jail-based service providers and former inmates
who meet monthly to discuss barriers and solutions to the Collaborative’s unified
reintegration efforts in Allegheny County. Concerns and recommendations that emerge
from this forum are presented to the County Collaborative Management Team for review.

Outcomes
The University of Pittsburgh is currently conducting a multipart evaluation of the Allegheny
County Jail Collaborative. Components of the evaluation include (1) the collaboration
and service process; (2) needs assessment of inmates; (3) intermediary quality of life

Examples from the Field

69

outcomes (e.g., employment, housing, substance use); (4) postrelease criminal behavior
and recidivism; and (5) cost savings related to reduced recidivism. Preliminary findings
show an overall 15-percent reduction in reincarceration compared with the rate before
the Collaborative. These rates will be compared with data gathered from 300 inmates
tracked after release. A final report is expected to be available in 2008. The Collaborative is
also partnering with Carnegie Mellon University to analyze data from corrections, human
services, housing, police, and the census to better understand who is returning, the needs of
the returning population, and the communities most affected.

Contact Information
Ruth Howze
Collaborative Coordinator and Administrator of Alternative Housing and Re-Integration
Allegheny County Bureau of Corrections
950 Second Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219–2032
Tel: 412–350–2029
E-mail: Ruth.Howze@county.allegheny.pa.us
Web site: www.county.allegheny.pa.us/dhs/jail.aspx

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

BELIEF Program
City of Richmond Sheriff’s Office
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Substance abuse, employment
Population Served
Legal status: Pretrial and sentenced
Number served: 500–525/year
Jail System Information
Size: 1,500 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
BELIEF is a jail-based program in the Richmond City Jail that helps inmates with substance
abuse problems to understand, address, and alter their negative social behavior and build a
solid foundation for their successful return to the community. The BELIEF program partners
with several community-based agencies, with a focus on substance abuse and employment
training agencies, that provide services in jail and accept referrals upon release.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
Using the 12-step recovery principles and a behavior modification model, a rehabilitation
counselor and a substance abuse counselor work with each participant to simultaneously
address substance abuse issues and antisocial behaviors. While incarcerated, participants
also take part in apprenticeship programs, vocational training, and on-the-job training
provided by Boaz and Ruth, a local nonprofit that focuses on community economic
development and job training.

Transition Planning
BELIEF staff develop transition plans for all participants with a focus on safe and sober
housing, including recovery houses; substance abuse treatment; Narcotics Anonymous and
Alcoholics Anonymous meeting sites; and employment.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
BELIEF staff provide follow-up services in the community for as long as needed.

Examples from the Field

71

Partnerships and Collaboration
The Richmond Sheriff’s Office is involved in formal partnerships with Boaz and Ruth,
Richmond’s Adult Drug Court, Probation and Parole, the Department of Justice Services, and
several faith-based organizations.

Contact Information
Captain Carol Dabney
BELIEF Program Supervisor
Richmond City Sheriff’s Office
1701 Fairfield Way
Richmond, VA 23223
Tel: 804–646–5074
E-mail: DabneyCH@ci.richmond.va.us

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Boston Reentry Initiative
Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Source
Shannon Grant (state grant for Violence in Massachusetts)
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 150/year
Jail System Information
Size: 1,800 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
In the summer of 2000, the Boston Police Department, in partnership with the Suffolk County
Sheriff’s Department, developed the Boston Reentry Initiative (BRI) to focus its reentry
resources on inmates who pose a public safety risk to the communities that they will reenter.
This community-wide project involves the collaborative efforts of social service providers,
faith-based organizations, and other law enforcement agencies. With a public safety and
social service strategy, the BRI seeks to prevent high-risk former inmates from reoffending
through comprehensive and effective transitional resources as well as through increased
vigilance in monitoring their reentry process. The BRI communicates to offenders that there
are resources and services in the community available to them and that they will be held
accountable for their own actions. Central to the strategy is direct communication with
high-risk inmates soon after their commitment to the House of Correction, when they are
given the message that there are institutional programs and community resources that can
aid their successful reintegration, but that they will also be held accountable if they do not
stay away from further criminal activity. The initiative is modeled after a noteworthy program
begun in the early 1990s by the police department called Operation Ceasefire, which targets
high-risk and gang-affiliated individuals in Boston.
The Boston Police Department’s Intelligence Unit identifies offenders entering the Suffolk
County House of Correction whom they feel are high-risk offenders on the basis of age,
address, criminal history, and gang affiliations, and makes recommendations about who
should be enrolled in the program. These individuals typically have an extensive criminal
background, a history of violence, and an affiliation with firearms and gangs and will return
to communities that are designated as high-crime areas in Boston. A final list of 15–20
inmates is vetted each month with other law enforcement partners, particularly the Suffolk
County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Examples from the Field

73

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
Within 30–60 days of entering the facility, program participants attend one of the
initiative’s monthly community panel sessions. During the panels, representatives from
law enforcement agencies, social service providers, and faith-based organizations form
a semicircle and sit across from 10–20 inmate participants. Each member of the panel
addresses the inmates from the unique perspective of his or her own organization: social
service and faith-based organization representatives discuss the resources and support that
they can provide to help them transition, both while they are in the prison and after release;
and prosecutors and probation and parole officers discuss the consequences that await them
if they are caught recommitting crimes upon their return. Collectively, the panel members
convey a unified message that the inmates have the power to choose their own destiny.The
panel also serves to remind the inmates that they are not doing their time anonymously, and
that information on their criminal histories, current incarceration, and planned release dates
is shared among law enforcement agencies and with some community agencies.

Transition Planning
Following the panel, inmates are assigned case managers and faith-based mentors from the
community, who begin working with them immediately in the jail setting. Enrollments in
education, substance abuse, and other institutional programs are coordinated as part of their
discharge plans. On the day of release, case managers and mentors arrange for either
a family member or a mentor to meet them at the door.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
When inmates are released, they are encouraged to continue working with their case
managers, mentors, and social service providers during the transition period. For those
inmates who leave the jail on conditional supervision, the supervising agency is asked
to incorporate participation in the BRI as a condition of release.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The BRI builds on the foundation of interagency and community partnerships that have
contributed to a decrease in crime and improvement in the quality of life in Boston for the
past decade. The founding partners of this initiative—the Boston Police Department and the
Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department—have reached out and developed partnerships with
other law enforcement agencies to help identify the most serious offenders, collaborate
to provide effective and coordinated postrelease supervision whenever possible, and
prosecute vigorously BRI-identified inmates who commit new offenses. Partners include
the state Department of Probation, the state Department of Corrections, the Parole Board,
the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney General’s Office. The
BRI also collaborates with community-based and government agency partners, faith-based
organizations, local one-stop career centers, health commissions, community colleges,
halfway house operators, and, in the case of child support, the state Department of Revenue.

74

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Outcomes
Of the 312 BRI participants released in 2004 and 2005, nearly half (46 percent) did not
reoffend, and another 20 percent were arrested on very minor charges (i.e., suspended
license), for a success rate of 66 percent. One quarter were arrested for a serious or violent
offense.

Contact Information
True See Allah
Coordinator
Boston Reentry Initiative
Suffolk County House of Correction
20 Bradston Street
Boston, MA 02118
Tel: 617–635–1000, ext. 2022
E-mail: Tallah@scsdma.org

Examples from the Field

Gregory Haugh
Assistant Deputy Superintendent
Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department
20 Bradston Street
Boston, MA 02118
Tel: 617–961–6502
E-mail: ghaugh@scsdma.org

75

Broome County Correctional Facility
Broome County Sheriff’s Office
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Mental health, substance abuse
Funding Source
Broome County Sheriff’s Office
Population Served
Legal status: Pretrial and sentenced

Number served: 350–400/year in the therapeutic pod (50–60 ADP)

Jail System Information
Size: 400+ ADP
Location: Rural

Program Overview
The Broome County Correctional Facility is a direct supervision jail that integrates reentry
programming and discharge planning into its daily operations. Discharge planning services
are available to all inmates admitted to the jail. The correctional facility also operates a
60-bed therapeutic pod, or housing unit, and a women’s pod that offers concentrated
services for inmates with mental health and substance abuse problems who will be returning
to the greater Binghamton area.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
Every inmate in the Broome County Correctional Facility receives mental health and medical
services from the jail’s forensic staff as well as basic educational training. As part of the
enhanced services reserved for those in the therapeutic and women’s pods, the facility
offers a variety of comprehensive programs including life skills training, parenting classes,
spirituality classes, extensive educational and vocational training, creative writing, computer
literacy, college preparation, substance abuse counseling, mental health crisis intervention
and counseling, and daily support groups for those with both substance abuse and mental
health issues. With computer access, inmates are able to develop their résumés and forward
them to the community one-stop center prior to release.

Transition Planning
Upon admission to the facility, all inmates complete a questionnaire outlining their discharge
needs and work with the jail’s three discharge planners to develop an individual plan. There
are weekly discharge planning meetings between the jail’s discharge planning staff and
community service providers, including the county mental health department, educational
providers, and the faith community to discuss discharge needs and concerns.

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
Once the inmate is released, community-based service and treatment providers, many of
whom worked with inmates in the jail, become responsible for follow-up. Jail-based case
managers communicate with case managers and service providers in the community as
much as possible. There are numerous and diverse community service providers who
regularly serve people coming out of the Broome County Correctional Facility and help keep
them engaged in treatment in the community. Public providers that work with returning
inmates include the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier, Broome County’s mental
health and health care agencies, Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network of South Central
New York, and the community one-stop employment center. Several nonprofits provide
recovery services, inpatient substance abuse and mental health services, support groups,
and employment and educational training. Catholic Charities Single Point of Entry provides
case management to those with mental health and co-occurring mental health and substance
abuse disorders.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The therapeutic pod was established in 2001 after a planning and design process that
included the Broome County’s Probation and Mental Health Departments, the Sheriff’s Office,
the County’s Council of Churches, and Broome-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational
Services. The discharge planners and the substance abuse counselor are staffed through
contracts with the county medical department. In addition to this ongoing partnership,
several informal partnerships exist between the correctional facility and the local community
providers. Weekly meetings for all community service providers are held in the therapeutic
pod to discuss problems and brainstorm new ideas and initiatives. These meetings enable
jail staff to maintain communication and continue working with local providers.

Contact Information
Wesley Shear
Programs and Compliance Lieutenant
Broome County Correctional Facility
155 Lt. Van Winkle Drive
Binghamton, NY 13905
Tel: 607–778–6439
E-mail: Wshear@co.broome.ny.us

Examples from the Field

77

Community Reentry Center
Kent County Sheriff’s Department
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Sources
Kent County Government
Community Mental Health
Occasional grant funding
Population Served
Legal status: Pretrial and sentenced
Number served: 2,300 in 2006
Jail System Information
Size: 220 ADP (of the center); 1,300+ ADP (of the main jail)
Location: Urban

Program Overview
In 2003, recognizing that all inmates would be released back to the community, the Kent
County work release center became the Community Reentry Center (CRC), modeled in
part after the Montgomery County Pre-Release Center in Maryland. Operated by the Kent
County Sheriff’s Department in a separate facility from the main jail, the CRC houses low-risk
offenders in a supportive environment while teaching accountability, responsibility, and life
skills and addressing individual needs.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
Upon admission to the CRC, inmates receive an individual screening from a social worker
who identifies their needs and links them with service providers who can meet those
needs. Nearly all CRC programs and services are provided by community-based agencies
coming into the facility with their own funding sources and volunteers. The CRC has
developed partnerships with about 15 community agencies that work with residents while
in custody. The Office of Community Corrections supports one half-time case manager as
well. Jail-based programs include cognitive behavioral therapy, substance abuse treatment,
educational and vocational training, and life skills training. Residents are also able to go
offsite to receive additional services in the community.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
Although there is no formal postrelease case management set up for all residents, the CRC
sponsors the “Jail to Community” faith-based mentoring and cognitive behavioral therapy

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

program that pairs inmates with mentors during custody, with the intent of maintaining the
relationship in the community after release.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The Kent County Community Reentry Center has engaged all members of the community
in the effort to prepare residents for a productive lifestyle after release. In addition to
establishing formal partnerships with both public and private community service providers
and faith-based institutions, the CRC has recruited local universities to work with residents.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department also participates in larger community-based reentry
efforts, including Michigan’s Prisoner Reentry Initiative and a local reentry roundtable.

Contact Information
Captain Randy Demory
Kent County Sheriff’s Department
701 Ball Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Tel: 616–632–6406
E-mail: Randy.Demory@Kentcounty.org

Examples from the Field

Lt. George Grucz
Director, Community Reentry Center
Kent County Sheriff’s Department
701 Ball Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Tel: 616–336–3566
E-mail: George.Grucz@kentcounty.org

79

Community Reentry for Women
Suffolk County House of Correction
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive, with a focus on health, housing, and employment
Funding Source
U.S. Department of Education
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 60/year
Jail System Information
Size: 1,800 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
With support from the Department of Education’s Life Skills for State and Local Prisoners
Grant, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department established the Community Reentry for
Women (CREW) program in 2003 in partnership with the South End Community Health
Center, an urban health care provider, and Project Place, a multiservice agency specializing in
job training, job placement, and housing. The CREW program integrates gender-responsive
strategies in a jail-based eight-week comprehensive life skills and job skills program. Each
woman has access to a caseworker, health center social worker, life skills instructor, career
coach, and community outreach case manager who assist them with all aspects of their
reentry needs and who work with them in the community for two years after release.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
Ninety days prior to their release, women in CREW participate in an eight-week reentry
preparation program. During the eight weeks, women attend daily life skills classes, job
readiness workshops, parenting workshops, and mentoring workshops. Each participant
receives comprehensive case management outside of their program schedule from a House
of Correction case worker, a health center case manager, and a Project Place career coach
and discharge planner.

Transition Planning
At the end of the 8-week program and 30 days prior to release, participants work exclusively
on preparing and reviewing their discharge plan. The multidisciplinary case management
team works on various aspects of their transition. The health care case manager works on a
community health care plan; the career coach assists with résumé development and referrals

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

to job placement or training resources; and a community outreach case manager works
on establishing stable housing, including placement into long-term residential treatment
programs.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
The CREW case management team provides postrelease case management for up to two
years after release to assist women with their personal goals, their housing and career
goals, and with accessing health care services. The CREW program has developed extensive
contacts in the community to help fulfill these goals. Most community agencies with which
the CREW program partners are located in the two Boston area neighborhoods to which
most participants return.

Partnerships and Collaboration
In addition to their formal partnership with the South End Community Health Center and
Project Place, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department has regular communication with
several other community agencies. Every month, community-based providers meet with
sheriff’s department staff to review the discharge list and focus on every woman who is
leaving in the next 30 days.

Outcomes
The CREW program is currently working on a formal recidivism study, but a quick snapshot
of efforts in 2006 reflects the following outcomes: 56 women completed the CREW program
and were released. Two-thirds found employment within 90 days of release and 4 percent
were placed in transitional employment. Virtually all (96 percent) found either permanent or
transitional housing. Eleven of the 56 (20 percent) were reincarcerated in a Massachusetts
House of Correction.

Contact Information
Christina Ruccio
Director of Women’s Programs
Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department
House of Correction
20 Bradston Street
Boston, MA 02118
Tel: 617–635–1000 ext. 2205
E-mail: cruccio@scsdma.org
Web site: www.scsdma.org

Examples from the Field

81

Cook County Sheriff’s Boot Camp

Cook County Sheriff’s Department

Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive, with a focus on employment and substance abuse
Funding Sources
Cook County Government
Grants from the State of Illinois
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 720/year
Jail System Information
Size: 9,000 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The Cook County Sheriff’s Boot Camp is a court-ordered sanction established in 1997
designed to provide nonviolent young offenders a safe, secure, and humane program
based on military discipline, fundamental vocational skills, education, and substance abuse
treatment. The Boot Camp consists of a four-month institutional in-camp program followed
by eight months of postrelease supervision in the community. The Boot Camp offers young
men the opportunity to be involved in their own self-development and improvement while
linking them with community-based resources that are specific to their needs.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
While in the camp, participants must adhere to a strict schedule of physical training, drill and
ceremony, work details, educational and vocational classes, substance abuse prevention
classes, and anger management classes. Each participant is assigned a counselor who
conducts daily meetings to discuss progress as a group and as an individual. Counselors
work with participants on parenting skills, stress management, and goal setting. They also
reach out to family members to prepare for the postrelease phase.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
Participants are required to spend eight months in the postrelease supervision component
of the program. They are initially placed on electronic monitoring and required to report to
the Boot Camp every day. During the community phase, participants attend job preparation
and placement classes, especially geared toward opportunities in the U.S. Military and Job
Corps. Personnel from the Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO) work with

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

graduating participants to review all opportunities available in the construction industry.
Participants continue to receive substance abuse counseling and are given the opportunity
to continue their education. They are provided assistance securing birth certificates, state
identification cards, and Social Security cards and are given access to informal hearings by
the Secretary of State’s Office to validate expired driver’s licenses.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The Sheriff’s Boot Camp is engaged in informal partnerships with the Cook County Criminal
Courts and various employers and educational institutions including CISCO, Job Corps, and
West Side Technical Institute of the City Colleges of Chicago.

Contact Information
Mathew C. Jaeky
Court Liaison
Cook County Sheriff’s Boot Camp
Cook County Sheriff’s Department
2801 South Rockwell Avenue
Chicago, IL 60608
Tel: 773–869–7957
E-mail: ccsbc@yahoo.com
Web site: www.cookcountysheriff.org/bootcamp/index.html

Examples from the Field

83

Davidson County Sheriff’s Office

Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Source
Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County
Population
Legal status: Pretrial and sentenced

Number served: approximately 46,000/year (all inmates)

Jail System Information
Size: 2,700 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) has established an entire reentry division with
dedicated reentry staff to help inmates become productive members of society through life
skills training, mentoring, and referrals to community resources. Reentry programming and
transition planning are made available to as many inmates as possible. A steering committee
guides ongoing efforts in the DCSO.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
Reentry programming is offered to all inmates, regardless of their length of stay or legal
status. Those who are within 150–210 days of release receive multilevel services. Inmates
complete an eight-week life skills curriculum, toward the end of which they work on their
release plan. The life skills curriculum includes training in finances, stress management,
family and domestic issues, parenting skills, health care, recreational activities, establishing
social identity, locating community resources, and anger management. The DCSO also
provides gender-specific reentry programs and holistic treatment for women suffering from
mental illness, addiction, trauma, and abuse. Some of the programs offered in the jail to
prepare inmates for release include the Sheriff’s Anti-Violence Effort Batterer’s Intervention
Program (SAVE BIP), the state-licensed New Avenues Treatment, a certified culinary ServSafe
certification program, a mentoring program through partnerships with several local
churches, and day reporting, work-release, and trade/apprenticeship programming.

Transition Planning
Jail-based reentry counselors work with inmates to develop postrelease transition plans
and help them begin to build relationships with community contacts while still incarcerated.
Men and women incarcerated in the DCSO are assisted in the development of a continuum

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of care plan that includes an educational and treatment process during incarceration and
referrals to community agencies and transitional housing. All individuals released from the
DCSO are given a release packet.
Two of the most recent initiatives in the DCSO, Meet Me at the Door and Time for
Transportation, address the critical moments immediately following release. Meet Me at
the Door is a mentoring program that engages the faith community in Nashville. Mentors
work with inmates while they are still incarcerated and pick them up upon release. Time for
Transportation provides newly released inmates with rides to various service providers in the
community through partnerships with the Metropolitan Transit Authority and a private taxi
service.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
The primary goal of the DCSO is to ensure that referrals to community services and
resources are followed through upon release. Certain aftercare services are available at
the DCSO Offender Reentry Center immediately after release. Various community case
management services are provided for 30 days to several years, depending on the individual.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The DCSO makes an effort to be part of the larger community and actively encourages
community access to the jail. The DCSO partners with more than 45 community-based
agencies that come into the jail on a weekly basis to run programs and begin establishing
relationships with inmates.

