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Making the Transition - Rethinking Jail Reentry in Los Angeles County, Vera Institute, 2013

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SUBSTANCE USE AND MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM

Making The Transition:
Rethinking Jail Reentry in Los Angeles County

Talia Sandwick
Karen Tamis
Jim Parsons
Cesar Arauz-Cuadra
Vera Institute of Justice
February 2013

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Acknowledgments
The authors are grateful for the support of The California Endowment. We would like to thank our partners in the
Los Angeles County Sheriff‘s Department for facilitating access to the jail, providing data for the study, and for
their assistance answering our numerous questions and calls for advice. In particular, we would like to thank the
staff of the Community Transition Unit, who were a daily source of assistance throughout the project. Without your
support, this research would not have been possible.
We would also like to express our gratitude to those who shared their expertise on reentry services in Los Angeles,
the particular needs of South Los Angeles and Boyle Heights, and how our findings can help improve justice and
safety in Los Angeles County, including: Charles Fields, Will Ing, Tamu Jones, Barbara Raymond, Beatriz Solis,
and Jennifer Ybarra of The California Endowment, Lenore Anderson of Californians for Safety and Justice, the
Raben Group, and the men at Men‘s Central Jail and the numerous community and government stakeholders who
graciously agreed to be interviewed for this study. Your insight has proved invaluable throughout the life of the
project.
We would also like to recognize the contribution of our current and former Vera colleagues: Marisa Arrona, Alice
Chasan, Melissa Cipollone, Mary Crowley, David Cloud, Léon Digard, Evan Elkin, Rodolfo Estrada, Elias Isquith,
Peggy McGarry, Miyuki Sakoh, Ashley Schappell, Olivia Sideman, Rebecca Tublitz, Mariana Veras, Dan Wilhelm,
and Allon Yaroni.

© 2013 Vera Institute of Justice. All rights reserved.
Additional copies can be obtained from the communications department of the Vera Institute of
Justice, 233 Broadway, 12th floor, New York, New York, 10279, (212) 334-1300.
Requests for additional information about the research described in this report should be directed
to Jim Parsons at the above address or to jparsons@vera.org.
Disclaimer: the views in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent
the views of the study partners named herein.

Executive Summary
During the year ending June 2010, almost 13 million people were admitted to U.S. jails.1 As jail
populations continue to swell in many jurisdictions around the country, attention is turning to the
importance of providing services that can help people succeed in the community upon release
from jail and reduce the likelihood that they will return to custody. This is no small task, as
people who come into contact with the criminal justice system often have chronic needs which
are linked to reoffending. For example, research has documented that, as compared to the general
population, these individuals have higher rates of mental illness and substance use, are more
likely to be unemployed, and are more likely to have experienced violent victimization.2 At the
same time, people returning to the community from jail confront additional barriers as the result
of their criminal justice involvement, often facing severely limited opportunities for employment
and exclusion from certain government funded programs like public housing.3 This places those
leaving custody in a double bind: they are more likely to need services and support compared to
the general population, but they face multiple obstacles to obtaining the most basic resources
needed for stability. The significant challenges faced by those leaving jail and the high price of
continued offending underscore the importance of capitalizing on jail contact to link individuals
with services both while in the jail and as they return to the community.
However, providing supportive interventions in jail settings is extremely challenging. While a
number of innovative practices exist, there is much progress to be made in the design of services
that can support people as they leave jail and return home. In the nation‘s largest jail systems,
hundreds of people enter custody every day. Most of these individuals are held for a matter of a
few days and many are held in pretrial detention without a determinate release date. This
situation makes it very difficult to quickly identify those who would benefit from support,
determine the services that they need, and build the level of rapport required to engage people in
services in the jail and when they return home.
In no place is this challenge felt more acutely than Los Angeles County, home to the largest
network of jail facilities in the country. In 2001, the Los Angeles Sheriff‘s Department (LASD)
founded the Community Transition Unit (CTU) to provide reentry services to individuals leaving
the L.A. County Jail. Since then, LASD has made a significant effort to improve the provision of
jail reentry services, and there are several examples of promising initiatives that are currently
1