Outcomes
According to the Sheriff’s Office, several of the jail’s initiatives have resulted in substantial
reductions in the jail’s overall 62 percent rate of return. Of those who participate in New
Avenues Treatment, 64 percent stay out of jail in the first year of release and 57 percent stay
out of jail in the 2 years after release. Eighty-four percent of those participating in SAVE BIP
are not rearrested in the year after release, and 78 percent are not rearrested in the 2 years
after release. For those who completed New Avenues and SAVE BIP and who are rearrested
within the first or second year of release, the primary charge is driving without
a license.

Contact Information
Paul Mulloy
Program Director
Sheriff’s Correctional Complex
Davidson County Sheriff’s Office
5131 Harding Place
Nashville, TN 37211
Tel: 615–862–8242
E-mail: PMulloy@DCSO.nashville.org
Web site: www.nashville-sheriff.net/index.asp

Examples from the Field

85

Day Reporting and Reentry Division
Broward County Sheriff’s Office
Agency Type: Jail, community corrections
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Source
Broward County Board of County Commissioners
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced or walk-ins (individuals with no open cases)
Number served: 1,500/year
Jail System Information
Size: 5,800 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The Day Reporting and Reentry Division is a community-based sanction in the Sheriff’s
Department of Community Control that helps reintegrate Broward County jail inmates into
the community after release and ensure public safety through intensive supervision, case
management, and transitional services. The Division operates three Reentry Centers at which
clients receive a variety of support services and training, and community social service
providers are encouraged to meet with clients and offer services.

Key Program Elements
Transition Planning
Division staff assess inmates’ needs before their release from jail and develop a supervision
and reentry plan for inmates that addresses underlying problems associated with criminal
activity, such as substance abuse, joblessness, and mental illness. The reentry plan includes
supervision level, programming, daily schedules, community service hours, and any courtordered conditions. Division case managers oversee the reentry plan in jail and supervision
specialists monitor adherence to these plans after release in the community.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
In the community, clients must comply with the daily itineraries outlined in their supervision
and reentry plan. To assist in their compliance, the Reentry Centers provide several onsite
services and resources such as employability skills training, cognitive behavioral therapy,
computer training lab, assistance obtaining necessary documents, and access to substance
abuse and mental health treatment, housing, clothing, and Social Security benefits. Job
developers in the Division’s Employment Development Program identify and encourage
employers who will hire people with convictions. Currently, the Division maintains a job

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bank with more than 400 available jobs at any given time. In addition to skills training
classes, the computer training lab is available for clients to conduct online job searches and
apply for public benefits and other social services. Case managers work with clients daily
to help them incorporate these services into their reentry plan while supervision specialists
monitor adherence to these plans.

Partnerships and Collaboration
Staff from the Day Reporting and Reentry Division serve as the chair and vice chair of the
Broward County Reentry Coalition, a group of government agencies, faith-based institutions,
social service providers, and citizens who meet monthly to work on improving the reentry
outcomes of those in jail or serving time under other local criminal sanctions. The Reentry
Coalition has developed and periodically updates a Reentry Resource Guide that lists a
directory of services available to clients. The Division maintains several informal partnerships
with more than 100 social service providers that accept referrals and use the Reentry Centers
to provide services and government agencies such as the Department of Motor Vehicles,
Social Security Administration, and the Broward County Health Department. Finally, because
all clients are placed on state probation, the Reentry Division has developed a formal
agreement with the Florida Department of Corrections to put their clients on inactive status
and allow Division case managers and supervision specialists to assume authority for their
supervision.

Outcomes
In 2006, 64 percent of those under supervision of the Day Reporting and Reentry Division
were successfully discharged.

Contact Information
Kristina Gulick
Director
Department of Community Control
Broward County Sheriff’s Office
4200 NW 16th Street, 6th Floor
Lauderhill, FL 33313
Tel: 954–535–2373
E-mail: Kristina_Gulick@sheriff.org
Web site: www.sheriff.org

Examples from the Field

David Scharf
Division Manager
Day Reporting and Reentry Division
Department of Community Control
Broward County Sheriff’s Office
2201 W. Sample Rd Suite 1-4A
Pompano Beach, FL 33073
Tel: 954–935–6710
E-mail: David_Scharf@sheriff.org

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Department of Women’s Justice Services
Cook County Sheriff’s Office
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Source
Cook County Board through the Sheriff’s Office
Population Served
Legal status: Pretrial and sentenced
Number served: 2,200/year
Jail System Information
Size: 11,000 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The Department of Women’s Justice Services (DWJS) is an established department within the
Cook County Sheriff’s Office that emerged in response to the unique needs of the growing
number of women entering the Cook County jail system. The DWJS administers three
programs that focus on gender and culturally responsive treatment for the women in its
custody: the Gender Responsive Women’s Residential Program (WRP), the Sheriff’s Female
Furlough Program (SFFP), and the MOM’s Program. The WRP is a residential treatment
program that incorporates an integrated model of treatment in a modified therapeutic
community setting within the Cook County Jail. The SFFP is a day reporting program where
women report daily for case management and treatment services and return home at night
to care for their families. The MOM’s Program is a community-based program for pregnant
women and women with young children.
All programs incorporate an integrated model of treatment to cover substance abuse and
mental health treatment, physical health care, and supportive services. There are strict
eligibility criteria to participate in DWJS programs. Participants must be detained for a
nonviolent offense, have a bondable status, cannot be held on supervision violations, and
cannot have past escape attempts. At any given time, the DWJS can serve 120 women in the
WRP, 180 in SFFP, and 16 in the MOM’s Program.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
As part of the DWJS’s integrated model of treatment, women receive substance abuse and
mental health treatment, physical health care, and supportive services while in jail and
upon release. Substance abuse and mental health treatment are provided by independent
contracted vendors that meet DWJS requirements for gender and culturally responsive
treatment services. Through an externship program at two local universities, PhD candidates

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

fulfilling their last year of clinical service requirements with the DWJS provide mental
health case management services in jail and in the community. The jail-based health clinic
administers physical health care, and DWJS case managers work to connect participants to
a primary care physician in the community upon release.
Over the course of 3 years and with the help of several justice system consultants and
researchers, the DWJS developed a curriculum titled “Gender Responsiveness in the
Criminal Justice System” to educate staff on the complex issues of women’s lives and how
to work more effectively with women involved in the justice system. All corrections staff
working with women in the DWJS must complete this extensive training.

Transition Planning
Discharge planning begins as soon as women are admitted to DWJS programs. A
comprehensive screening process at intake allows the counselors and mental health team
to quickly identify immediate needs and plan their initial meeting with new participants. A
team of case managers, counselors, and mental health graduate students work with each
participant soon after intake to begin developing a service and discharge plan.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
There are two forms of community case management and follow-up for women in the
DWJS. Through a National Institute of Drug Addiction (NIDA) grant, participants with more
severe drug addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder are followed for up to one year
after release. In addition to community case management through the NIDA grant, women
are connected with a peer mentor through Women of Power Alumni Association, a group
of formerly incarcerated women who have successfully transitioned out of the DWJS. The
DWJS is able to pay for two peer coordinators, and with more than 300 members of Women
of Power, there is an extensive network of peer support available. Peer mentors work with
women for an unlimited amount of time until they are engaged in the alumni association.
The DWJS hopes to establish Women of Power as the official overseer of community
linkages for all women coming out of the Cook County jail system.
A partnership with Mt. Sinai Hospital allows the DWJS to refer women in the SFFP to
outpatient mental health services. After they are seen by a Mt. Sinai psychiatrist, individuals
are transitioned into weekly group and individual sessions that are conducted by a mental
health professional at Mt. Sinai. An integrated treatment plan is developed and shared with
DWJS and Mt. Sinai. The main goal of this partnership is to establish and maintain access to
community mental health services for women discharged from the DWJS.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The DWJS has focused on creative approaches to implementing the integrated model of
treatment on a very limited budget. The Department has formed partnerships with more than
100 community organizations that provide treatment and support services to DWJS clients
through their own budgets. In addition, PhD internship programs at two local universities
supply mental health staff for no cost as part of their clinical requirement. The Illinois
Department of Human Services was instrumental in connecting the DWJS with Mt. Sinai
Hospital in June 2006.

Examples from the Field

89

The DWJS also partners with other criminal justice system agencies, including the Adult
Probation Department. Women who are sentenced to probation are transitioned into
Probation’s Community Reentry Program to proceed with their treatment plan.

Outcomes
Overall, the DWJS reports a 17-percent recidivism rate for its participants. The MOM’s
program reports a 2-percent recidivism rate, and with the birth of 191 drug-free babies
to date, the program estimates saving the county $4.7 million in neonatal care for drugaddicted babies. Through pre- and post-program test scores, the Women’s Residential
Program has demonstrated its success through a 13-percent reduction in women
experiencing symptoms of depression and an 8-percent reduction in women experiencing
symptoms of trauma.

Contact Information
Terrie McDermott
Executive Director
Cook County Sheriff’s Office
Department of Women’s Justice Services
3026 South California Street
Chicago, IL 60608
Tel: 773–869–7731
E-mail: tmcderm@cookcountygov.com
Web site: www.cookcountysheriff.org/womensjustice/

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Drug Farm Program
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Substance abuse, employment
Funding Source
County Board of Commissioners
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 132/year
Jail System Information
Size: 2,700 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
One of Palm Beach County’s Sheriff’s Office Substance Abuse Awareness Programs (SAAPs),
the Drug Farm is a four-phase therapeutic community for men and women who receive
felony and misdemeanor sentences for low-level drug offenses. The Drug Farm offers a
holistic approach to treatment as well as strict military discipline. Phase I is a 30-day jailbased orientation phase. Phase II is spent in the jail-based therapeutic community where
participants receive intensive drug treatment. The jail-based component of the Drug Farm
is designed as a one-year program, but there is a short track designed to accommodate
those with shorter sentences. After graduating from Phase II, participants are released to
community supervision and spend about four months in a halfway house, Phase III, before
moving on to Phase IV, the final two-month outpatient phase.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
The first phase of the program is a 30-day eligibility screening process coupled with
drug education and orientation to prepare participants for Phase II’s intensive therapy
environment. Participants are transferred to the therapeutic community and begin Phase
II, which can last up to 12 months depending on the individual. While they are completing
their treatment, participants receive life skills classes on anger management, parenting,
and domestic violence. Participants also receive extensive employment services, including
job readiness and maintenance, interview training, fostering successful work attitudes, and
résumé development. All participants have a résumé in hand when they are released.

Transition Planning
During Phase II, an exit plan is developed for every participant that focuses on an aftercare
and treatment plan. This exit plan is given to Phase III staff when participants graduate from
Phase II and are released to a residential halfway house in the community.

Examples from the Field

91

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
During their four-month stay in a residential halfway house, participants work with their
therapist, life skills counselor, and probation officer to transition back into the community
while continuing their treatment. The final phase, Phase IV, is the aftercare component of
the program, during which participants are expected to attend Narcotics Anonymous and
Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and to take part in the activities of the Drug Farm alumni
association. During Phases III and IV, the Florida Department of Corrections’ Probation and
Parole Division supervises Drug Farm participants.

Partnerships and Collaboration
As part of SAAP, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Drug Farm program is a unique
collaborative effort between the Sheriff’s Office, State’s Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s
Office, the judiciary, Clerk’s Office, and the Florida Department of Corrections’ Probation
and Parole Division. The Sheriff’s Office contracts with the Drug Abuse Foundation of Palm
Beach County, which coordinates a consortium of community-based substance abuse
treatment providers that oversees the therapeutic component of the Drug Farm program.
Triage meetings that involve treatment and therapeutic staff, correctional staff, and probation
officers are held every week to share information and discuss concerns and progress.

Contact Information
David Gillert
Manager
Substance Abuse Awareness Program
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office
673 Fairgrounds Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33411–3633
Tel: 561–688–4952
E-mail: gillertd@pbso.org
Web site: www.pbso.org

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Dutchess County Jail Transition Program
Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Source
County
Population Served
Legal status: Pretrial and sentenced
Number served: 50 beds; 250/year
Jail System Information
Size: 340 ADP
Location: Small urban

Program Overview
The Dutchess County Jail Transition Program (DCJTP) was established in 1998 to reduce
recidivism and effect long-term public safety and community well-being. The DCJTP is an
intensive five-week program that focuses on the criminogenic risk factors and treatment
needs of county jail inmates and facilitates their successful return to the community. The
DCJTP operates in a social learning environment with prosocial correctional officers trained
in the tenets of direct supervision and individual needs-driven programming. All inmates
returning to the local community are eligible to participate in the transition program.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
The DCJTP is administered in a 50-bed direct supervision unit, separated from the general
population with specific rules and requirements. The program employs five correctional
program officers and two certified social workers as transition counselors who provide
transitional services in broad substantive areas. Because of short length of stays, no specific
cognitive curricula are followed. Rather, program officers and social workers use an array of
approaches based on their relationships with each participant created within a social learning
atmosphere to address criminogenic risk and criminal thinking.

Transition Planning
During the five-week period, correctional program officers and social work clinicians develop
individualized transition plans with each participant on the basis of assessments of their
cognitive and behavioral risks and needs. Program officers and clinicians build professional
relationships with each inmate to engage them in the development of a postrelease
arrangement that is best suited to them. A key part of the transition plan is providing
participants with contacts in the community while they are still incarcerated.

Examples from the Field

93

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
Correctional program officers make contact with graduates and family members at least
once a month for one year after release from jail. Follow-up consists primarily of phone calls
and some in-person contact during which transition counselors check on the progress of the
transition plan and determine if further assistance is needed. Many graduates voluntarily
return to the jail to meet with their transition counselor for counseling and guidance.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The Dutchess County Jail welcomes community agencies into the facility and provides
ongoing access to the jail management information system. The jail has close ties with
several community agencies, including the Mental Hygiene Department, an educational
training agency, and a one-stop community center. The jail also works closely with
the probation and parole department, which runs a community transition center in
Poughkeepsie.

Outcomes
The Dutchess County Jail places high priority on the use of evidence-based practice and
ongoing follow-up of people returning to the community after participating in the Transition
Program. All DCJTP participants agree to be tracked by correctional program officers for
one year after release. According to a study conducted within the Sheriff’s Office, during the
3-year period beginning November 1998 (initiation of the DCJTP) through November 2001,
the DCJTP strategy realized a 33-percent reduction in recidivism for the inmates who elected
to participate compared with a group of similar inmates who did not participate.

Contact Information
Gary Christensen
Correction Administrator
Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office
150 North Hamilton Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Tel: 845–486–3900
E-mail: gecrtc@aol.com
Web site: www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/Sheriff/JLindex.htm

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Faith Works! Aftercare Program
Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive, with a focus on employment
Funding Source
Local taxes
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 100/year
Jail System Information
Size: 6,800 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The Faith Works! Aftercare Program is a 12-month, 3-phase program in the Miami-Dade
County Department of Corrections (DOC) based on the idea that religious beliefs can effect
positive behavior change and empower an inmate to overcome obstacles and barriers that
may contribute to criminal behavior. Housed separately from the general population to
maintain program integrity, each participating inmate, or client, is assigned a faith mentor
and a case manager that act as liaisons to the community and church and who work to
leverage existing social and educational services in jail and in the community.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
During Phase I of the program, each client is assigned a case manager who is responsible
for assigning the faith mentor. The case manager begins to develop an intervention plan,
a time-sensitive, detailed description of the activities and responsibilities required of the
client to remain in the program. During Phase I, clients focus on the existing educational and
social services available in the DOC. Clients are expected to further their education, maintain
employment through a work detail, and attend substance abuse education classes, bible
study classes, weekly parenting classes, and weekly meetings with their faith mentors.

Transitional Planning
Phase II of the program focuses on preparing the inmate for release during the last 4–8
weeks of their sentence. In addition to making sure various survival needs are met (e.g.,
housing, employment, food, substance abuse treatment), key components of the preparation
phase include court-approved “church release,” work release, and family reunification.
Church release allows clients to attend their local house of worship each week with their

Examples from the Field

95

mentor and family. In addition to church release, clients will connect with their families
through a weekend retreat at the jail. If they are able to obtain a job, work release allows
clients to establish themselves in the workplace prior to release.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
Phase III begins when clients are released and continues for six months as clients work with
their mentor to reconnect to the community. Through Phase III, the DOC case manager relies
on the mentor to maintain updates on the client and offers informal support and guidance to
both the client and mentor.

Partnerships and Collaboration
Through its partnership with the South Florida Jail Ministries, the Faith Works! Aftercare
Program works with approximately 600 faith volunteers, 120 local houses of worship, the
Archdiocese of Miami, and the Aleph Institute, all of which donate a significant amount of
time and resources to meet the spiritual needs of those in jail. The DOC’s Chaplaincy Services
Bureau employs two chaplains to oversee a volunteer workforce.

Contact Information
Anthony Dawsey
Division Chief
Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department
2525 NW 62nd Street
Miami, FL 33147
Tel: 786–263–6190
E-mail: Adawsey@miamidade.gov

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Frequent User Services Enhancement
Corporation for Supportive Housing
New York City Department of Homeless Services
New York City Department of Correction
Agency Type: Private community-based organization, government service agency, jail
Programmatic Focus: Housing
Funding Sources
JEHT Foundation
New York City Housing Authority
New York City Department of Homeless Services
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
New York State Office of Mental Health
Population Served
Legal status: Pretrial, sentenced, and released from custody
Number served: 81 placed as of 3/25/07, total target of 100 placements by 5/31/07
Jail System Information
Size: 13,000+ ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
As part of their ongoing collaboration to improve discharge planning among inmates at the
city jail, the New York City Department of Correction (DOC) and Department of Homeless
Services (DHS) conducted a data match that identified more than 1,000 individuals who
repeatedly cycle in and out of the city’s jail and shelter systems. The New York City Frequent
Users of Jail and Shelter Initiative was conceived in 2004 as the Corporation for Supportive
Housing (CSH) worked with the DOC and the DHS to identify those who, at a minimum, have
had four shelter and four jail admissions over the past five years. During 2005, the CSH and
the city agencies designed and implemented a supportive housing demonstration of 100
units, leveraging existing housing and service opportunities including 50 Section 8 vouchers
from the New York Housing Authority targeted toward frequent users with a substance abuse
diagnosis, 50 vacancies in the New York/New York city-state initiative and other supportive
housing projects targeted toward frequent users with serious and persistent mental illness
or substance abuse diagnosis, and 9 nonprofit organizations who agreed to provide housing
and support to frequent users. The JEHT foundation has awarded an additional $650,000 to
create the Frequent User Services Enhancement (FUSE) fund to provide a high intensity of
services and supports in supportive housing settings to 100 individuals during their first year
of tenancy. After this first year, service intensity reduces to a level more typical of supportive
housing settings.

Examples from the Field

97

Key Program Elements
The DOC and the DHS conduct regular data matches to identify eligible individuals and
distribute an updated list to the nine nonprofit agencies each month. The nonprofit agencies
engage and recruit eligible individuals and assess their service needs, clinical and substance
use history, housing preferences, and motivation. Upon placement into housing, primarily
through sponsor-based leases, individuals will work with case managers to develop a social
services plan, which will include the number of case management sessions each week, the
various counseling and group sessions in which the individual will participate, and additional
services to be provided. The service enhancement funds are provided for the first 12 months
after each individual is placed into housing, during which the individuals will be stabilized,
assisted with building living skills and avoiding institutional involvement, and eventually
transitioned to a more typical level of service supports.
While each provider has a slightly different approach to delivering this enhanced level of
services, they all share several features: (a) proactive and assertive in-reach into shelters and
jails to recruit potential clients; (b) case management staff with smaller caseloads than are
typical of supportive housing case managers; (c) more deliberate clinical supervision and
the use of a team approach to service delivery; (d) aggressive advocacy and coordination
of benefits and entitlements; (e) a focus on activities of daily living, psychoeducation,
socialization, and recreational activities as alternatives to substance use and other high-risk
behaviors; and (f) the availability of 24-hour crisis intervention.

Partnerships and Collaboration
FUSE is an initiative that emerged as a result of ongoing interagency work group meetings
within the New York City Discharge Planning Collaboration. The initiative involves constant
and formal information sharing, coordination, program monitoring, and troubleshooting
among the DOC, DHS, CSH, and participating supportive housing providers.