T.D. Minton, Jail Inmates at Midyear 2010 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice
Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2011, NCJ 233431).
2
J.A. Swartz and A.J. Lurigio, ―Serious Mental Illness and Arrest: The Mediating Effects of Substance Use,‖ Crime
and Delinquency 53, no. 4 (2007): 581-604; and H.J. Steadman, F.C. Osher, P.C. Robbins, B. Case, and S. Samuels,
―Prevalence of Serious Mental Illness among Jail Inmates,‖ Psychiatric Services 60, no. 6 (2009): 761-765; Office
of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Adam II: 2010 Annual Report Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring
Program II (Washington DC: ONDCP, 2011); and N. Freudenberg, ―Jails, Prisons, and the Health of Urban
Populations: a Review of the Impact of the Correctional System on Community Health,‖ Journal of Urban Health
72, no. 2 (2001): 214-235.
3
D. Pager, Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 2007); J. Gonnerman, Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett (New York:
Picador, 2004); and Legal Action Center, After Prison: Roadblocks To Reentry: A Report On State Legal Barriers
Facing People With Criminal Records (New York: Legal Action Center, 2004).
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under development. These initiatives, and other promising practices from jurisdictions
throughout the United States, are described in Chapters Two, Three, and Four of this report.
However, the majority of people held in the jail are still released without receiving services to
address the underlying issues that led to their arrest; without a significant investment in reentry
services, this situation will not change.
This project was designed to help LASD and community service providers address this shortfall
and increase the impact and reach of reentry services for people returning to the community from
the L.A. County Jail. To inform the design of strategies to improve reentry programming, LASD,
The California Endowment (the Endowment), the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera), and
community-based organizations are partnering to map the needs of the jail population and to
identify barriers to accessing reentry services. Specifically, this study documents:


The reentry needs of individuals held in L.A. County Jail facilities



The opinions of people held in the jail, experiences with current reentry services, and
barriers to accessing those services



The views of key jail and community stakeholders about the state of reentry services

To this end, Vera collected data from multiple sources to ensure that the study represents the full
range of perspectives on reentry issues. Vera researchers:


Interviewed 80 individuals held in LASD custody about reentry needs and services



Conducted 26 in-depth interviews with a range of stakeholders who have experience with
reentry issues, including jail staff, community service providers, funders, and researchers



Analyzed administrative data to describe the jail population and provision of reentry
services in the jail

Recognizing that reentry is inherently a community issue, the study focused on two
neighborhoods−South Los Angeles and Boyle Heights−in order to explore opportunities to
bolster reentry services through enhanced coordination and partnership between LASD and
community service providers.
This report describes findings from this research and provides a series of recommendations for
maximizing the effectiveness of reentry services for the 160,000 people who pass through the
L.A. County Jail every year. These recommendations build on the ongoing efforts of LASD and
community service providers to enhance supportive services for individuals leaving the jail and
returning to their communities. The report highlights a number of these promising practices,
including the Community Transition Reentry Center, Just In Reach, the planned expansion of
CTU‘s marketing efforts, A Better Chance Reentry Initiative, the Amity Foundation Mentoring
Program, the COMPAS assessment and case management program, improved coordination of
jail releases, Los Angeles County reentry task forces, and the Homeboy Industries program
evaluation, as well as promising practices from other jurisdictions throughout the United States.
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This report is intended as a starting point for conversations among LASD, community
stakeholders, funders, other government agencies, and non-profit organizations about how to
prioritize and implement initiatives to improve reentry services in Los Angeles. To make
progress, it is essential that any plans reflect the diverse perspectives of these various
stakeholders.
The report includes a detailed description of findings from Vera‘s analysis and provides a series
of recommendations in three general areas: 1) reentry service delivery and engagement; 2)
operations and efficiency; and, 3) coordination. In addition, Appendix A includes a
comprehensive chart providing guidance on implementation for all of the recommendations,
including information on the resource investment required, ease of implementation, magnitude
and immediacy of impact, and likely community support for each recommendation.

SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
1. EXPAND REENTRY SERVICE OUTREACH AND TAILOR IT FOR THE JAIL
ENVIRONMENT. There is limited awareness of the CTU and other reentry services among
people held in the jail, restricting the extent to which individuals are able to request these
supports. In order to improve knowledge of these services, LASD should expand marketing
efforts and ensure that they are designed for the unique circumstances of the jail
environment. Some of the recommendations in this realm include:


Provide CTU flyers via mail call and pass out flyers in dorms.



Expand the use of staff presentations about services to all dorms.



Distribute a condensed reentry guide widely throughout jail.



Ensure that materials (service request forms, signs, videos) are available in
Spanish and provide translation in other languages as needed.

2. CREATE CLIENT TARGETING AND TRIAGE SYSTEMS. The combination of significant
budget constraints and the projected growth of the jail population due to realignment make it
essential to develop a system of triage to guide decisions about the allocation of scarce
reentry resources. Targeting outreach efforts towards those with the greatest levels of risk
and the most pressing needs would allow the CTU to achieve the maximum possible impact
given capacity limitations. Recommendations in this realm include:


Triage clients based on level of need and opportunity to serve (e.g. frequent
recidivists, longer stayers, etc.).



Ensure that CTU staff use the homeless list solely for homelessness-related
programs, such as Just In Reach.