Outcomes
The John Jay College of Criminal Justice is currently evaluating FUSE. According to
preliminary findings, of the 73 FUSE clients in the evaluation sample as of January 31, 2007,
92 percent of people placed through the initiative have remained housed. In addition, all
clients in the sample have avoided shelter use after housing placement, and 85 percent have
avoided returning to jail.

Contact Information
Richard Cho
Associate Director
Corporation for Supportive Housing
50 Broadway, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Tel: 212–986–2966 ext. 249
E-mail: richard.cho@csh.org
Web site: www.csh.org

98

Ryan Moser
Corporation for Supportive Housing
50 Broadway, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Tel: 212–986–2966 ext. 248
E-mail: ryan.moser@csh.org

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Fresh Start
The Osborne Association
Agency Type: Private community-based organization
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive, with a focus on substance abuse and employment
Funding Sources
State and city funding
Private foundations
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 100/year
Jail System Information
Size: 13,000+ ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The Fresh Start program was established in 1989 as a unique public-private partnership, and
in 1997 it became part of The Osborne Association, a nonprofit organization that provides
a broad range of treatment, educational, and vocational services to people involved in
the criminal justice system. Fresh Start provides comprehensive vocational, educational,
and life-skills services to men incarcerated at Rikers Island as well as aftercare assistance,
referrals, and counseling in the community. Through 3 10-week class cycles a year, inmates
have the opportunity to obtain professional licenses and certificates in culinary arts and
computer literacy.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
Nearly 125 inmates sign up for each 10-week cycle, and each is individually interviewed
by Fresh Start staff to determine readiness for change, interests, and eligibility. Upon
acceptance into the program, participants choose from two vocational tracks: culinary arts
and computer literacy. In addition to this vocational training, Fresh Start offers workshops,
groups, and individual counseling on issues such as relapse prevention, anger management,
personal relationships, budgeting, problem solving and goal setting; career counseling and
job development; and general equivalency diploma (GED) preparation, testing, and college
admissions assistance upon release.

Transition Planning
Upon graduation from the program, each participant receives a comprehensive discharge
plan that identifies personal, career, and economic needs and community resources to help

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meet those needs. On the day of release, participants are picked up at the jail by an Osborne
Association van that takes them to meet with the Fresh Start case manager they had during
incarceration.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
For the first six months after release, Fresh Start case managers provide weekly outreach
through phone calls, face-to-face meetings, and home visits. Ongoing community case
management is available for as long as necessary, and contact with Fresh Start staff is
encouraged for up to one year after release. Personalized aftercare assistance includes
coaching, job development, and housing referrals. As a multiservice agency, the Osborne
Association can meet most of the participants’ needs through their existing programs,
including substance abuse treatment, employment placement, and risk reduction and
HIV/AIDS services.

Partnerships and Collaboration
Fresh Start has established a solid working relationship with the Rikers Island jail that allows
the program to operate. The Osborne Association partners with several other communitybased agencies that can provide the postrelease services that they do not offer. The City
University of New York’s Catch Program provides admissions and financial aid application
assistance, and organizations such as Family Residence and Greenwich House provide
transitional housing and outpatient relapse prevention services.

Outcomes
According to the program, of the 50 program graduates who have been released over a
1-year period between 2005 and 2006, less than 10 percent have been reincarcerated. About
65 percent are working, in treatment, or attending college or vocational training, and 70
percent are in contact with program staff.

Contact Information
Jennifer Wynn
Director
Fresh Start
The Osborne Association
36-31 38th Street
Long Island City, NY 11101
Tel: 718–546–5825
E-mail: jwynn@osborneny.org
Web site: www.osborneny.org/fresh_start.htm

100

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Habitual Misdemeanor Offender Program
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
Agency Type: Jail, community corrections
Programmatic Focus: Substance abuse
Funding Source
City of Jacksonville
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 108 in 2006
Jail System Information
Size: 3,600 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
Under the Habitual Misdemeanor Offender (HMO) law in Florida, individuals who have
committed four or more misdemeanors within one year of their current offense are classified
as a habitual misdemeanor offender and can be sentenced from six months to one year
in a jail-based substance abuse treatment (SAT) program. In an effort to reduce recidivism
through service provision, treatment, and aftercare, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office actively
tracks individuals eligible for HMO status who continue to cycle in and out of the jail and
places them in the SAT program. The SAT program operates out of the Sheriff’s Office
Community Corrections Center by a private substance abuse treatment provider under
contract to the City of Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Department of Corrections is currently
in the process of expanding the reentry efforts in Jacksonville. A reentry coordinator has
been hired to focus on extensive needs assessment, discharge planning, and identification of
appropriate services after release.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
Jacksonville’s Corrections Management Information System database produces a daily
report of all arrestees who, if convicted, will qualify as habitual misdemeanor offenders.
A Jacksonville corrections officer assigned to the Pre-Trial Services Unit of the Jails
Division is responsible for identifying these individuals. The officer must also determine
if the individuals have mental health issues that would qualify them for the mental health
diversion process. If individuals are identified as an HMO by the presiding judge, state
attorney, and public defender, they may be sentenced to the in-jail SAT program.

Examples from the Field

101

Transition Planning
Individuals in the SAT program are able to participate in a discharge planning phase during
which they can request assistance in specific areas, such as transportation, clothing for work,
housing, mental and physical health services, and literacy.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
Once individuals successfully complete the in-jail treatment program, they receive 12
months of aftercare in the community that provides the support mechanisms necessary to
maintain recovery.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The City of Jacksonville has a contractual agreement with a local community substance
abuse treatment provider to run the SAT program in jail. The SAT program involves
collaboration with the courts, district attorney, and public defender.

Outcomes
According to a Sheriff’s Office HMO report, individuals sentenced as HMOs have a 23-percent
lower recidivism rate than individuals meeting the criteria to be sentenced as HMOs but
are not. Since August 2004 when the first individual was sentenced as an HMO, these HMO
sentenced individuals have recidivated at a rate of 30 percent. Individuals who met the HMO
criteria but were not in the program recidivated at a rate of 53 percent.

Contact Information
Gordon Bass, Jr.
Director
Department of Corrections
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
501 E. Bay Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Tel: 904–630–5847
E-mail: Gordon.BassJr@jaxsheriff.org

102

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Inmate Re-entry Program
Orange County Corrections Department
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive, with a focus on substance abuse and mental health
Funding Source
General revenue
Population Served
Legal status: Pretrial and sentenced
Jail System Information
Size: 3,000–4,000 ADP; 2006: 4,044
Location: Urban

Program Overview
Since 2003, Orange County Corrections has been providing reentry services through the
Pre-release Program, a substance abuse program run by the community treatment provider
Specialized Treatment, Education, and Prevention, Inc. (STEPS). In October 2006, Orange
County Corrections significantly expanded prerelease services into what is now known as
reentry services by awarding the Inmate Re-entry Program contract to STEPS. The contract
consists of 16 case managers and 2 mental health specialists who provide reentry services
to the sentenced inmate population. Case managers assess the transitional needs of
both inmates and family members and coordinate with community providers to facilitate
community-based services.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
The Inmate Re-entry Program provides services for sentenced inmates with 45–60 days
remaining on their sentence. The Inmate Re-entry Program consists of two separate program
components: the Basic Needs Program and the Dually Diagnosed Program. The Basic Needs
Program serves the general inmate population identified as having a need for reentry
services. Inmates participate in a variety of motivational education classes to address those
circumstances or behaviors that led them to incarceration. The Dually Diagnosed Program
motivates and educates inmates diagnosed with both mental health and substance abuse
issues on the concepts and principals of recovery. This motivational environment engages
the individual in a process to initiate positive behavioral change. The individual is assisted in
transitioning to the community with newly developed skills and community-based referrals.
Upon admission to the Inmate Re-entry Program, case mangers perform an in-depth holistic
assessment, which includes feedback from the inmate’s family. Utilizing the information from
the assessment process, an individualized transition plan is developed. The plan is subject to
change as the needs of the inmate or family change. Inmates participate in a six-week living

Examples from the Field

103

program to improve their behaviors, attitudes, motivation, independence, and the ability to
succeed in the community while maintaining a crime-free lifestyle.

Transition Planning
The main goal of the Inmate Re-entry Program is to create partnerships with communitybased agencies to develop transitional services for inmates. Case managers work with
inmates and community providers to develop a comprehensive transitional plan to create a
seamless return to the community. Community providers are invited into the jail to interview
inmates and expedite the process of securing services for inmates and their family members.
The case managers contact the appropriate community providers to coordinate service
delivery and transportation upon release.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
STEPS case managers are responsible for meeting with community providers each month
to discuss service delivery and further develop and refine the cooperative relationships.
As discussed above, case managers coordinate with community providers to ensure that
reentry services are in place upon release. Case managers track program participants’
progress for a six-month period after release to monitor their length of treatment, work
history, social service needs, and other life issues. Case managers are responsible for
reporting this information to the Corrections Department after each six-week program cycle.

Partnerships and Collaboration
Through their formal contract for the Inmate Re-entry Program, Orange County Corrections
and STEPS have outlined responsibilities for maintaining open communication between
corrections staff and STEPS staff.This communication is maintained through attendance
at regular Corrections Department meetings and daily staff interaction. The Corrections
Department is expanding partnerships with local community agencies by developing
a formal, comprehensive transitional services network for the Orange County inmate
population.

Contact Information
Dennis White
Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator
Orange County Corrections Department
Inmate Programs and Support Services
P.O. Box 4970
Orlando, FL 32802–4970
Tel: 407–836–3691
E-mail: Dennis.White@ocfl.net

104

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Inmate Rehabilitation Through Occupational and Academic
Development Systems
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Employment
Funding Source
Inmate Welfare Fund
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 6,000/year
Jail System Information
Size: 5,727 ADP
Location: Urban, suburban, and rural

Program Overview
The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department established the Inmate Rehabilitation Through
Occupational and Academic Development Systems (INROADS) program in 1997, with a Life
Skills Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, to reduce recidivism by providing viable
and resourceful programs and services to inmates. Currently funded by the Inmate Welfare
Fund and operating in the Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center, INROADS seeks to provide
opportunities for individuals to develop an improved sense of well-being and better quality
of life upon release.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
The INROADS program offers a wide variety of academic, vocational, life skills, and
crisis intervention programs to all sentenced inmates in the jail. Instructors with the San
Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools teach vocational courses, which include
training in auto body repair, culinary arts, custodial occupations, landscape maintenance
and design, desktop publishing, and clerical work. Instructors in the Chaffey Joint Union
High School District teach academic and crisis intervention courses. Both school districts use
average daily attendance funding from the State of California to provide the instructors for
INROADS. The San Bernardino County Workforce Development Department (WDD) provides
two employment services specialists to work in the jail to facilitate prerelease classes,
organize annual job fairs, assist inmates with obtaining driver’s licenses and Social Security
cards, assist with child support issues, and provide community case management after
release.

Examples from the Field

105

Transition Planning
A team of social workers, employment services specialists, and substance abuse counselors
begin working with inmates on a discharge plan from the moment they enter jail. The
employment services specialist meets with each inmate individually before and immediately
after release.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
An employment services specialist provides community case management services for up
to one year after release. The employment specialist is housed at the jail but works at each
of the WDD centers throughout the county to assist in finding employment.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The INROADS program relies on partnerships with county school districts and the Workforce
Development Department to maintain the core of their program. The INROADS program is
also engaged in several informal partnerships with the San Bernardino County Drug Courts,
Public Health Department, Children’s Fund, Department of Motor Vehicles, and Veterans
Administration.

Outcomes
According to the Sheriff’s Department, the recidivism rate of inmates who complete
INROADS is 40 percent.

Contact Information
Miriam J. Gomez
Programs Coordinator
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department
Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center
P.O. Box 9490
San Bernardino, CA 92327
Tel: 909–473–2577
E-mail: mjgomez@sbcsd.org

106

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Jackson County Transition Program

Jackson County Community Justice

Agency Type: Community corrections
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive, with a focus on employment and housing
Funding Sources
Community Corrections Act Funds
Various federal grants and contracts
Community contracts
Resident maintenance fees
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 136 men; 20 women
Jail System Information
Size: 250–300 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The Jackson County Transition Program is a residential program designed to be a subsidy
housing placement or to provide participants with services to voluntarily meet compliance
with court orders and parole and probation supervision. Operated by Jackson County
Community Justice in partnership with the Sheriff’s Department, the Transition Program
was developed in one of the county’s old jails out of response to issues of crowding.
The Transition Program incorporates motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral
interventions to help participants reduce factors that contribute to criminal behavior. The
Transition Program consists of three components: work restitution, work release, and
work release/transition, which are each designed to address the specific risks and needs of
participants as determined by comprehensive assessments.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
The program uses a matrix system to screen participants and determine appropriate
placement in the program. After initial assessment upon entering the program, each
participant meets with a case manager, referred to as a community justice officer (CJO), to
develop a case plan that determines measurable goals to meet the participant’s needs while
in the program. Participants in all 3 program components are expected to be involved in
restitution to the community, employment, financial management, cognitive restructuring,
drug and alcohol treatment, positive peer association, and prosocial behavior development
activities for at least 40 hours per week. While they are working or completing programs,
participants meet at least weekly with their CJOs to assess progress and make appropriate
modifications to their case plans.

Examples from the Field

107

The work restitution segment of the program is the most restrictive and is reserved for
those individuals at high risk of reoffending. Participants are involved exclusively in work
crews. With staff discretion, they may take part in limited job search programs, and if
they obtain employment, they may be able to move to the work release segment of the
program. Participants in the work release segment concentrate on obtaining and maintaining
employment in the community. Work release/transition is the least restrictive segment of the
program, reserved for those who have made certain progress in the work release segment
or those who are placed in the program for a period of transition from jail to the community.
Those in work release/transition are also responsible for assisting others who are starting
out in the program. In each of these segments, participants can earn privileges as they
demonstrate progress in their goals and consistent, responsible behavior.

Transition Planning
Before release, participants review their case plan with their CJOs and probation officers (if
applicable) and develop specific release plans.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
Community case management and follow-up services are provided by probation and parole
officers for a period determined by the supervising authority. Treatment groups in the facility
continue in the community to facilitate a seamless integration upon release.

Partnerships and Collaboration
Formal partnerships exist between the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon Department
of Justice, U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons, City of Medford Municipal Court, Jackson County
Health and Human Services, and two large alcohol and drug treatment agencies.

Outcomes
Michigan State University is currently evaluating the Jackson County Transition Program. The
evaluation will measure short- and long-term outcomes.

Contact Information
Shane Hagey
Director
Jackson County Community Justice
1101 W. Main Street, Suite 101
Medford, OR 97501
Tel: 541–774–4901
E-mail: HageySL@jacksoncounty.org
Web site: www.co.jackson.or.us/SectionIndex.asp?SectionID=9

108

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Jail-Based Assessment and Treatment Project
Iowa Department of Public Health
Agency Type: Government service agency
Programmatic Focus: Substance abuse
Funding Source
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced

Number served: 400+/year (all 3 counties)

Jail System Information
Size: Polk County, 1,000 ADP; Scott County, 250 ADP; Woodbury County, 247 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The Jail-Based Assessment and Treatment Project is active in three Iowa counties (Polk, Scott,
and Woodbury) and focuses on the treatment of substance abuse and criminal thinking.
Participants are admitted to the project and begin treatment while in jail. Clients take part
in substance abuse and criminal thinking treatment, individual and group therapy sessions,
support groups, educational classes, and discharge plan development. The program
continues in the community with an outpatient component followed by aftercare. The same
case manager who works with participants in jail follows them in the community during their
outpatient and aftercare phases.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
The district attorney, public defender, and probation/parole officer refer potential project
participants to the jail assessment team. The in-jail portion of the project lasts from 45 days
to 4 months, during which participants concentrate on their substance abuse treatment
and criminal thinking simultaneously. Each participant has a case manager and a treatment
counselor.

Transition Planning
Case managers and treatment counselors begin developing a discharge plan in jail once the
participant enters the program.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
Program participants are released to community outpatient treatment for 6–9 months for
them to continue their criminal thinking and substance abuse treatment in individual and

Examples from the Field

109

group therapy sessions. Following outpatient treatment, participants enter the aftercare
stage. Aftercare consists of a peer support group once a week. A team that usually includes
a case manager, counselor, and probation officer works with program participants in
the community for up to one year after release and assists them with educational and
employment services and staying engaged in their treatment. Participants have the same
case manager in the community that they had in jail.

Partnerships and Collaboration
Each county contracts with a private treatment agency to provide assessments and
treatment in jail and in the community. Project stakeholders include public health staff,
judges, probation officers, county sheriffs, risk assessment officers, public defenders, district
attorneys, treatment staff, and staff from the local mental health centers. These stakeholders
keep close contact with one another to maintain communication, voice concerns, and
discuss various problems such as waiting lists and referrals.

Outcomes
The Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse Research and Evaluation located at the University
of Iowa conducts ongoing evaluations of the Jail-Based Assessment and Treatment Project
to determine the effectiveness of treatment services. The most recent report covers the
period from November 2002 through December 2006. The study measures outcomes
along 3 variables—abstinence, rearrest, and employment—with follow-up interviews 6
and 12 months after admission to the project. (In Woodbury and Scott Counties, the typical
participant will have been out of jail for about four months when the six-month interview
is conducted. The typical Polk County participant will have been out of jail for about two
months.) Six months after admission to the project, 77 percent of clients had abstained
from drug use, 93 percent had not been rearrested, and more than half (52 percent) were
employed full time, compared with 31 percent who were employed just before entering
the program. Twelve months after admission, 69 percent had abstained from drug use, 84
percent had avoided arrest, and 56 percent were employed full time. At the 12-month mark,
81 percent of those who were successfully discharged from the project were abstinent from
drugs, 92 percent had not been rearrested, and 68 percent were working full time.

Contact Information
Tom Newton
Jail-Based Assessment and Treatment Project Director
Interim Deputy Director
Iowa Department of Public Health
Lucas Building
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319–0075
Tel: 515–281–5099
E-mail: tnewton@idph.state.ia.us
Web site: www.idph.state.ia.us

110

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Jail Transition Services
Snohomish County Department of Corrections
Snohomish County Human Services Department
Agency Type: Jail, government service agency
Programmatic Focus: Mental health
Funding Sources
Existing resources from operating budget
Washington State Legislature mental health budget
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 400/year
Jail System Information
Size: 1,219 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
In 2004, the Snohomish County Department of Corrections and the Snohomish County
Human Services Department (HSD) established a formal agreement to better serve the
people incarcerated in the Snohomish County jail system, especially high users of care.
Through this collaboration, both agencies have committed to providing a comprehensive
system of jail-based services and programs with connections to the community. The most
developed initiative under the collaboration is the Jail Transition Services (JTS) program that
targets inmates with mental illness. JTS seeks to avoid duplication of services by performing
daily cross-checks of jail bookings with the regional mental health system’s database to
identify inmates with mental health histories who are also under the care of the public
mental health system.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
At intake, individuals go through the mental health intake assessment process, the
guidelines and procedures of which were developed with assistance from the county mental
health system. During custody, mental health care is provided by the jail mental health unit,
consisting of six mental health professionals. If applicable, jail mental health staff are notified
of an inmate’s history with the public mental health system to facilitate continuity of care.

Transition Planning
The HSD service broker/resource manager develops individualized service plans for each
client. Before the client’s release from jail, the HSD service brokers/resource managers

Examples from the Field

111

who have been working with clients during their jail stays will make referrals to agencies
in the community who provide transitional services upon release. Whenever possible, the
case managers from the provider agencies meet with the client to establish rapport prior
to release from jail. The HSD also has an office within the jail to help clients compile the
necessary documentation to determine eligibility and apply for benefits upon release.
The service broker/resource manager is employed by the HSD to keep the planning and
authorization of services separate from their delivery.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
Transitional services continue for up to 90 days after release or until Medicaid benefits
are enacted. The service broker/resource manager authorizes the purchase of transitional
services from several community-based providers in accordance with a client’s service plan.
The service broker/resource manager follows up with clients and community providers to
review the status of the service plans.

Partnerships and Collaboration
In developing the Jail Services Program Plan, the Snohomish County Human Services
Department sought input from a wide variety of community and justice system stakeholders.
Members of the collaboration meet monthly to discuss the successes and challenges of the
initiative and to continue thinking of ways to serve the correctional population and engage
the community. HSD and County Corrections have also worked together with the Washington
state legislature to draft legislation that would suspend rather than terminate benefits for
certain jail inmates.

Outcomes
The JTS program began serving clients in May 2006. By the end of the year, the program
served 405 unduplicated clients. All clients had a primary diagnosis of a major mental illness.
The most common diagnoses were bipolar disorder (28 percent), depression/mood disorder
(22 percent), schizophrenia (17 percent), and psychosis (15 percent). Nearly 68 percent of
the clients in 2006 had a current or past history with the public mental health system at the
time of jail booking. Although the project is too new to fully assess progress in reducing
recidivism, jail staff have noticed a decrease in the admissions of clients they have frequently
seen in jail in the past. In the short time the program has been in place, 8 percent of clients
served had subsequent bookings into the jail.

Contact Information
Nikki Behner
Health Service Administrator
Snohomish County Corrections
3025 Oakes Avenue
Everett, WA 98201
Tel: 425–388–3821
E-mail: nikki.behner@co.snohomish.wa.us
Web site: www1.co.snohomish.wa.us/
departments/corrections

112

Jill Dace
Human Services Community Mental Health
Snohomish County Human Services
3000 Rockefeller Avenue-Admin E
Everett, WA 98201
E-mail: Jill.dace@co.snohomish.wa.us
Web site: www1.co.snohomish.wa.us/
Departments/Human_Services/Divisions/
CmtyMental/

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

New York City Discharge Planning Collaboration
New York City Department of Correction
New York City Department of Homeless Services
Agency Type: Jail, government service agency
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Sources
In-kind contributions from New York City Department of Correction, New York City
Department of Homeless Services, other city agencies, and partner organizations
Staff support from New York City Department of Correction and New York City Department of
Homeless Services
New York City Tax Levy Funds, City Council support, grants, foundation support
Population Served
Legal status: Primarily sentenced, some pretrial
Number served: 3,000/year
Jail System Information
Size: 13,500 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The New York City Discharge Planning Collaboration brings together the aggregate
knowledge, interests, and energy of multiple local government agencies, nonprofit service
providers, advocates, researchers, and foundations to reduce recidivism and homelessness
for people in New York City’s jails and shelters. The collaboration involves more than 60
organizations and approximately 100 representatives covering all aspects of reentry and
focused on shared problem solving to produce better outcomes. The Rikers Island Discharge
Planning Enhancement Program (RIDE) is the operational arm of the collaboration within the
New York City jails. However, several additional formal initiatives and direct service programs
have emerged through the Collaboration’s various work groups. Work groups presently
include Housing, Employment, Continuity of Benefits, Frequent Users of Jail and Shelter,
Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Diversion and the “Big Picture” Group. Four formal initiatives
currently operating as a result of the work groups within the collaboration are the Frequent
User Services Enhancement (FUSE), Day Custody Program, the development of a discharge
planning database, and the operation of RIDE Support Centers located within the jail where
various agencies can process benefits applications to be activated upon release.
The Collaboration’s efforts have also resulted in many systemic and process-oriented
changes, including improved process for obtaining identification documents, increased
accessibility for service providers to Rikers Island to help provide social services, and a
system to check warrants for those with a scheduled release date and possibly resolve the
warrant before release so that community-based plans can be implemented. The New York
City Discharge Planning Collaboration attempts to serve all of those who pass through
the jail system in need of reentry programming and planning to minimize the chances of
reincarceration or homelessness.

Examples from the Field

113

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
Reentry services begin in jail through comprehensive case management and focus on
employment, housing, family reunification, and addiction treatment. Community service
providers working with jail staff provide all jail-based services.

Transition Planning
The primary focus of the collaboration is discharge planning and connection to aftercare
services and resources. The Collaboration has initiated several services that address potential
issues that arise immediately following release, such as access to benefits and services in the
community. In addition to the RIDE Support Centers, another transitional service developed
out of a Collaboration work group is the 311 jail release services hotline. Anyone leaving jail
can call 311, say “jail release services,” and be connected to a service provider for reentry
assistance.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
The same service provider works with an inmate in jail, transports him or her to jail services
on the day of release, and continues to work with that inmate in the community for 90 days
after release, providing case management, crisis intervention, and referrals. Community
case management is paid for through performance-based contracts that require continued
engagement during the 90-day period.

Partnerships and Collaboration
To maintain an ongoing review of policies and practices among all agencies involved,
collaborative partners meet twice a year in large retreat-type settings to share successes and
problems. Smaller work groups have emerged within the overall collaboration, and these
work groups communicate on a more regular basis through e-mail announcements and the
Reentry.net web site developed by the Bronx Defenders, a collaborative partner. Since May
2005, collaborative partners have attracted more than $8 million in new funding for this
work.

Contact Information
Kathleen Coughlin
Deputy Commissioner
New York City Department of Correction
Tel: 212–266–1420
E-mail: kathleen.coughlin@doc.nyc.gov

114

George Nashak
Acting Deputy Commissioner
New York City Department of Homeless
Services
Tel: 212–361–0617
E-mail: gnashak@dhs.nyc.gov

Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Offender Re-entry Program
Bunker Hill Community College
Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department
Agency Type: Jail, private community-based organization
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive, with a focus on employment
Funding Sources
FY 2001–2004: U.S. Department of Education
FY 2005–present: Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department
Population
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 240/year
Jail System Information
Size: 2,500+ ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The Offender Re-entry Program (ORP) is an eight-week program run by Bunker Hill
Community College for inmates in the Suffolk County House of Correction nearing their
release. The program provides courses in writing, life skills, employment readiness, and case
management services.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
While in jail, participants are enrolled in an eight-week program that includes intensive
academic, employment, and life-skills classes coupled with individual case management.
The academic component of the program includes a writing workshop in which students
are taught the writing process through fiction and nonfiction exercises, and a computer
workshop during which participants learn basic and intermediate Microsoft applications.

Transition Planning
Throughout the eight-week program, participants are continuously working on their
postrelease plans. At the conclusion of the course, they must present a portfolio of their
primary work in addition to a detailed discharge plan that includes goals for employment,
education, and housing. Participants present their portfolio and discharge plan in front of a
panel of evaluators.

Examples from the Field

115

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
Upon release, graduates of the program receive ongoing follow-up services from the case
managers they worked with in jail. Case managers contact program graduates on a regular
and frequent basis to provide general support as well as referrals to educational, housing,
and counseling resources. Graduates also receive monthly passes to Boston’s subway
system (“T passes”), purchased through the program’s budget, for up to six months as well
as clothes for interviews.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The Suffolk County Offender Re-entry Program is a formal partnership between the Suffolk
County Sheriff’s Department and Bunker Hill Community College.

Outcomes
ORP was evaluated in 2003 by researchers at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of
Government. The evaluation found that people who had graduated from the ORP had a
13-percent lower recidivism rate than a control group who had not participated in the ORP.
In addition, the evaluation found that the longer the graduate stayed in the community, the
less likely he or she was to return to prison. The evaluation is available at www.epinet.org/
workingpapers/WP125.pdf.

Contact Information
Kamilah Drummond
Director
Offender Re-entry Program
Academic Support and College Pathway Programs
Bunker Hill Community College
250 New Rutherford Avenue
Charlestown, MA 02129
Tel: 617–635–1000 ext. 2149
E-mail: kdrummond@scsdma.org
Web site: www.bhcc.mass.edu/inside/618

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Offender Reentry Program
Virginia Department of Corrections and Local Jails
Agency Type: Jail (and state Department of Corrections)
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Source
The Virginia Department of Corrections
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 160/year per jail
Jail System Information
Size: Various
Location: Urban and rural

Program Overview
Under a partnership between the Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) and local
jails, state inmates nearing the end of their sentences are returned to the local jail in the
community closest to their home community. Through its three phases, the program
is designed to provide jail-based programming, reestablish relationships with family
and community ties, and connect individuals with various programs and services in the
community. Within this three-phase framework, each jail has the flexibility to implement the
program according to its unique needs and circumstances. In return for the inmates they
accept from the DOC, jails are able to expedite the process of transferring inmates awaiting
placement in a state prison. The local corrections departments also benefit from more
community resources in their jails. Currently, 15 local jails are involved in the partnership,
and extensive efforts are under way to expand the program to the entire state.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
A DOC transition coordinator is onsite in every participating jail to oversee the
implementation of the program and act as the liaison between the DOC, jail, local probation
and parole, and other community resources. The transition coordinator is responsible for
connecting inmates with community resources and recruiting community involvement in the
jail and with inmates after release.
Phases I and II are the jail-based components of the program. Phase I is a 45-day program
during which inmates participate in daily workshops on life skills, employability, money
management, conflict resolution, anger management, substance abuse, and healthy living.
Outside resources are brought into the jail to assist with programming, resource referral,
and obtaining vital identification materials. All state prisoners returning to a community with

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a partnering jail are eligible and required to participate in Phase I. Phase II is a work release
program lasting 45 days to 8 months. Only inmates charged with a nonviolent offense who
have completed Phase I are eligible to participate in Phase II.

Transition Planning
The DOC transition coordinator is responsible for networking within the local community to
locate appropriate resources and contact family before a participant’s release.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
Phase III of the Offender Reentry Program is a 45-day postrelease component, during which
participants receive continued assistance in the community and referrals to employment
networking opportunities, housing prospects, peer support groups, and other services
related to community adjustment.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The Offender Reentry Program is based on a state-local partnership that benefits both the
Virginia Department of Corrections and participating local jails. Each participating jail has
close partnerships with local probation and parole departments and various local community
agencies. Community supervision officers work very closely with the jail transition
coordinators. Community agencies involved in the partnership include, among several
others, Department of Social Services, Virginia Employment Commission, Department of
Motor Vehicles, Department of Social Security, Capital Area Workforce Consortium, Planned
Parenthood, Fatherhood Initiative, Tidewater Building Associates, and the Salvation Army.

Outcomes
According to a 2006 preliminary evaluation conducted in-house by the Research, Evaluation
and Forecasting Unit of the Virginia DOC, the Offender Reentry Program resulted in a DOC
recommitment rate of 14 percent compared to the DOC’s overall 29-percent recommitment
rate. Further, 35 percent of these recidivists returned to a Virginia prison because of technical
violations of their probation or parole. It is important to note that the Offender Reentry
Program evaluation tracked released prisoners for 12–18 months after program graduation,
whereas the DOC’s recidivism rate is based on a 3-year postrelease period.

Contact Information
Charlene Motley
Statewide Transition Program Manager
6900 Atmore Drive
Richmond, VA 23225
Tel: 804–674–3131 ext. 1505
E-mail: Charlene.Motley@vadoc.virginia.gov
Web site: www.vadoc.state.va.us

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Power Inside
Baltimore, Maryland
Agency Type: Private community-based organization
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Sources
Baltimore City Health Department, Homeless Services
Baltimore Community Foundation
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Abell Foundation
Open Society Institute
Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office
Population Served
Legal status: Pretrial, sentenced, and released from jail
Number served: 300/year
Jail System Information
Size: 4,000–5,000 ADP (men’s facility); 500–700 ADP (women’s facility)
Location: Urban

Program Overview
Power Inside (PI) is a program of Fusion Partnerships, Inc., that serves women who have
been previously or are currently incarcerated in the Baltimore City Detention Center. This
grassroots program seeks to prevent incarceration among women and families by providing
direct client services, leadership development, public education, and advocacy. PI staff
and volunteers provide support groups in jail and in the community, conduct individual
assessments, help develop case plans, and assist with family reunification.

Key Program Elements
Transition Planning
Every week, a PI social worker interviews women in the Baltimore City Detention Center
to assess their needs and develop a case plan for safe and stable housing arrangements,
transportation, and other crisis interventions immediately after release. PI runs support
groups in jail twice a week to discuss barriers to reentry and plans to overcome those
barriers. PI staff and volunteers also work extensively with the families of incarcerated
women to engage them in reunification, forgiveness, recovery, and support.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
PI provides community support, referrals, and follow-up for as long as an individual needs.
Upon release, PI arranges for transportation to housing and available support services

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in the community. PI case managers and outreach workers conduct home visits to help
women resolve any problems or crises they may be experiencing in their adjustment to
the community, such as family conflicts or homelessness. PI connects women to their
community-based office where they offer weekly support groups, general equivalency
diploma (GED) and literacy tutoring, and a drop-in program four afternoons a week where
women can come for toiletries, clothing, bus tokens, books, and other daily life items. PI has
also developed a street outreach initiative where staff walk around the community, especially
areas with high levels of prostitution, offering women resources and referrals.

Partnerships and Collaboration
PI has worked in partnership with the Baltimore City Detention Center since 2001. PI plays an
integral role in Baltimore’s Reentry and Reintegration Steering Committee, a newly formed
Jail Reentry Subcommittee in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office and the Division of Pretrial
Detention and Services, to coordinate discharge planning and reentry services citywide. PI
also has working relationships with the Division of Parole and Probation, the Office of the
Public Defender, and community service providers.

Outcomes
According to a recent evaluation funded by the Abell Foundation, clients that used PI day
shelter services more than five times per year showed significantly higher levels of access to
necessary services such as food, clothing, referrals, and advocacy than individuals who used
the shelter services less frequently.

Contact Information
Jacqueline Robarge
Director
Power Inside
P.O. Box 4796
Baltimore, MD 21211
325 E. 25th Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Tel: 410–889–8333
E-mail: info@powerinside.org
Web site: www.powerinside.org

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Pre-Release and Reentry Services Division
Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive, with a focus on employment
Funding Source
County Budget
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 600/year
Jail System Information
Size: 170 ADP (prerelease center)
Location: Suburban

Program Overview
Pre-Release and Reentry Services (PRRS) is one of the four operational divisions of the
Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. The others are two jail
facilities and a pretrial supervision division. PRRS provides step-down community-based
reentry programs for local, state, and federal inmates who are within one year of release
and who are returning primarily to the county. At its 171-bed prerelease facility and through
its home confinement electronic monitoring program, PRRS facilitates the reentry process
by providing extensive case management and employment services, working closely with
inmates’ family members and support systems, and increasing inmates’ awareness of
the impact of their criminal behavior on the community and how to change their behavior
themselves. PRRS has strong collaborative partnerships with local employers, housing
agencies, the faith community, the courts, and the health and human services department.

Key Program Elements
PRRS primarily serves men and women sentenced to the local correctional system for less
than 18 months. PRRS conducts an exhaustive screening and assessment to determine
whether individuals are eligible for the program. The process includes a review of extensive
administrative records on the criminal history and behavior of individuals (police reports,
criminal histories, presentence investigations, institutional conduct reports, and any PRRS
records), a one-hour face-to-face psychosocial structured questionnaire, and the completion
of a standardized risk/needs instrument. The only criminal offense that disqualifies
individuals from the program is a history of escape, and the program operates under
the premise that public safety and community well-being is enhanced if most sentenced
offenders are released from the local correctional system through the prerelease center
rather than through the jail. On a daily basis, PRRS manages almost 30 percent of all
sentenced local inmates in the correctional system.

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PRRS builds on the programming and reentry efforts conducted at the detention centers and
offers a comprehensive service package that emphasizes the substantive involvement of the
family in the reentry process in addition to employment and housing. Participants receive
intensive case management to help them adhere to their reentry plans. PRRS operates a
strong work release program and establishes strong partnerships with employers. PRRS also
collaborates with the drug court to provide a supervised setting as an intermediate sanction
for technical violators.
PRRS maintains strict accountability in all aspects of the program, and residents are only
allowed in the community on preapproved schedules with contact information so the
program can contact them at all times. The program conducts three random drug tests
a week and administers three alcohol Breathalyzer tests daily. A positive drug or alcohol
test will result in an immediate suspension back to the jail, although the individual may
return to the prerelease center after serving a disciplinary sanction. Participants who are
fired on the job for cause are also suspended immediately. The program has mobile teams
of staff that regularly verify that residents are at specified locations. Finally, the program
has zero tolerance for unaccountability and criminally prosecutes all individuals who are
unaccountable for more than two hours as having escaped. The program works closely
with the state attorney and the judiciary to vigorously seek the successful prosecution and
sentencing of escapees. As a result of this policy, less than two percent of all participants
escape.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The community partnerships that PRRS has formed are both formal and informal and
continue to grow. Community group and organization partnerships include the Archdiocese
of Washington’s Welcome Home Program and St. James Aftercare Ministries for mentoring
services; the Department of Health and Human Services to develop and administer a
coordinated intake and assessment process for those in need of mental health services; the
Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission and a faith-based organization that
enables participants to obtain federally subsidized housing; local employers who regularly
hire PRRS participants; and local colleges and universities.

Outcomes
PRRS collects data on various demographics and performance measures each month.
Program outcomes that are measured include, but are not limited to, individuals released
successfully from PRRS at the end of their sentence, individuals returned to a secure facility
because of unsuccessful experience in PRRS, jail beds saved, hourly wages for working
PRRS participants, taxes paid by PRRS participants, disciplinary actions taken, positive
substance use tests, and percentage released with employment, housing, and appropriate
service appointments in the community. In 2006, the program served 624 individuals and
83 percent completed the program. Most were released from the program with housing,
employment, and hundreds of dollars in funds in a mandated savings account. The program
collected $400,000 in program fees, and program residents paid more than $200,000 for
family and child support and $30,000 in federal taxes.

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Contact Information
Stefan LoBuglio
Chief Administrator
Pre-Release and Reentry Services
Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation
11651 Nebel Street
Rockville, MD 20852
Tel: 240–773–4262
E-mail: Stefan.LoBuglio@montgomerycountymd.gov

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Pretrial Release Mental Health Reentry Program
Iowa 6th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services
Agency Type: Community corrections
Programmatic Focus: Mental health
Funding Source
State of Iowa, Linn County
Population Served
Legal status: Pretrial

Number served: 65 (12-month period)

Jail System Information
Size: 375 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The Pretrial Release Mental Health Reentry Program assists inmates in the Linn County Jail
with mental health problems in obtaining and maintaining needed treatment and support
services. The program incorporates motivational interviewing and treatment matching
principles on assessed risk, need, and responsiveness. The program is staffed by one
probation officer in the Department of Correctional Services with a caseload of 20–25, who
acts as a case manager as well as a correctional supervisor. The position is funded by the
Linn County Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Services.

Key Program Elements
The probation/parole officer (PPO) staffing the program conducts mental health screening
assessments on pretrial detainees in the Linn County Jail who have been referred by
correctional or judiciary staff. During the assessment interview, the PPO determines whether
the detainee is appropriate for the program and would voluntarily agree to participate. If the
detainee is eligible for and interested in the program, the PPO schedules a full psychological
evaluation to be completed at the jail by the local community mental health provider, the
Abbe Center. After the evaluation is conducted and needs are determined, the participant
is released to the program’s supervision. The PPO has several responsibilities under the
dual roles of case manager and correctional supervisor. The PPO ensures that participants
schedule and attend appointments with mental health or substance abuse providers, helps
participants obtain and maintain housing and apply for public benefits and entitlements,
maintains weekly contact with participants, and reports to the court if participants fail
to meet the requirements of the program. The PPO spends much of the time developing
relationships with community providers to ensure that services are delivered in a timely and
effective manner.

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Partnerships and Collaboration
The Pretrial Release Mental Health Reentry Program was developed and is maintained
through the contribution and cooperation of the judiciary, the mental health department, the
Linn County Sheriff’s Department, defense attorneys, law enforcement, and substance abuse
and mental health agencies, in addition to Correctional Services staff.

Outcomes
From the program’s inception in 2004 through mid-April 2006, Correctional Services
estimates that 7,500 jail days have been saved.

Contact Information
Gail Juvik
Probation/Parole Supervisor II
951 29th Avenue SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
Tel: 319–398–3675
E-mail: gail.juvik@iowa.gov
Web site: www.iowaCBC.org

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Prison to Community Project
Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Agency Type: Government service agency
Programmatic Focus: Mental health, substance abuse
Funding Sources
Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health
Federal Co-Occurring System Initiative Grant (through June 2007)
Population Served
Legal status: Pretrial and sentenced
Jail System Information
Size: 8,000+ ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The Prison to Community Project (P2C), established in July 2004, is a local mental health
reentry program of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania that
serves seriously mentally ill inmates in the Philadelphia Prison System. The P2C’s jail- and
community-based case management teams provide extensive discharge planning and
community case management services to male and female inmates with serious mental
illness and a history of substance abuse. The P2C is based on the APIC reentry model (assess,
plan, identify, and coordinate) developed by the GAINS Center to assist jails in transition
planning for people with co-occurring disorders. In addition, the P2C follows a harmreduction and peer-recovery model that focuses on encouragement and opportunities rather
than coercion.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
To build relationships and develop comprehensive discharge plans, P2C care coordinators,
all of whom have personal experience with recovery, begin working with inmates prior
to their release from the Philadelphia Prison System (PPS). While in the PPS, program
participants are encouraged to attend wellness groups and develop coping skills that will
support their recovery process. Recognizing that they are guests in the PPS, the P2C team
works closely with jail-based mental health and corrections staff to coordinate discharge
planning and support participants’ wellness during incarceration.

Transition Planning
P2C care coordinators begin developing discharge plans with participants as soon as they
are referred to the program. Discharge planning involves discussion of what individuals

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need to succeed in the community and includes strengths-based assessments and relapse
prevention activities. The team works with participants to develop meaningful daytime
activities, including mental health and substance abuse treatment, job training, linkage
to medical care, and family reunification or contact. Housing plans are tailored to an
individual’s level of independent functioning and treatment needs. A benefits specialist
works closely with participants to determine whether their benefits have been terminated
or suspended and to facilitate the process of getting entitlements activated or reinstated
following release.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
When participants are released, they are assigned a P2C transitional case manager to assist
in their community transition. These case managers work with participants for 90 days
after release, meeting with them for as many as 4 days a week and helping them secure
or renew benefits, access mental health and substance abuse treatment, and access other
social services. Integral to the P2C structure is its harm reduction approach to recovery. The
program is voluntary and not meant to act as a court-ordered stipulation. As a “bridge case
management” program, the P2C specializes in guiding participants through their transition
and linking them to longer term resources. At the end of 90 days, the P2C helps to transition
all eligible and willing participants to long-term targeted case management through the
Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The P2C is involved in several partnerships and collaborations with justice system agencies
and large mental health and substance abuse treatment providers. P2C works closely with
Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health to screen referred clients for service and to
transition P2C alumni to other case management teams at the end of the program’s 90-day
community component. The P2C is also part of state and local forensic task forces made
up of corrections officials, judges, advocates, service providers, police, and researchers
that meet regularly to discuss mental health issues. Because a large number of program
participants are on probation or parole, the P2C also works closely with the Philadelphia
Adult Probation and Parole Department and makes it a priority to coordinate their own goals
with the legal responsibilities of the Department.

Contact Information
Alison Taylor
Program Manager
Prison to Community Project
Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania
1211 Chestnut Street, 10th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Tel: 215–751–1800
E-mail: ataylor@mhasp.org
Web site: www.mhasp.org

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Project Second Chance
Atlantic County Department of Public Safety
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Sources
In-kind contributions from more than 25 agencies. The director’s salary is funded via a
welfare grant and is on loan to the Department of Public Safety.
Population
Legal status: Sentenced

Number served: 1,250/year (unduplicated)

Jail System Information
Size: 1,000+ ADP
Location: Suburban

Program Overview
The Atlantic County Department of Correction’s discharge planning project, Project Second
Chance, prepares inmates for release and provides them the opportunity to have direct
contact with community agencies before release. In partnership with the Department of
Family and Community Development, the county assigned a full-time clinician to the jail to
assess every person leaving the jail facility and develop a stabilization plan for each person.
At least 25 private nonprofit and public community-based agencies currently support the
project.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
The county clinician interviews each inmate several weeks before release with a
biopsychosocial instrument that identifies needs in six domains of living: physical health,
mental health, family and social relationships, occupational and educational status,
addictions, and legal, financial, and housing needs. An array of services is recommended,
and the inmate can choose to participate before release. Services designed to augment the
discharge plan include empowerment focus groups for women; an Alcoholics Anonymous/
Narcotics Anonymous sponsorship program that links inmates to meetings immediately
following release; weekly presentations from the Fatherhood Initiative, the Workforce
Investment Board, Atlantic County Vocational School, and the Atlantic County Women’s
Center; and several other services and support groups focusing on child care and family
reunification. The Department of Public Safety also has a close relationship with the local
casino industry, which offers significant employment opportunities to inmates. Each week,
the director of equal opportunity employment for a large gaming industry operator meets
individually with inmates leaving the jail.

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The Atlantic County Department of Public Safety has been especially interested in
understanding why people return to their custody after being released. To this end, the
department has dedicated a jail employee to track individuals who have participated in
discharge planning, been released, and subsequently returned to the jail. These inmates
are reported to the clinician, who works with jail counselors and the inmate to reassess the
inmate and develop an alternative discharge plan.

Transition Planning
The primary focus of the initiative is the development and ongoing modification of a
discharge plan. Those inmates who are scheduled for release in the next two weeks are
transported to a minimum security meeting area where community agency representatives
meet with each inmate privately to discuss his or her postrelease service plans.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
Through the active participation of several community-based agencies, the jail facilitates
the connection to community resources that are meant to last as long as needed. Through
a close working relationship between the jail and probation and parole department, an
individual’s discharge plan is developed to ensure that the jail’s recommended plan is
compatible with that of the supervision agency.

Partnerships and Collaboration
Project Second Chance emerged out of the shared concern for jail crowding and recidivism.
Without additional funding from the Department of Public Safety for the initiative, the
Atlantic County Jail administration reached out to several agencies and established a
committee made up of those that recognized the need for sharing the county’s existing
resources to develop and implement a solution. Because of countywide collaboration and
support from private nonprofit agencies, Project Second Chance has been able to utilize
social services and resources in the jail at no additional cost to the county.

Outcomes
Since the program’s implementation in early 2005, 476 unduplicated inmates were assessed
and met with the county clinician before exiting the jail. From February 22 to December 31,
2005, 96 of the 476 individuals who were assessed returned to the jail at least once, resulting
in a recidivism rate of 20 percent. Of those who returned, 92 percent were charged with
contempt of court. Currently, Atlantic County is focusing its data collection on the number of
commitments of unique individuals in a year to get a better sense of the program’s impact
on people who churn in and out of jail repeatedly (“frequent flyers”).

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129

Contact Information
John McLernon
Director
Social Services and Community Relations
Atlantic County Justice Facility
5060 Atlantic Avenue
Mays Landing, NJ 08330
Tel: 609–909–7546
E-mail: mclernon_john@aclink.org
Web site: www.aclink.org/publicsafety

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Public Health Model for Corrections

Hampden County Sheriff’s Department

Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Physical health
Funding Source
Departmental budget; various grants
Population
Legal status: Pretrial and sentenced
Number served: 6,500/year: 4,000 pretrial and 2,500 sentenced
Jail System Information
Size: 2,000+ ADP
Location: Urban/suburban

Project Overview
In 1993, the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department developed a public health model to
prevent, detect, and treat various health concerns among jail inmates at the Hampden
County Correctional Center and ensure ongoing use of the community health care system
upon release. The Correctional Center has four jail-based health teams that work with four
community health centers to thoroughly screen and detect disease and provide early and
effective treatment, patient education, prevention, and continuity of care after release.
Hampden County is able to serve nearly all of the chronically ill inmates in the system.
The Hampden County Correctional Center’s Public Health Model is recognized nationwide,
and grant funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has recently established
Community Oriented Correctional Health Services to provide technical assistance to other
jails interested in replicating the model.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
The Hampden County Correctional Center contracts for medical services with the nonprofit
neighborhood health centers in greater Springfield, Massachusetts. Each health center
provides physicians and case managers to work at their center and at the jail. When the
correctional center diagnoses an inmate, his or her home ZIP code is matched with the
closest community health center. While in jail, inmates are assigned to meet regularly with
the physician and case manager from their neighborhood centers. In conjunction with the
health care they receive, inmates also receive extensive health education to improve their
ability to maintain their own care in the community.

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Transition Planning
Just prior to release, a release planning nurse makes an appointment at the community
health center with the same health team that worked with the inmate in jail. Continuing
to receive care from the same health team improves the doctor-patient relationship and
increases the likelihood that individuals will continue to come to the neighborhood health
center after release.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The Hampden County Public Health Model involves formal partnerships with the
neighborhood health centers. These partnerships are critical to maintaining a continuum of
care in the community and avoiding the duplication of services. Through their partnerships,
the health centers and the jail have built an information-sharing system to exchange
information and promote ongoing care.

Outcomes
In 2004, Abt Associates evaluated the Hampden County Public Health Model. They found
that about two-thirds of those leaving jail with a medical appointment in the community
kept their first appointment after release, and 70 percent of those with a mental health
care appointment kept it. Factors that contributed to health care receipt in the community
included having appointments before release, being able to continue with the same health
care provider in jail and in the community, and receiving health education in jail. The
evaluation also found that participation in the health care intervention in jail and in the
community was related to a decline in self-reported health problems after release (Hammett
et al., 2004).

Contact Information
Jay Ashe
Superintendent
Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
627 Randall Road
Ludlow, MA 01056
Tel: 413–547–8000
E-mail: Jay.Ashe@SDH.state.ma.us
Web site: www.hcsdmass.org

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Re-Entry Continuum
Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Sources
State appropriation
A variety of contracts and grants including the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public
Safety, U.S. Bureau of Prisons, and U.S. Marshals Service
Population Served
Legal status: Pretrial and sentenced

Number served: 6,500/year total (4,000 pretrial, 2,600 sentenced)

Jail System Information
Size: 2,000+ ADP
Location: Urban/suburban

Program Overview
The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department has been committed to facilitating the successful
return of inmates to the community for more than three decades. Accordingly, it has
developed a continuum of care and custody that spans all levels of security and continues
even after the completion of correctional supervision. Varying levels of programming and
services seeking to address the factors that lead to jail are available to all inmates. Each
inmate participates in a comprehensive risk/need assessment, after which an individual
service plan is developed. The plan offers and mandates programs that target each inmate’s
assessed issues. The Department has formed solid partnerships with more than 200 private
and public community-based agencies, realigning jail staff toward programming and service
provision, and assuring the public of inmate accountability and productivity.
In 1986, the Sheriff’s Department began the first day reporting program in the country as a
step-down for reentry and reintegration. In 1996, the After Incarceration Support Systems
(AISS) program was established to provide inmates with a continuum of services starting in
the jail, continuing in the community, and available as an option for as long as individuals
wish. As illustrated in the preceding jail reentry profile, another primary reentry initiative
operating out of the Sheriff’s Department is the nationally recognized Public Health Model
for Corrections, which is currently being replicated in other jurisdictions (see the sidebar
“National Initiatives and Resources,” page 178).

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department has established the capacity to provide
mandatory gender-specific programming for all sentenced inmates to encourage productivity

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133

and self-improvement. Inmates are expected to participate in job assignments and programs
40 hours per week. Areas of programming in the jail include substance abuse education
and treatment, educational development, criminal thinking, victim impact, a responsible
parenting initiative geared toward fathers, and anger management. To serve the population
and encourage follow-through, the department relies on community in-reach to administer
programs and provide case management services, health care, and counseling.
Mentorship in the jail and in the community upon release is a fundamental part of the
Department’s reentry efforts. The Department employs approximately 18 mentors/advocates
as well as many volunteer mentors recruited from diverse communities. Several mentors
have convictions and have turned their lives around. They work with inmates in jail and upon
release to instill hope and provide guidance.

Transition Planning
It is the goal of the Sheriff’s Department to have every sentenced inmate, regardless of
length of stay, walk out the door with an individualized treatment plan. Individuals with
fewer than 91 days remaining on their sentence begin meeting in the Correctional Center’s
reentry resource room with an array of community service providers, including an education
reintegration counselor, mentors, and case workers. Some inmates spend the last 30 days
of their sentence in the newly created community reentry unit, where they continue to
receive services through in-reach as well as staff-accompanied visits to look for housing and
employment, and they also attend family reunification sessions.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
To promote continuity of care after release, the Sheriff’s Department reached out to
more than 250 community agencies that were already providing valuable services in the
community to introduce the AISS program and engage support. The Sheriff’s Department
established community advisory boards to involve the community in the implementation
of AISS and incorporate a comprehensive array of services available to inmates upon
release. Several community support groups and drop-in hours with mentors and counselors
are available to men and women after release. The Department’s community volunteer
mentorship initiative also provides valuable ongoing follow-up during the transition process.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The formal and informal partnerships between the Sheriff’s Department, other justice system
agencies, and community-based service providers are the foundation for the Re-Entry
Continuum. In addition, the Sheriff’s Department has partnered with the district attorney,
probation and parole, and local police in the Criminal Justice Reentry Collaborative to
address the risks posed by more serious offenders while also developing a plan to help
those individuals succeed in the community.

Outcomes
Beginning with those released in 1998, the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department began
an ongoing study of recidivism that follows each sentenced inmate released to the street
for three years. The Sheriff’s Department produces a detailed recidivism report each year.

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Recognizing that recidivism analysis is a complex process, the Hampden County Sheriff’s
Department has chosen to target only sentenced inmates released to the streets (not to
the custody of another agency) because they use jail beds for longer periods of time than
unsentenced inmates, are required to participate in correctional programs, are eligible
for movement to lower security and parole, and are provided with a detailed release plan
when they leave. Tracking their postrelease outcomes provides valuable information on
the effectiveness of these correctional practices. With a sample size so large covering an
extensive period, the data from this ongoing study have proved invaluable in making
security, programming, and operational decisions.
From an original release cohort of 1,547 in 1998, the study now covers 17,500 individuals
released between 1998 and 2005. Of the 2,469 sentenced inmates released from the custody
of the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department in 2002, 46 percent were reincarcerated within
3 years of release. Of these, 8 percent were reincarcerated for technical violations of release
and 38 percent for new offenses.

Contact Information
John R. Fitzgerald, MSW
Assistant Superintendent
Hampden County Sheriff’s Department
Community Safety Center
311 State Street
Springfield, MA 01051
Tel: 413–733–5469
E-mail: john.fitzgerald@SDH.state.ma.us
Web site: www.hcsdmass.org

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Re-Entry Matrix System
Essex County Sheriff’s Department
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Source
State budget and grants
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced; some pretrial
Comprehensive matrix system reserved for sentenced inmates
Number served: 1,500/year (every sentenced inmate)
Jail System Information
Size: 1,700 ADP
Location: Rural

Program Overview
The Essex County Sheriff’s Department (ECSD) has established an official reentry policy
outlining the rules and procedures that govern the Department’s reentry system. The primary
goal of the reentry system is to prepare inmates for appropriate institutional adjustment,
transition, and reentry to the community. The ECSD’s comprehensive reentry strategy
includes risk assessment, evidence-based programs, step-down options, and supervised
release. Reentry planning at the ECSD begins at intake, using standardized criteria, defined
in what the Department calls a Re-Entry Matrix, to assist staff in determining eligibility for
certain reentry services and developing an individualized reentry plan.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
At intake, inmates have an initial reentry hearing, a comprehensive screening process that
allows reentry staff to become acquainted with each inmate through individual assessments,
testing, and structured interviews. The Re-Entry Board, made up of reentry staff, clinical staff,
and program staff, determines the appropriate placement of individuals in the facility and the
suitability of certain programs and recommends a reentry plan with program requirements.
This reentry plan can be modified through regular assessments by reentry staff. Immediately
upon entering the jail, inmates are also assigned a reintegration coordinator and a probation
officer who monitor the reentry plan throughout incarceration and upon release. Inmates
who choose not to follow their matrix plan will not be eligible for certain step-down options,
nor will they be able to earn any good time credit toward their sentences.
The Re-Entry Matrix system is available to all sentenced inmates in the Essex County jail
system. Pretrial detainees are also eligible if their probation officer requests assistance
connecting them to community resources. Programs available to all pretrial detainees

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include the substance abuse program, alternative to violence program, and anger
management program.

Transition Planning
Inmates meet with their reintegration coordinator three weeks before their release for an
exit interview to discuss all aspects of their transition. The reintegration coordinator sets
up benefits registration and establishes links to community resources that provide job
development training, substance abuse and mental health treatment, and other necessary
services to help in the transition process.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
The reintegration coordinator is an individual’s link to community-based programs and
services. All inmates released from the Sheriff’s Department are contacted six months
after release to check in and assist those in need with job training, housing, substance
abuse treatment, and other necessary services. Those released to probation meet with
their probation officer prior to release and agree to a treatment plan in the community. The
Sheriff’s Department transports these inmates to the court to ensure they report after release.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The Essex County Sheriff’s Department has actively reached out to other justice system
and community stakeholders to reinforce and maintain the larger goals of public safety
and seamless community reintegration. The Sheriff’s Department also meets regularly with
probation and police to ensure ongoing information sharing and cooperation.

Outcomes
In early 2005, the Essex County Sheriff’s Department began collecting comprehensive data
on every inmate released from the jail, including data on recidivism (defined as parole/
probation violation or arrest on a new charge), area of release, living arrangements,
postrelease program/treatment participation, and employment and education outcomes.
Data were collected through personal contact and records checks. The 6-month recidivism
rate from July 1 through December 31, 2005, was 35 percent, a 3-percent decrease from the
first half of 2005.

Contact Information
Jim Petrosino
Deputy Superintendent
Essex County Sheriff’s Department
20 Manning Avenue
Middleton, MA 01949
Tel: 978–750–1900 ext. 3500
E-mail: jpetro@eccf.com
Web site: www.eccf.com

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Reentry for All
Montgomery County Correctional Facility
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive with a focus on employment
Funding Sources
County Department of Corrections, County Health and Human Services
Additional grant funding from the Workforce Investment Act and the Maryland Governor’s
Office of Crime Prevention and Control
Population
Legal status: Pretrial and sentenced
Number served: 5,000/year served in some way; 600/year intensive employment; 145/year
intensive case management, wraparound services
Jail System Information
Size: 1,029-bed capacity; 700 ADP
Location: Suburban

Program Overview
Although a variety of reentry services have been available in the Montgomery County
Correctional Facility (MCCF) for several years, the comprehensive Reentry For All initiative
was formally established in 2005 as an effort to incorporate broad community collaboration
and integration to ensure a continuum of care and service delivery long after release. As its
name suggests, this initiative seeks to provide some type of reentry service for all inmates
entering the facility, whether it be resource materials, programming, or comprehensive case
management and release planning.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
Inmates in the MCCF have access to a comprehensive array of resources and programming
designed to increase skills and employability, address behavioral health, and improve the
chances for a positive and lasting return to the community. Although all inmates have access
to reentry resources in the MCCF, targeted reentry services focus on inmates sentenced to
90 days or longer. Through a partnership between the Montgomery County Department
of Correction and Rehabilitation (MCDOCR) and the Workforce Investment Board, the
MCCF has established a nationally recognized initiative that creates a direct link between
the correctional facility and the one-stop workforce system. This innovative approach has
brought the Montgomery Works One-Stop Satellite Center within the walls of the MCCF,
linking inmates to the existing community-based one-stop employment centers and enabling
them to start the job search while incarcerated. The jail-based one-stop center offers a

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variety of resources in a single location, including reading rooms, mock interview rooms,
workspace, and a computer lab where inmates have access to online career and labor market
information and can complete résumés, cover letters, and applications.

Transition Planning
Discharge planning begins at intake when a case manager from the Reentry Collaborative
Case Management Team interviews and assesses each inmate to determine the scope and
intensity of reentry services and programming needed to return a more productive citizen to
the community. The case manager then refers inmates to any number of specialized staff in
the Reentry Unit, including a social worker, employment specialist, benefits specialist, and
the medical, mental health, and addiction treatment units. Intensive transition services begin
90 days prior to release. As part of the discharge planning process, inmates are provided
with a government-approved community reentry identification card that also acts as a 60-day
bus pass and library card.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
The Reentry Collaborative Case Management Team, made up of community service
providers, probation and parole, nonprofit organizations, and a consortium of faith-based
organizations, are responsible for service provision and postrelease follow-up. Faith-based
mentors who have worked with inmates during incarceration continue to provide substantial
postrelease follow-up and care. Two community-based one-stop employment centers
continue the work begun in the jail-based one-stop center. To facilitate continuity of care
and community engagement, the MCCF provides data mapping on returning inmates so
that faith-based and other community service providers can better assess service needs and
community capabilities to meet those needs.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The foundation for the Reentry For All initiative rests on the partnerships and collaborations
established between the MCDOCR and community-based organizations. The broad range of
needs and interests are well represented in the collaboration. Partners include the Division
of Probation and Parole, county and municipal police departments, Workforce Investment
Board, Faith-Based Reentry Consortium, Department of Health and Human Services,
Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office, and several nonprofit organizations. The
collaborations are sustained through regular communication and discussion of postrelease
reentry needs during the biweekly intensive reentry case management meetings involving at
least 20 service providers.

Outcomes
The MCDOCR is developing program outcomes and establishing a postrelease empirical
data tracking system in partnership with the Division of Probation and Parole, Health and
Human Services, and other collaborative partners. Desired outcomes include:
•

Reduced contact with the criminal justice system.

•

Rapid and sustainable lawful employment.

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• 	 Continued support to address impulsive behaviors, addictive behaviors, and physical and
mental health issues.

Contact Information
Robert Green
Warden
Montgomery County Correctional Facility
22880 Whelon Lane
Boyds, MD 20841
Tel: 240–773–9747
E-mail: Robert.Green@montgomerycountymd.gov
Web site: www.montgomerycountymd.gov/govtmpl.asp?url=/content/docr/index.asp
Gale Starkey
Reentry Unit Manager
Montgomery County Correctional Facility
22880 Whelon Lane
Boyds, MD 20841
Tel: 240–773–9769
E-mail: Gale.Starkey@montgomerycountymd.gov

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Repeat Offender Public Safety Initiative
Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced

Number served: 875 since inception (March 2005)

Jail System Information
Size: 600 ADP
Location: Suburban

Program Overview
With a recently revamped validated objective classification process that relies on two
comprehensive risks/needs tools, the Sheriff’s Transition Planning Committee develops,
maintains, and adjusts a transition plan for incarceration and release for each inmate in the
Norfolk County Correctional Center. An inmate’s transition plan is a step-down contract that
outlines expectations for a successful reentry process. In March 2005, the Norfolk County
Sheriff’s Office began the Repeat Offender Public Safety Initiative to target those inmates
who are serving at least a six-month sentence and who have been previously incarcerated.
In addition to receiving the same resources available to the entire inmate population, those
classified as repeat offenders are required to appear before a reentry panel consisting of
representatives from parole, probation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the local district attorney’s
office, police departments, and social service agencies, among others. The panel serves
to notify repeat offenders that they are being paid close attention, they will face serious
consequences for further infractions, and there is a process in place to help them succeed in
the community.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
After the first classification to determine initial custody level and housing unit placement, a
transition plan is developed for each inmate. The classification process and transition plan
are presented clearly to inmates so they understand why they are placed at a specific level
and how they can change their classification status. An inmate undergoes classification
review every 60 days to determine progress and whether any changes to the classification
status or transition plan need to be made. Inmates who carry out their transition plan
successfully by adhering to institutional rules and participating in recommended programs
begin to move down through the institution’s security levels.

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141

Transition Planning
After successfully earning their way through the institution’s security levels, inmates who
meet the requirement for minimum security can be moved to the Alternative Center, which
provides work crews for community service. From there, individuals may qualify to be
placed on the Electronic Bracelet Program, where they live in the community under certain
rules and requirements. Under the sheriff’s initiative, repeat offenders are no longer released
to the street. The Sheriff’s Department transports them directly to their local probation
department or to a Parole Re-Entry Center. If the repeat offender is a sex offender, the
individual is required to register with the local police department and is transported to the
police department to register.
In addition, each Norfolk County police department has a designated reentry officer who,
prior to an individual’s release, receives notification of the date of release, a summary of the
individual’s institutional history, a current photo, and the name and contact information for
the individual’s parole or probation officer, if any, as well as a copy of the parole or probation
conditions.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
Service providers who work with inmates while they are in custody of the Sheriff’s
Department are the same providers who will serve individuals after release. Ties to these
providers are well established prior to release, promoting continuity of care and a smooth
transition. Those individuals released to parole or probation are transported upon release to
meet with their officers, and if they are not on parole or probation, they are taken to meet
with a parole reentry officer. Additionally, the police departments’ reentry officers receive
transition plans and tracks those repeat offenders released to their community.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Department partners with outside criminal justice and service
agencies to bring them into the planning and transition process. Partners include Norfolk
County police chiefs and regional police departments, probation and parole, U.S. Attorney’s
Office, local district attorney’s office, Massachusetts Parole Board, Registry of Motor Vehicles,
and several community-based organizations, such as recovery homes and local family
planning, education, and counseling services. With the new assessment and classification
tools, the Sheriff’s Department is able to easily organize and regularly share information
across agencies.

Outcomes
The primary purpose of the Repeat Offender Public Safety Initiative is to enhance
communication in monitoring the release of repeat offenders to the community. The Sheriff’s
Office is also in the process of determining any reductions in the recidivism rate of the repeat
offender population.

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Contact Information
John Kivlan
Special Sheriff
Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office
200 West Street
P.O. Box 149
Dedham, MA 02027
Tel: 781–751–3301
E-mail: mbellotti@norfolksheriffma.org

Examples from the Field

143

Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Get Real Program
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office
Douglas County Community Corrections
Douglas County Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Prevention and Treatment
Agency Type: Jail, community corrections, private community-based organization
Programmatic Focus: Substance abuse
Funding Sources
Jail-based component: U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance Residential
Substance Abuse Treatment Grant
Aftercare: Primarily Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment, Department of
Corrections Contracts, and Oregon Health Plan
Population Served
Legal status: Pretrial and sentenced
Number served: 27/year in residential
Jail System Information
Size: 290 ADP
Location: Rural

Program Overview
In partnership with Douglas County Community Corrections and the Douglas County Council
on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT), the Douglas County Sheriff’s
Office administers the Get Real program, a federally funded Residential Substance Abuse
Treatment (RSAT) program for high-risk offenders with chronic drug use histories. The Get
Real program focuses on all aspects of clients’ lives with special emphasis on involving their
families in the recovery process through family counseling groups in the community. An
individual transition plan addressing treatment, housing, and health is developed for each
client, and successful graduates of the residential program are expected to spend at least
one year in outpatient aftercare programs upon release.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
All individuals referred to the program meet with the RSAT county jail liaison officer to
determine program eligibility, needs, and willingness to participate. If eligible, individuals
receive a clinical assessment from an ADAPT counselor that includes extensive psychosocial,
criminal, mental health, and substance abuse history. From this assessment, a dynamic
treatment plan is developed and updated as treatment progresses. The residential jail-based
component of the program consists of three phases that last from six months to one year:

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introduction and early treatment, primary treatment, and reentry/transition to aftercare.
Daily program activities include four hours of intensive intervention in the form of substance
abuse and mental health treatment and four hours of structured life skills, vocational
training, education, and self-help. Client-family contact and counseling sessions begin within
four weeks of a client’s entry into the program.

Transition Planning
Transition planning begins within four weeks of a client’s entry into the program. Activities
and goals outlined in the transition plan include attending RSAT outpatient and aftercare
groups, community support group meetings, and family and couples counseling; obtaining
alcohol- and drug-free housing; and receiving mental health, medical, and dental care.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
All successful graduates of the jail-based program must spend at least one year in the
RSAT outpatient and aftercare program. In outpatient, each client receives intensive case
management from a treatment team made up of an RSAT-dedicated probation officer, RSAT
counselors, a mental health therapist, the program director, and the sheriff’s liaison officer.
The RSAT program works closely with various housing establishments to secure a safe and
productive living arrangement for graduating clients. General equivalency diploma (GED)
classes and one free term at the local community college are available to all successful
graduates.

Partnerships and Collaboration
Through partnerships with various community-based agencies, including several transitional
housing programs, the local community college, and community corrections, the RSAT
program can provide treatment and support for all aspects of the client’s life. All community
partners meet each week to discuss the progress of each client.

Outcomes
From October 1, 2002, through September 30, 2005, the Get Real program served a total of
83 individuals, 73 of whom completed the program. Of those who completed the program,
56 (77 percent) successfully graduated. Of those 56, nearly all (96 percent) have remained
arrest free, with only 2 clients arrested on new felony drug charges. Cumulative drug results
during this same period show that of the 2,273 urinalysis tests administered for 56 aftercare
clients, nearly all (99 percent) were negative.
ADAPT, along with Douglas County Community Corrections, has developed performance
measures and outcomes in support of the program’s goals and intends to continue to
evaluate the program locally, with an internal database for reporting purposes as well as the
Law Enforcement Data System to compile recidivism data for all residential and aftercare
program participants.

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145

Contact Information
Michael Wright
Correctional Program Director
Douglas County Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment
P.O. Box 1121
Roseburg, OR 97470
Tel: 541–672–1761
E-mail: michaelw@adapt-or.org
Web site: www.adaptoregon.org

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Responsible Transition Program
Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Source
Local taxes
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 1,200/year
Jail System Information
Size: 6,800 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department’s Responsible Transition
Program (RTP) is a prerelease intensive case management program designed to prepare
inmates within six months of release for a successful return to the community. Over the
course of 16 weeks, each participant receives a personal assessment and participates in a
core curriculum as well as any specialized curricula determined by individual assessments.
Each participant works with his or her counselor to develop a prerelease plan that is meant
to act as a schedule and guide for activity completion and service coordination.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
After attending an orientation session of the RTP, interested inmates are given an informal,
general assessment that will help the RTP counselor select those potential participants who
are willing to comply with program guidelines. Every program participant takes part in a core
curriculum and is also able to develop a secondary curriculum for any additional training
needs identified. The core curriculum consists of life skills, employability skills, substance
abuse prevention, anger control, and educational or vocational training, such as carpentry,
plumbing, and technology.

Transition Planning
Each participant receives a prerelease plan that aids the counselor in coordinating the
participant’s various activities and services and in evaluating the participant’s progress
toward his or her established goals. Just prior to release, each participant meets with his or
her counselor to review the prerelease plan and ensure that all transition documentation
(e.g., completion certificates, referrals, résumé) is in order.

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147

Partnerships and Collaboration
The RTP has developed relationships with several community-based organizations to gain a
broad perspective on effective correctional programming prior to release. The Miami-Dade
County Department of Corrections also has a contractual agreement with the Miami-Dade
School Board to provide educational classes and vocational training to inmates.

Contact Information
Donald Coffey
Division Chief
Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department
2525 NW 62nd Street
Miami, FL 33147
Tel: 786–263–6309
E-mail: c1951@Miamidade.gov

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Rikers Island Discharge Planning Enhancement Program
New York City Department of Correction
New York City Department of Homeless Services
Agency Type: Jail, private community-based organization
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Sources
New York City Council
New York City Department of Homeless Services
New York City Department of Correction
In-kind contributions from partner organizations
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 2,000/year
Jail System Information
Size: 13,000+ ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The Rikers Island Discharge Planning Enhancement Program (RIDE) is a citywide
collaborative discharge planning program that seeks to engage sentenced inmates in
discharge planning services to prepare for release, motivate inmates to take advantage of
postrelease services in the community, and prevent reincarceration and homelessness.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
RIDE providers engage clients while they are incarcerated at Rikers Island and develop
goals for their transition plan from jail to the community. Each individual’s plan, described
as the discharge plan, is unique, guided by his or her goals, resources, needs, and ability
to use services. Common needs include assistance with addiction problems, obtaining
housing, reunifying with families, finding work or other legal income sources, and securing
identification. While clients are at Rikers, providers offer individual sessions, group
counseling, motivational groups, and informational sessions on topics of interest. Clients
are also connected to available jail-based programs, including job training in culinary arts,
computer classes, parenting classes, family visit days, and benefits information.

Transition Planning
Discharge planning services are provided through contracts with six nonprofit communitybased service providers that begin working with clients in jail. Upon release, the discharge

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149

planning service provider transports the client directly from jail to the community service
provider identified in the discharge plan.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
The RIDE provider who was working with the client at Rikers continues to work and follow up
with the client in the community up to 90 days after release. Follow-up services are provided
in the community through performance-based contracts that compensate providers on the
basis of continued engagement. Services include case management, crisis intervention,
and referrals with a focus on housing, substance abuse treatment, employment, and family
reunification.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The work of RIDE is accomplished through formal partnerships with more than 35
governmental and nonprofit agencies as part of the New York City Discharge Planning
Collaboration (profiled on page 113). Informal partnerships also exist between program staff,
security staff, and administration staff within the New York City Department of Correction.

Outcomes
According to the program director, preliminary analysis of the RIDE program shows
promising results for those who remain engaged for 90 days in the community after release.
Thirty-seven percent of RIDE clients who stayed engaged for 90 days had returned to jail
within a year of discharge, compared with 52 percent of all city sentenced discharges. The
program has also been successful in reducing the number of inmates in need who are
discharged without being transported directly to a community service provider.

Contact Information
Sarah Gallagher
Executive Director for Discharge Planning
60 Hudson Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10013
Tel: 212–266–1409
E-mail: Sarah.Gallagher@doc.nyc.gov
Web site: www.nyc.gov/html/doc/html/home/home.shtml

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Second Chances

Norfolk, Virginia

Agency Type: Private community-based organization
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive, with a focus on employment
Funding Sources
Main: City of Norfolk
Targeted initiatives:
U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Justice Assistance Grant
Program
The Norfolk Foundation
Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
Department of Human Services
Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority
Population Served
Legal status: Released from jail
Number served: 165–200/year
Jail System Information
Size: 1,733 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
Sponsored by the City of Norfolk and operating under the umbrella of Southeast Tidewater
Opportunity Project Inc. (STOP), Second Chances is a community-based program that
provides comprehensive transitional support services and training to nonviolent adults
recently released from the Norfolk City Jail. In addition to reducing recidivism and
relapse, the primary goals of the program are to increase workforce readiness, reduce the
relapse rate for people with substance abuse and dependency, create better employment
opportunities for recently released inmates, promote stable families and strong parental
involvement, and reduce the number of people living at or below the poverty level. Since it
was established in 1999, the program has served more than 1,000 people and has helped
find more than 700 jobs for program participants.

Key Program Elements
Transition Planning
Second Chances staff enters the jail on an as-needed basis to interview and orient people
who are within 90 days of release.

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151

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
During the first six months of the program, clients receive active case management services.
During the next six months, the counselor or case manager provides follow-up services such
as general equivalency diploma (GED)/adult basic education class referrals, training referrals,
and assistance finding improved employment opportunities. In 2005, the Second Chances
program began its own social business venture, Klean Slate Enterprises, a multiservice
business that provides residential and commercial landscaping and janitorial services and
a local moving service for commercial and residential customers. Klean Slate Enterprises
employs nine Second Chances program participants as full-time employees. The business
generates more than $200,000 annually and maintains nearly 300 properties throughout
the City of Norfolk. Through this initiative, program participants become employed, gain
skills, pay taxes, pay court costs and fines, and support their families as they transition.
Additionally, in 2006, the Second Chances Program opened the doors to Harbor House, a
permanent supportive housing facility that houses up to 16 men.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The Second Chances program has a formal partnership with the Norfolk Sheriff’s Department
that allows them to enter the jail for group orientations and obtain release information for
inmates. Second Chances also has a formal partnership with the Norfolk Police as a partial
recipient of a federal Justice Assistance Grant to provide prevention and employment
services to people involved in the local justice system.

Outcomes
In 2005, Second Chances provided services to more than 133 persons, 97 of whom received
employment at an average wage of $8.14 per hour. Only four percent have reoffended, and
only six percent have relapsed. In 2006, Second Chances served 206 individuals, 107 of
whom became gainfully employed at an average hourly wage of $8.63.

Contact Information
Alphonso Albert
Director
Second Chances
810 Union Street, Suite 807
Norfolk, VA 23510
Tel: 757–664–4281
E-mail: alphonso.albert@norfolk.gov

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Transition Services Unit
Multnomah County Department of Community Justice
Agency Type: Community corrections
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Sources
State and general county funds
Population Served
Legal status: Pretrial and sentenced
Number served: 700–900/month
Jail System Information
Size: 1,620 ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
The Multnomah County Department of Community Justice Transition Services Unit (TSU)
provides a comprehensive system of services to a high-risk, special needs population
designed to prepare, equip, and sustain them within the first 90–180 days of release from
jail or prison. The TSU actively works to build partnerships with community organizations to
develop the structure necessary to maintain positive outcomes and long-term public safety.
The TSU is responsible for linking recently released inmates to services, such as housing,
transportation and medical and benefits assistance, through prerelease planning and case
coordination.

Key Program Elements
Transition Planning
Transition planning begins at any time up to 120 days prior to release. As soon as the jail
counselor or medical discharge planner identifies special needs inmates—including the
mentally, developmentally, and physically disabled; the elderly; and sex offenders—TSU
service providers work together with jail staff in the jail to coordinate a transition plan.
Through prerelease planning, TSU staff work with inmates to arrange an array of community
services and suitable housing and schedule initial appointments. The prerelease plan is
appropriate to risk and needs, ranging from the most restrictive to the least restrictive
supervision requirements.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
For the first 90–180 days after release, TSU service providers work with Department of
Community Justice Probation and Parole Offices (PPOs) and other community service
providers to coordinate and link individuals to support services and resources in the

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153

community such as housing, health care, public benefits, employment, medication
assistance, treatment, and transportation. Because housing is a high priority for the people
the TSU serves, a housing contract provides transitional housing for an average of 329
individuals each month. TSU service providers, in partnership with other community
agencies, are responsible for developing and accessing resources for long-term housing
plans for special needs individuals. At the end of the 90–120 days, TSU staff reassess each
individual’s plan with the PPOs and community service providers and determine an exit
strategy to maintain ongoing support. TSU also provides walk-in services for recently
released people or those in need of continued support.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The TSU is involved in several partnerships as part of their service package. Joint Access
to Benefits (JAB) is a project coordinated by the TSU and involving the Multnomah County
Sheriff’s Office, Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services, Health Department, Social
Security Administration, and the Oregon Department of Corrections. JAB seeks to initiate
the application for Social Security benefits. TSU staff also meet twice a month with PPOs
and housing providers to review staffing and case plans. The TSU has formal contracts with
community providers for transitional housing, treatment, and case coordination.

Outcomes
The TSU reports that 74 percent of the clients placed in transitional housing either move
on to permanent housing or employment or receive Supplemental Security Income, Social
Security disability, or veterans benefits.

Contact Information
Liv Elsa Jenssen, MS
Community Justice Manager
Transition Services Unit
Multnomah County Department of Community Justice
421 SW 5th Avenue, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97204
Tel: 503–988–4054
E-mail: liv.e.jenssen@co.multnomah.or.us
Web site: www.co.multnomah.or.us/dcj/acjtsu.shtml

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Transitional Alpha Program
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Substance abuse
Funding Source
Maricopa County General Fund
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced
Number served: 32/year in jail; 50/year outpatient
Jail System Information
Size: 10,000+
Location: Urban

Program Overview
In 2003, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office created the Transitional Alpha Program
(TAP) through funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance
Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) grant. The TAP was designed to complement
Alpha, the preexisting jail-based substance abuse treatment program, by providing
transitional services and a continuum of care in the community. The program includes a
three-month residential treatment component followed by a six-month outpatient stepdown program administered by a community service provider. Funding for the six-month
outpatient component is no longer available, and the Sheriff’s Office is currently soliciting
proposals from service providers to renew this component. Community service providers
also contract with the Sheriff’s Office to provide supplemental counseling, behavioral
therapy, and life skills programs.

Key Program Elements
Inmates who have graduated from the Alpha program and have at least one year left on
their probation sentence are eligible to be released from jail and participate in the TAP. They
are released to the three-month residential program, the six-month outpatient step-down
program, or both. The TAP residential and outpatient service providers contract with the
Sheriff’s Office to provide supplemental programs, including life skills, anger management,
cognitive restructuring, self-esteem/codependency, and domestic violence. The contracted
service providers structure the program to be a continuum of treatment in the community.

Transition planning
A social worker meets individually with each client during the primary phase of the in-jail
treatment program to identify needs and locate resources to meet those needs. Transition
plans are evaluated and updated as necessary during the residential and outpatient phases.

Examples from the Field

155

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
Clients completing the residential phase of the TAP have the option of continuing to receive
services in the community for six months in the outpatient phase of the program. The
outpatient phase provides step-down counseling services that build off of the progress made
in residential treatment. Clients are encouraged to stay in contact with program staff and
treatment providers after the program period has ended.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is proud of the community partnerships and
relationships they have developed in an effort to provide the best possible chance for
recovery. Adult Probation and the courts recognize the success of the Alpha program and
the TAP and work closely with program staff to coordinate services. The local mental health
provider also works closely with the program to evaluate clients and provide their mental
health care needs.

Outcomes
TAP clients are monitored for any return visits to jail to track recidivism and outcomes
currently being assessed. To date, the program reports cumulative recidivism rates of 21
percent for those referred to both the Alpha program and the TAP.

Contact Information
Judy Lorch
Administrator
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office
100 West Washington, Suite 1900
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Tel: 602–876–7204
E-mail: J_Lorch@mcso.maricopa.gov

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Transitional Case Management
Tarzana Treatment Centers
Los Angeles County
Agency Type: Private community-based organization
Programmatic Focus: Physical health
Funding Source
County of Los Angeles Office of AIDS Programs and Policy
(Federal HRSA Ryan White Care Act)
Population Served
Legal status: Pretrial and sentenced
Number served: 150/year
Jail System Information
Size: 18,000+ ADP
Location: Urban

Program Overview
Tarzana Treatment Centers (TTC) seeks to improve public health and safety by providing
transitional case management services and postrelease follow-up to inmates in the Los
Angeles County Jail who are living with HIV/AIDS. Eligible inmates are individually assessed
at intake, and a transitional case manager works with them to develop and implement
a release plan that focuses on access to appropriate health care, financial assistance,
counseling, housing, transportation, and other supportive services after release. Regular
follow-up and periodic reassessment of needs continues in the community up to six months
after release.

Key Program Elements
Transition Planning
Transitional case managers conduct comprehensive assessments of men and transgender
individuals incarcerated in Los Angeles’s Men’s Central Jail and Twin Towers Correctional
Facility. Case managers work with inmates while they are in jail to develop and implement
individual release plans.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
In the six months after they are released, clients receive regular follow-up care to ensure
service coordination and access. Transitional case managers give referrals for medical

Examples from the Field

157

services, transportation assistance, counseling, financial assistance, and housing. Transitional
case managers conduct periodic reassessments of clients’ needs to maintain appropriate
service provision.

Partnerships and Collaboration
Through agreements to share released client information, TTC has developed a countywide
data collection system that is available to the jail system and other county agencies working
with the same client population.

Outcomes
Between March 1, 2006, and February 28, 2007, TTC enrolled 121 inmates for prerelease
services and 61 clients for postrelease services. Within these 12 months, 51 percent of
inmates enrolled in prerelease services reported having a mental health problem, and 83
percent reported active substance abuse. Forty-two of the 61 clients (69 percent) enrolled
in postrelease services received transportation from custody to community supervision,
46 (75 percent) accessed HIV medical care, 39 (64 percent) accessed housing through TTC
or another provider, 42 (69 percent) accessed substance abuse treatment through TTC or
another provider, and 13 (21 percent) accessed mental health treatment through TTC or
another provider.

Contact Information
Jose Rodriguez
Housing and Reentry Services Coordinator
Tarzana Treatment Centers
7101 Baird Avenue
Reseda, CA 91335
Tel: 818–342–5897 ext. 2119
E-mail: jrodriguez@tarzanatc.org
Web site: www.tarzanatc.org

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Transitional Services
Westchester County Department of Correction
Agency Type: Jail
Programmatic Focus: Comprehensive
Funding Source
Corrections operating budget
Population Served
Legal status: Sentenced

Number served: 1,949 in 2005 (every sentenced inmate)

Jail System Information
Size: 1,000 ADP
Location: Suburban/urban

Program Overview
In early 2000, the Westchester County Department of Correction (WCDOC) established a
comprehensive Pre-Release and Transitional Services Team to plan for the release of all
sentenced inmates in its custody. The WCDOC operates multiple and diverse programs
within the jail facility and partners with several agencies that come into the jail to schedule
appointments and services for inmates upon release. The Pre-Release Services Transitional
Team consists of a program administrator and three prerelease counselors that act
as liaisons between the jail and the community. The Transitional Team also includes 2
community outreach workers to review discharge plans 30 days before release and follow up
with inmates in the community for 30–60 days after release.

Key Program Elements
Reentry Services in Jail
During the intake process, the Program Board at the Westchester County Department of
Correction, chaired by the assistant warden and made up of Program Services staff, develops
a program and prerelease plan for each sentenced inmate. Inmates’ plans include referrals
to appropriate programs on the basis of staff recommendations, inmate needs and requests,
and institutional resources. There are a variety of programs in the jail, many of which are
staffed by outside community agencies. Because programs generally run for 6–8 weeks, the
Transitional Team prefers to work with inmates who will be incarcerated for at least 30–60
days. Prerelease counselors provide ongoing case management to sentenced inmates
throughout their incarceration.

Examples from the Field

159

Transition Planning
The WCDOC is budgeted for 2 community outreach workers that meet with each inmate 30
days prior to release to discuss discharge plans. After individual meetings with inmates,
the community outreach workers conduct group meetings with all inmates scheduled for
release in the next 30 days. In these group meetings, community outreach workers try to
create a peer buddy system for inmates returning to the same communities to reinforce
the postrelease case management. The discharge plan is essentially a schedule for inmates
that includes the first meeting with the community outreach worker in addition to other
appointments necessary in the transition process.

Community Case Management and Follow-Up
The WCDOC community outreach workers provide case management services to inmates for
30–60 days after release. Upon release, it is the responsibility of the inmate to keep the first
appointment with the community outreach worker. If individuals fail to appear, the outreach
worker will try to contact them for two weeks. The community outreach worker meets with
individuals once a week for the first three weeks and then less often depending on the needs
of the individual.

Partnerships and Collaboration
The Westchester County Department of Correction welcomes community organizations
into its jail facilities to conduct orientations for inmates and begin working with them prior
to release. The largest formal partnership is with the Department of Social Services (DSS),
which provides funding for one of the three prerelease counselors working in the jail. The
WCDOC has a contact person at each DSS community office that they work with to connect
returning inmates with local resources.

Contact Information
Nory Padilla
Program Administrator
Transitional Services
Westchester County Department of Correction
P.O. Box 389
Valhalla, NY 10595
Tel: 914–231–1400
E-mail: nnp4@westchestergov.com
Web site: www.westchestergov.com/correction

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References
Hammett, T.M., C. Roberts, S. Kennedy, W. Rhodes, T. Conklin, T. Lincoln, and R.W. Tuthill,
Evaluation of the Hampden County Public Health Model of Correctional Care, Final Report to
the National Institute of Justice (Cambridge, MA: Abt Associates, Inc., 2004).
LaVigne, Nancy G., Amy L. Solomon, Karen Beckman, and Kelly Dedel Johnson, Prisoner
Reentry and Community Policing: Strategies for Enhancing Public Safety (Washington, DC:
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, 2006).
Solomon, Amy, Michelle Waul, Asheley Van Ness, and Jeremy Travis, Outside the Walls: A
National Snapshot of Community-Based Prisoner Reentry Programs (Washington, DC: The
Urban Institute, 2003).

Examples from the Field

161

4
3
The Role of
Probation in
Reentry from Jail

The Role of Probation in Reentry from Jail

4

T

he vast majority of state prisoners—about 80 percent—are released to supervision
in the community, most commonly on parole (Glaze and Palla, 2005). At some level,
therefore, there is at least one organization with the responsibility and authority to
oversee an individual’s transition from prison, monitor his or her progress, and manage his
or her risks and needs. Community supervision is not as common a factor in the lives of
people released from jail. There are no national studies to give us an empirical handle on the
exact share of inmates released from jail to probation, whether through a split sentence, a
direct sentence to probation following pretrial detention, or rerelease to probation following
a jail stay for a violation. In many jurisdictions, few, if any, individuals are released to
probation following a jail stay, and in other
places, a large share of sentenced inmates
is directly released to probation.31
Another form of community supervision for
released inmates is pretrial supervision.
Pretrial supervision is discussed in Section
1. This section focuses solely on the role of
probation in reentry from jail, but much of
the discussion may be applicable for pretrial
supervision as well.

At the same time, there is substantial
overlap in the jail and probation
populations. Not only have about 61
percent of inmates been sentenced to
probation supervision at some point in the
past, but nearly half (47 percent) of all jail
inmates were on probation (34 percent)
or parole (13 percent) at the time of their
arrest (see table 5).32

Table 5: Criminal Justice Status of Jail Inmates at Arrest, 2002 (percentage)
On probation

34

On parole

13

On bail/bond

7

On other pretrial release

2

Source: James, 2004.

To better understand the impact of the returning jail population on probation caseloads
and how probation departments are working with local jails on the transition process,
we developed a brief online survey with the American Probation and Parole Association
(APPA) to disseminate to its members.33 More than 100 departments responded to the
survey and about half of the respondents reported they were collaborating with their local

31
Overall we estimate that a relatively small share of inmates at the national level is released directly to probation. According to the
Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are about 2.2 million people placed on probation each year (Glaze and Bonzcar, 2006). It is evident
that they do not all come directly from jail. Given that an estimated 12 million are released from jail each year, it is clear that the
majority of jail releases are not released to probation supervision.
32

Another nine percent were out on bail, bond, or some other type of pretrial release at the time of arrest.

33

The online survey was sent to APPA membership in spring 2007. The survey asked probation chiefs what percentage of their
caseloads comes directly from jail (either through a split sentence, following pretrial detention, or another method); if they were
collaborating with their local jail on reentry efforts; and if not, why.

165


The apparent disconnect between the substantial share of inmates who were on probation or parole at the time of their arrest (47
percent) and the low share who are released from jail to probation (exact percentage unknown) is a reflection of the dearth of
available data on the characteristics of those who are released from jail. As discussed in the sidebar “Jail Stock and Flow,” page
13, the estimated 12 million who are admitted and released from jails each year do not necessarily represent the 766,010 “stock”
population who were incarcerated in jail at midyear 2006. Some large (but unknown) share of these 12 million are charged with
low-level misdemeanors and will be quickly released, without a conviction or sentence to jail, probation, or any other sanction.
The stock population, on the other hand, may represent a more serious population, more entrenched in the criminal justice
system as reflected by the large share who were under criminal justice supervision at the time of their arrest and incarceration.

jails.34 Unsurprisingly, probation departments indicated a great deal of variation in the share
of probationers coming directly from jail, ranging from zero in some departments to 100
percent in others.
Agencies that reported no collaboration with the local jail offered many reasons: Many stated
that reentry from jail has not fully surfaced in the probation arena. Others believe that their
local jails are not concerned with reentry. Several survey respondents noted that reentry
collaboration is primarily focused at the state level for returning prisoners (including prison
to probation), and that they have not considered reentry from local facilities. Unlike the
prison-to-parole trajectory, in many cases there is no direct connection from jail to probation.
Finally, many probation agencies view such collaboration as beyond the agency’s capacity
and report that large caseloads and high staff turnover make it difficult to take on additional
responsibilities. As a result, contact with the jail in many cases does not extend beyond
arrangements to rent bed space for particular court-ordered programs operated by probation
or notification when probationers are being released.
Yet there are also examples from around the country that illustrate creative and efficient
ways that probation and jails are working together to facilitate the community transition of
the jail population, with the ultimate goal of increasing public safety. In the discussion that
follows, we draw on these examples, collected through the scan of practice (presented in
Section 3) and follow-up interviews with some of those who responded to the APPA survey,
to describe the roles probation can serve both in improving the reentry process for people
coming out of jail and reducing the likelihood that probationers will end up in jail in the first
place.

Facilitating the Transition Process
In those jurisdictions where probation frequently supervises sentenced people coming
out of jail, there are a number of ways probation can be involved in reentry and improve
the chances of successful transition. Collaboration between the jail and probation is
often designed around special caseloads, such as those with mental illness or high-risk
gang-involved individuals. But as illustrated below, many collaborative efforts can and do
apply to the broader returning population. For example, probation officers can establish
prerelease contact, help individuals navigate the moment of release, assess or reassess

34
It is important to note that the survey respondents may not reflect a representative sample. It is possible that those who chose to
participate in the survey may be more likely to be interested or involved in reentry from jails than those who did not complete the
survey. Therefore, the percentage that reported collaboration may represent a greater share than is collaborating in the field overall.

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

Employing Evidence-Based Supervision Strategies in the Transition Process
Many experts advise that supervision should evolve from a contact-driven system (where success is measured by probation
officer contacts in the field) to a performance-based system that values the role officers can play in engaging probationers and
influencing their behavior (Taxman, 2006). This behavioral management approach builds on the tenets of evidence-based
practice. The following is a description of the key components:
• 	 Corrections agencies should use standardized risk and needs assessment tools to identify criminogenic needs that affect
involvement in criminal conduct, such as antisocial peers and networks, a dysfunctional family, substance abuse, and
low self-control.
• 	 People under community supervision should be matched to services that address their criminogenic needs. High-risk
people should be targeted first. Services should employ cognitive behavioral, cognitive processing, and contingency
management approaches to facilitate change.
• 	 A system of rewards and sanctions should be used to reinforce behavior change, with a priority on reinforcing positive
behaviors. Research indicates that incentives and positive reinforcements may be more effective than negative
sanctions (Andrews et al., 1990). Concrete incentives ranging from bus tokens to increased curfew hours or reducing the
frequency of office visits could motivate probationers to comply with conditions and stay on the right track.
• 	 Community supervision officers should focus on building a trusting relationship with probationers to achieve procedural
justice. Motivational interviewing is a tool that many departments use to teach probation officers how to productively
engage individuals on their caseloads.
For more information about evidence-based practice and supervision strategies in local corrections, see Taxman, 2006, and
Christensen and Clawson, 2006. Also see Crime and Justice Institute, 2004.

risks and needs, serve as a case manager and service broker to keep individuals engaged
in treatment and compliant with conditions of release, and coordinate closely with other
organizations. As probation agencies engage in the reentry process, the use of best practice
supervision strategies can improve the effectiveness of these interventions (see sidebar
above).35
Probation officers can establish prerelease contact with individuals in jail. As inmates near
the date of their release, probation officers can schedule face-to-face meetings in the jail
to develop a relationship, review areas of need, and establish the ground rules—as well as
goals—for individuals’ supervision after release. During these meetings, probation officers
can also address logistical or legal questions about an individual’s case, such as removing
a warrant or default and determining the amount of money an individual owes the court,
to avert potential setbacks after release. Such prerelease contact with probation officers is
routine in several jurisdictions.
The Maryland Division of Parole and Probation is involved in collaborations with at least
two counties in Maryland—Anne Arundel and Montgomery—in which agents meet with
probation-bound inmates on a weekly basis at the detention centers just before their release.
These meetings also involve advocates from substance use, mental health, employment, and
housing agencies. During the prerelease meetings, the team works together to develop a

35
For more information on behavioral management strategies as a best practice in the supervision of people returning from jail, see
Taxman, 2006.

The Role of Probation in Reentry from Jail

167

reentry plan and ensure that the individual understands the conditions of probation ordered
by the court.
In Multnomah County (Oregon), up to 120 days before the release of certain high-risk
individuals, the Transition Services Unit in the county’s Department of Community
Justice begins working in the jail with correctional staff to coordinate a transition plan. In
Minnesota’s Dodge-Fillmore-Olmsted Community Corrections Department, probation officers
visit the jail twice a month to meet with soon-to-be-released individuals, conduct a training
session on “How to Succeed on Probation,” and distribute community resource guides.
Some probation departments assign a staff person or persons to work in the jail on
a permanent basis, promoting a coordinated communication stream between the two
agencies. Staff assigned to the jail may be the supervising officers themselves or “reentry
agents” who communicate with the supervising officers. In Davidson County (Tennessee),
Newburyport (Massachusetts), and Lehigh County (Pennsylvania), institutional probation
officers are assigned to work directly in the jail with correctional staff and inmates to prepare
individuals for release and probation supervision.
In Essex County (Massachusetts), inmates are assigned a probation officer as soon as they
are admitted to jail. The probation officer monitors their reentry plan throughout their term
of incarceration and in the community upon release.
Probation officers can assess risks and needs. In jurisdictions where there is no pretrial
agency, probation departments can provide assessment of risks and needs. Further, during
prerelease meetings with inmates, probation staff may use their agency’s assessments in
addition to those administered by the jail—if any—to further anticipate certain risks and
needs. The Bucks County Adult Probation and Parole Department in Pennsylvania uses
a reintegration case plan in collaboration with the county department of correction. The
reintegration case plan, modified from the National GAINS Center Reentry Checklist,36
describes an individual’s potential needs in the community, the services received while in
jail, and a final plan geared toward the first few days after release that includes, among other
things, contact information for referrals.
In some cases, probation departments may have developed assessment tools for particular
programs to determine eligibility or level of need. Klamath County Community Corrections
in Oregon uses an assessment tool in the local jail to determine appropriate placement
in their work release reentry program. Similarly, Iowa’s 6th Judicial District Department
of Correctional Services has developed a mental health screening assessment that the
probation officer administers to identify pretrial detainees in the Linn County Jail who are
eligible for the Pretrial Release Mental Health Reentry Program. Such tools can also be
adapted for use with the general probation population coming from jail.
Probation officers can help individuals navigate the moment of release. In addition to
addressing long-term challenges—such as unemployment and substance abuse—probation
officers can also help individuals overcome logistical and more immediate barriers they
may face at the moment of release, such as transportation, housing, identification, and
access to federal benefits. By attending to these short-term needs, probation officers can
aid probationers in navigating the high-risk period immediately following release, therefore
increasing the odds of stability and—ultimately—lower recidivism and relapse.
For transportation, individuals are often required to report immediately to their probation
officer and may have no easy way of getting to the office. As a result, individuals may not
show up for their first appointment, immediately putting them in violation of their release
36
The National GAINS Center has developed a reentry checklist that can be adapted for a particular jurisdiction: http://gainscenter.
samhsa.gov/html/resources/reentry.asp.

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

conditions. Probation staff can meet newly released clients at the gate or, as is done in
Newburyport, can arrange for jail staff to deliver probationers directly to the courthouse or
probation office. This immediate introduction to their probation officer is especially important
for those inmates who have not met with probation staff while in jail and allows supervision
and services to start without interrupting an individual’s transition plan.
The Multnomah County Department of Community Justice assists with housing placement
at release and special needs assistance and begins arranging services and making
appointments while the individual is still incarcerated to ensure that the moment of release
is smooth. In Maricopa County (Arizona), probation officers help individuals connect to
housing and reapply for federal entitlements to avoid gaps in care upon release and meet
immediate survival needs such as food and clothing while individuals focus on their
long-term stabilization.

Conditions of Probation
Conditions of probation generally include reporting to a probation officer on a regular basis, submitting to drug tests, finding and
maintaining employment, and notifying a probation officer when moving or relocating. Even basic conditions provide a powerful
platform for encouraging productive behavior on probation, but ideally conditions would be individually tailored to reflect reentry
priorities. Developing individualized conditions of supervision proves difficult because conditions are set at sentencing by a
judge and not by probation staff at the end of an individual’s term of confinement. Accordingly, probation officers are typically
required to go to the judge to tailor conditions of release. Carl Wicklund, executive director of the American Probation and Parole
Association, suggests conditions be realistic, relevant, and supported by research to be effective (Wicklund, 2005). If conditions
are routinely set to reflect the “3 Rs”—and consistently enforced—they would likely be supportive of reentry priorities and
ultimately improved reentry outcomes.

Probation officers can serve as case managers and service brokers, encouraging probationer
compliance with conditions of release and continued engagement in treatment, work, and
other positive connections. Probation officers are not only well positioned to facilitate
connections to treatment services immediately following release, but they can also help
individuals maintain connections to jobs, federal benefits, services, and community
resources in the long term. Generally, successful outcomes are associated with at least 90
days in treatment, and community supervision has been shown to increase the likelihood of
keeping an individual in treatment longer (Gaes et al., 1999).
Some probation departments operate community reentry centers designed to promote
a seamless transition from jail or prison by providing and linking to support mechanisms
while also ensuring compliance with conditions. For example, women released from the
Cook County Department of Women’s Justice Services who are sentenced to probation are
transitioned into the county probation’s Community Reentry Program to proceed with their
treatment plans. There is a similar arrangement in New York’s Dutchess County, where local
probation runs a community transition center and has a close working relationship with the
jail.
Ideally, when individuals are released to supervision, probation officers can determine the
progress that individuals have made in their treatment plans and facilitate a continuum of

The Role of Probation in Reentry from Jail

169

care. In Davidson County, once probation officers are assigned, the sheriff’s department
transfers individuals’ “release and continuing care plans” with information on jail-based
program completion and referrals. Similarly, in Newburyport, the jail provides the probation
department with information about any treatment programs the individual attended while
incarcerated. Probation officers use this information to create a continuum of service for
probationers rather than starting from square one or duplicating services when they are
released.
Even when probation officers make connections to community resources, some individuals
cannot take advantage of services or a potential job because they lack transportation.
Probation departments have responded in a variety of ways: in Kansas, Johnson County
Community Corrections provides vans to transport individuals housed in the Residential
Center to their work sites or into the community to search for employment opportunities.
Johnson County also has an agreement with the county transportation system that provides
residents with bus passes to get to their jobs. In rural areas, access to services and resources
proves especially challenging. Given the long distances between various locations that
characterize many rural jurisdictions, such as the Dodge-Fillmore-Olmsted tri-county area,
probation officers often conduct home visits and purposefully schedule treatment and
probation appointments together to minimize transportation difficulties.
Probation departments can coordinate closely with staff from other organizations and
even colocate services. Given the extent to which criminal justice agencies and service
providers frequently interact with the same people, probation departments are in a unique
position to bridge the gap between incarceration and life in the community and reduce
the likelihood that an individual will get caught up in the justice system again. Probation
departments can enhance their role in improving reentry outcomes through coordination
not only with jails and sheriff’s departments, but also with the police, government agencies,
and service providers. For example, probation agencies can participate in interagency case
management teams. As noted earlier in the report, the Maryland Division of Probation and
Parole maintains an active role in postrelease service provision and supervision as part of
Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation’s reentry collaborative
case management team, whose other members include addiction treatment providers,
faith-based community groups, the public defender, the police, and numerous other public
and private service agencies. In Oregon’s Douglas County, probation officers, who work
in the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment “Get Real” outpatient aftercare program,
are involved as part of a larger multidisciplinary case management team to increase their
effectiveness in engaging individuals.
Probation departments can also partner with local police or sheriff’s departments to promote
successful community transition as they do in numerous jurisdictions around the country
to keep reoffending in check among those under community supervision. In Newburyport,
police often accompany probation officers to the jail for prerelease meetings to assure
individuals that police are aware of their upcoming release but also to emphasize that they
are available as a resource.
Probation and law enforcement can also benefit from information sharing and collaboration
in the community. In jurisdictions as varied as rural Minnesota and urban Boston,
community corrections staff participate in ride-alongs with law enforcement to better
understand the individuals on their caseloads (Parent and Snyder, 1999; LaVigne et al., 2006).
These ride-alongs also support ongoing coordination, information sharing, and problem
solving.

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

I would say that sharing information is fundamental to the success of
both [corrections and law enforcement] because community safety is our
ultimate goal. However, we are more likely to pass on information when
we know and trust the person we are talking with. This relationship can be
developed more rapidly when each discipline realizes how often the other
interacts with the same offenders.37
—Lt. Mike Ashmet
Ogden City Police Department (Utah)

Coordination with other organizations can also enhance probation’s efforts as service
brokers through such strategies as colocating services, treatment, and training. Probation
departments can provide their own space to other agencies working with the same
population, or they can reach out to community agencies to share space for certain
functions. Dodge-Fillmore-Olmsted Community Corrections provides the fourth floor of
its office for jail inmates to participate in treatment programs while they are still in jail. In
this way, probation staff are also able to develop relationships with individuals who will be
released to their custody. In Baltimore City, officials from the Maryland Division of Probation
and Parole Proactive Community Supervision Unit are exploring the possibility of acquiring
space in the new facility of Catholic Charities’ Our Daily Bread. This facility is adjacent to
Pre-Trial Detention Services and would serve as a convenient setting to meet with released
individuals and enhance reentry efforts.

Reducing the Population Flow from Probation to Jail
In jurisdictions where probation rarely follows a jail stay, collaborative efforts can help
reduce the number of people moving from probation to jail in at least two ways. First,
probation officers can share information with the jail about probationers who are detained.
Information about an individual’s time in the community is useful for efficient and informed
decisions on jail-based interventions and community linkages that will reduce the likelihood
of returning to jail. Second, in response to supervision violations, probation departments can
in many cases use intermediate, community-based sanctions before resorting to a jail stay.
Intermediate sanctions can promote positive behavior change through ongoing communitybased treatment, training, service provision, and accountability regimes. These issues are
discussed briefly below.

More broad-based collaboration and
strategic planning, as discussed at the end
of Section 2, are well suited for developing
creative, tailored interventions aimed to
reduce violations and increase probationer
success more generally.

37

Probation departments can share with the
jail information about individuals in their
custody. Through both routine interactions
and formal assessments, probation
officers have important information
about the individuals they supervise.
Many probation and parole departments
systematically collect this data, enabling
information sharing with other agencies.
Should probationers be detained, jails

As quoted in LaVigne, 2007.

The Role of Probation in Reentry from Jail

171

can use probation-gathered information to address individuals’ risks and needs and better
prepare them for release. A coordinated process such as this can improve the chances
that a person will not return to jail in the future. The Bucks County (Pennsylvania) Adult
Probation and Parole Department maintains an information form on each individual under its
supervision. If an individual is detained, whether for a violation or a new charge, the Bucks
County information form is sent to the jail within 48 hours.
In many jurisdictions, probation departments (or their pretrial counterparts) are tasked
with developing presentence investigation reports (PSIs) to assist the courts in sentencing
decisions. PSIs describe defendants’ criminal and personal histories, including social,
employment, and health backgrounds. The use of PSIs has been decreasing over the years,
but they can be a valuable information source for jail staff.
Probation departments can develop or enhance intermediate interventions to respond to
violations in the community rather than incarcerate violators. As noted earlier, about half
of the jail population was on community supervision at the time of their arrest. For some,
the incarceration was a result of a new crime, and for many others a result of violating their
probation or parole. For the latter circumstance, the policy question becomes: Are there
other ways to promote behavior change and manage setbacks in the community?
The research literature suggests that to be effective, punishment should be immediate and
predictable, with clear, enforceable consequences for violations (Burke, 1997; Harrell et al.,
2003; Taxman, Soule, and Gelb, 1999; Reinventing Probation Council, 2000). Communitybased sanctions—including community service, drug testing, a more stringent curfew,
day reporting centers, electronic monitoring, and global positioning system units—may
help manage behavior and keep individuals out of jail if employed swiftly, consistently,
and predictably. This is far from actual practice in many jurisdictions, where probationers
may repeatedly violate the conditions of their supervision without being caught, or may be
caught several times but receive nothing more than a warning, until a seemingly random
violation results in a jail stay.38
Some jurisdictions, however, are experimenting with a continuum of graduated,
intermediate responses at the local level to ease the burden on jails and provide treatment,
training, and connections to the community for ongoing support. A common example is
the use of day reporting centers in lieu of jail for probation violators. For example, the Day
Reporting and Reentry Division of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida operates
a community-service work program for repeat misdemeanants as a condition of their
probation, offering a wide range of services and training programs as well as several referral
resources offsite.
Although probation can play an enhanced role in reentry from jail, in most jurisdictions
probation departments and jails do not coordinate on the many issues—and people—they
have in common. However, many agencies responding to the APPA survey—including
those that reported no collaboration—indicated that their jurisdictions are examining or
considering collaborative efforts. As the jail reentry discussion develops, it will be important
to engage probation offices and the considerable tools and resources they have to offer.
There remains a real opportunity to recognize the overlapping jail and probation populations
and improve coordination between the two systems—to enhance probation’s role in reentry
from jail and slow the revolving door.

38
It is worth noting that jail itself is typically used as an alterative to prison in responding to parole violations. While appropriate in
the prisoner reentry context, it should not be the first response in the continuity of sanctions in the jail reentry context.

172

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References
Andrews, D.A., Ivan Zinger, Robert D. Hoge et al., “Does Correctional Treatment Work? A
Clinically Relevant and Psychologically Informed Meta-Analysis,” Criminology 28, no. 3
(1990): 369–404.
Burke, Peggy, Policy-Driven Responses to Probation and Parole Violations (Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 1997).
Christensen, Gary, and Elyse Clawson, “Our System of Corrections: Do Jails Play a Role
in Improving Offender Outcomes?” (paper prepared for the Urban Institute Jail Reentry
Roundtable, June 2006).
Crime and Justice Institute, “Implementing Evidence-Based Practice in Community
Corrections: The Principles of Effective Intervention” (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of
Justice, National Institute of Corrections, 2004).
Gaes, Gerald G., Timothy J. Flanagan, Laurence L. Motiuk, and Lynn Stewart, “Adult
Correctional Treatment,” in Prisons, ed. Michael Tonry and Joan Petersilia (Chicago, IL:
University of Chicago Press, 1999).
Glaze, Lauren E., and Seri Palla, Probation and Parole in the United States, 2004, Bureau of Justice
Statistics Bulletin NCJ 210676 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of
Justice Statistics, 2005).
Glaze, Lauren E., and Thomas P. Bonzcar, Probation and Parole in the United States, 2005, Bureau of
Justice Statistics Bulletin NCJ 215091 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau
of Justice Statistics, 2006).
Harrell, Adele V., Ojmarrh Mitchell, Jeffrey Merrill, and Douglas Marlowe, Evaluation of Breaking
the Cycle (Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 2003).
James, Doris, Profile of Jail Inmates, 2002, Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report NCJ
201932 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2004).
LaVigne, Nancy G., Mapping for Community-Based Prisoner Reentry Efforts: A Guidebook for
Law Enforcement Agencies and Their Partners (Washington, DC: Police Foundation, 2007).
LaVigne, Nancy G., Amy L. Solomon, Karen Beckman, and Kelly Dedel Johnson, Prisoner
Reentry and Community Policing: Strategies for Enhancing Public Safety (Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, 2006).
Parent, Dale, and Brad Snyder, “Police-Corrections Partnerships,” Issues and Practices in
Criminal Justice, NCJ 175047 (Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, 1999).
Reinventing Probation Council, Transforming Probation Through Leadership: The “Broken Windows”
Model (New York: Manhattan Institute, 2000).
Taxman, Faye, “The Role of Community Supervision in Addressing Reentry from Jail” (paper
prepared for the Urban Institute Jail Reentry Roundtable, June 2006), http://www.urban.org/
projects/reentry-roundtable/roundtable9.cfm.

The Role of Probation in Reentry from Jail

173

Taxman, F., D. Soule, and A. Gelb, “Graduated Sanctions: Stepping Into Accountable
Systems and Offenders,” Prison Journal 79, no. 2 (1999): 182–205.
Wicklund, Carl, “Evaluation of Reentry Initiatives—What Is Missing?” (paper presented at the
Justice Resource and Statistic Association Conference, St. Petersburg, Florida, October 27,
2005), http://www.jrsa.org/events/conference/presentation -05/Carl-Wicklund.pdf.

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5
Looking Forward


Looking Forward

5

O

ver the past decade, criminal justice practitioners, policymakers, and researchers
have focused substantial attention on prisoner reentry. Leaders in fields as diverse as
corrections and law enforcement, health, housing, workforce development, and faithbased organizations now claim reentry as a top priority and have begun to transform state
systems. Over the next decade, important opportunities will exist to reform reentry practices
at the local level as well.
On the one hand, the challenge looms large. A substantial, high-needs population is
currently incarcerated in the nation’s jails. Few services exist on the inside, and perhaps
even fewer linkages to training, treatment, and services are in place when individuals return
to the community. Moreover, no single person or agency is tasked with the job of ensuring
continuity of care—or even risk management—once individuals are released. On the other
hand, the country’s jails face a pivotal and promising moment, as their leaders consider their
role in the burgeoning reentry movement. Indeed, reentry from jail presents an opportunity
to intervene in the lives of the 9 million individuals who cycle in and out of jail some 12
million times each year. Jails are often considered a feeder system to state prisons; as such,
reentry interventions may be viewed as a potential prevention strategy—to avert future
offending and minimize “graduation” to state and federal prisons.
Effective prevention will require enhanced partnerships between jails and community-based
organizations and new ways of doing business. While “care, custody, and control” have
long been the traditional jail mission, a reentry orientation involves direct collaboration
with community-based providers and networks. Improving reentry from jail will require
jails to quickly and efficiently assess the priority risks and needs of the various populations
they house and to develop transition plans for their return to the community. For some of
the higher risk and longer term inmates, reentry strategies may involve treatment, training,
and case management that spans the jail-community divide. For many others, it may be
sufficient to provide a reentry handbook or referral list of community-based resources.
At the same time, community-based agencies often do not consider the returning jail
population to be a primary concern, and typically there is not a community-based
organization with the responsibility, authority, or accountability to intervene after release.
Community agencies will need to recognize the considerable overlap between the jail
population and their human service caseloads in the community—and, therefore, that it is
in their interest to work with these individuals, ideally before they are released from jail.
Coinvesting in this population should, in fact, increase the odds that interventions will be
more efficient and effective. For both jails and community-based agencies, a reentry focus
will involve formalized working agreements, joint strategic planning and resource allocation,
cross-agency leadership, and intraorganization culture change.
A tall order? Perhaps. But as detailed in the scan of practice, many jurisdictions have
already developed innovative ways to address reentry from jail—and practitioners around
the country are invigorated by their evolving work in this area. As we spoke to jail and
community practitioners around the country, we heard a message over and over: “After
years of cuff ‘em and stuff ‘em, this [reentry focus] has rejuvenated my career.”39 The

39
Kenneth Massey, Undersheriff, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (Kansas), phone interview with Amy Solomon and Jenny Osborne,
March 12, 2007.

177


complexities of working within the jail setting and effecting successful transition from
local jails may be formidable, but many administrators indicate that they, their staff, and
community-based colleagues feel empowered, engaged, and energized by these reentry
efforts and the new direction in the field.
What would successful reentry look like? In the short term, it might mean that inmates leave
jail with necessary medications in hand, identification papers in pocket, a roof over their
heads the first night out, and someone in the community—be it a sponsor, a family member,
or a treatment provider—ready for their return. A few years down the road, we might set
our aim higher, to reduced recidivism; fewer relapses; fewer returns to jails, hospitals, and
shelters; and increased stability and productivity among the returning population. More
broadly, we would expect to see less crime, fewer victimizations, improved public health,
and stronger, safer, healthier communities.

We have reached the end of that which is logical and essential in a 21st
century correctional system breaking at the seams. If we fail to seize the
opportunity to make reentry from incarceration as vital a focus as the
security we hold so dear, we have failed our mission in whole.40
—Robert L. Green, Warden
Montgomery County Correctional Facility (Maryland)

40

Personal communication with Amy Solomon and Jenny Osborne, June 11, 2007.

National Initiatives and Resources
Community-Oriented Correctional Health Services. Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Community-Oriented
Correctional Health Services (COCHS) is a nonprofit technical assistance and consulting organization that helps communities
connect the health care provided in local correctional facilities with health care provided in the community. The COCHS model
is based on the Public Health Model for Corrections in Hampden County (Massachusetts) that brings staff from the community
health center into local correctional facilities to treat inmates who will be returning to the community. This in-reach creates a
system in which correctional health care is an extension of the existing community health system. Ultimately, COCHS hopes to
reduce the incidence of chronic disease and the cost of health care. For more information, visit the COCHS web site at www.
cochs.org.
Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project. The Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project, coordinated by the
Council of State Governments Justice Center, is a national effort to help local, state, and federal policymakers and criminal justice
and mental health professionals improve the response to people with mental illnesses involved in the criminal justice system.
The Consensus Project supports the implementation of practical and flexible strategies for addressing issues of mental health
in the justice system through onsite technical assistance; the dissemination of information about programs, research, and
policy developments in the field; ongoing development of policy recommendations; and educational presentations. The
Consensus Project report (released in June 2002) reflects the results of a series of meetings among 100 mental health and
criminal justice practitioners around the country. The full report, as well as related projects and resources, is available at
http://consensusproject.org.

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Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community

National Association of Counties’ Jail-to-Community Transition Planning for Jail Inmates with Co-Occurring Substance Abuse
and Mental Illness Disorders. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance has funded the National
Association of Counties (NACo) to enhance the effectiveness of local governments in jail-to-community transition planning for
inmates with substance abuse and mental health co-occurring disorders. NACo will identify promising local transition planning
practices around the country and assess their potential for replication. NACo’s goal is to identify those communities that have
developed sustained capacity within their jails to effectively assess inmates for transition planning. These counties will have built
successful collaborative relationships with community partners and developed risk/needs assessment and screening tools to
effectively place offenders with co-occurring disorders in the community. Selected models will be featured in a promising practices
publication, which will serve as a resource for communities across the country. For more information, visit www.naco.org.
The National GAINS Center. The National GAINS Center collects and disseminates information about effective mental health
and substance abuse services for people with co-occurring disorders involved in the criminal justice system. The GAINS Center
comprises two centers, the Technical Assistance and Policy Analysis Center for Jail Diversion and the Center on Evidence-Based
Programs in the Justice System, both funded by the Center for Mental Health Services within the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services. The GAINS Center’s Re-Entry Initiative was launched in 2002 with the development of the APIC (Assess,
Plan, Identify, and Coordinate) model, a best practice approach to community reentry from jail for inmates with co-occurring
disorders. (See the sidebar “APIC Model,” page 34, for more information.) The GAINS Center has developed many tools to assist
jurisdictions in their reentry efforts, including The Reentry Checklist for Inmates with Mental Health Service Needs, based on the
APIC model, and the Brief Jail Mental Health Screen. For more information on the National GAINS Center and access to these
reentry tools, see www.gainscenter.samhsa.gov/html/.
The Report of the Re-Entry Policy Council. The Council of State Governments established the Re-Entry Policy Council in 2001 to
assist state government officials with the growing number of people leaving prison and jail and returning to the community. The
Re-Entry Policy Council is made up of key leaders and experts at the local, state, and national levels, including criminal justice
officials and practitioners; state legislators; and workforce development, housing, health, mental health, and substance abuse
officials and service providers. The Report of the Re-Entry Policy Council, authored by the Council of State Governments and the
10 project partners, provides recommendations for the safe and successful return of prisoners to the community, reflecting the
common ground the Policy Council reached during a series of meetings. More information on the Re-Entry Policy Council and
access to the full report is available at www.reentrypolicy.org.
Transition from Jail to Community Project. In an effort to enhance public safety, reduce the number of crimes committed by
individuals returning from jail to their communities, and improve long-term reintegration outcomes, the National Institute of
Corrections (NIC) has launched Transition from Jail to Community. Over the next few years, NIC and the Urban Institute will work
with practitioners to develop a transition model that will incorporate collaboration and joint ownership, data-driven
and evidence-based intervention strategies, and tools for self-evaluation. The model will be tested and evaluated in two
jurisdictions followed by implementation in four additional jurisdictions. Project partners will develop technical assistance tools
for dissemination to the field so that non-participating jurisdictions may benefit from what is learned.

Looking Forward

179

*NCJ~220095*

 

 

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