Prioritize people who are motivated to engage with services.
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3. INCORPORATE RISK AND NEEDS ASSESSMENTS INTO REENTRY SERVICES. Being able
to identify individual needs is a fundamental step in delivering reentry services. Because
average lengths of stay in the jail are so brief, it is important to identify needs quickly, but
with sufficient accuracy and detail to develop reentry service plans. It is also important that
service providers can identify both needs that are linked to reoffending and each client‘s
personal reentry priorities, which are not always the same. Recommendations include:


Use validated risk and needs assessment tools.



Consider using markers of recidivism risk from the LASD’s administrative data
systems (such as number of prior admissions) to flag people who are in need
of the lengthy COMPAS assessment.



Pull previous assessments at the time of jail readmission and update them as
necessary.



Target in-person assessments toward those who have a high opportunity to
receive reentry services.



Consider a variety of assessment techniques depending on the type of
information needed (e.g., a clinical mental health diagnosis vs. what a client
feels is most important to their successful transition).

4. INDIVIDUALIZE REENTRY SERVICE PLANS FOR MAXIMUM IMPACT. Reentry services
must avoid a ―one-size-fits-all‖ approach. Service plans should address the needs identified
during assessments, consider the client‘s personal priorities, and take into account logistical
barriers to service provision, such as short lengths of stay. Recommendations include:


Provide an opportunity for everyone to receive basic support in reestablishing
benefits and getting government identification.



Ensure that intensive services address criminogenic needs (needs that are
associated with reoffending, such as substance use, problem solving skills, and
anger management).



Differentiate between long and short stayers to design brief interventions and
more intensive service plans.



Engage people in services by addressing the issues they view as personal
priorities, such as employment, housing, and family unification.

5. TAKE STEPS TO OVERCOME BARRIERS TO TRUST AND ENGAGEMENT. Even with a
well-developed service plan, barriers associated with the jail environment—like a distrust of
jail-based services, or intimidation by gang members—can undermine efforts to engage
people with reentry services. It is essential that LASD, the CTU, and other service providers
take steps to diminish the impact of these challenges, enhancing trust in both the CTU and
reentry services more generally. Recommendations in this realm include:

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

Take steps to differentiate CTU staff from other LASD staff.



Ensure the privacy of all client interactions with CTU and other service providers.



Enhance the cultural responsiveness of reentry services.



Evaluate and expand existing promising programs.

6. STRENGTHEN LINKAGES BETWEEN THE JAIL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
PROVIDERS. During the first few days and weeks immediately following reentry into the
community, people are at heightened risk for rearrest and relapse, making this period critical
for the success of people leaving jail. Without support from community service providers any
progress made through services while in jail can easily be lost; the key to a successful
transition is ensuring that service plans continue when people return to the community. It is
essential that LASD and community providers work together to strengthen the linkages
between services in the jail and the community. Recommendations in this realm include:


Address community concerns regarding expansion of jail-based services.



Expand jail in-reach services.



Expand and enhance initiatives to provide support to reentry clients at the
moment of release.



Provide incentives to community-based organizations to stay in touch with
clients.



Build on the support offered by families and friends by involving them in reentry
planning.

7. STANDARDIZE THE PROCEDURES, STAFF TRAINING, AND SUPERVISION USED BY
JAIL-BASED REENTRY PROGRAMS. CTU activities would benefit from increased
standardization of operations, particularly in the areas of staff training and supervision, case
management, and data entry. Developing shared approaches and service standards in these
areas would build upon the dedication and experience of CTU staff and serve the dual
purpose of a) improving the efficiency, impact, and reach of reentry services; and b)
enhancing the validity of outcome evaluations by ensuring that program implementation is
consistent and that the requisite outcome data are available for analysis. Recommendations in
this realm include:


Increase standardization of CTU procedures.



Create a step-by-step staff manual.



Develop more intensive training activities.



Develop routine supervision activities.



Create mid-level clinical supervisory positions to provide additional support and
clinical oversight for CTU custody assistants.
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8. USE DATA TO FACILITATE REENTRY SERVICES PROVISION. There are a number of ways
that LASD and service providers can use data to increase the efficiency and impact of reentry
services. By enhancing the data systems used and leveraging existing data, services providers
can streamline the identification of clients, facilitate case management, and support
evaluation efforts. Recommendations in this realm include:


Monitor the implementation of the COMPAS.



Build upon existing data to improve identification and targeting of new clients.



Use data to facilitate case management.



Standardize CTU data-entry procedures.

9. DEVELOP EVALUATION COMPONENTS FOR ALL REENTRY PROGRAMS. Few agencies
working inside or outside the jail have a sense of the return on their investment in reentry
services. Yet, this information is essential for policy and budget decision-making,
particularly in the current fiscal climate. Most importantly, evaluation is critical in
determining the specific needs of the local reentry population and in measuring the impact of
services on reentry outcomes. Recommendations in this realm include:


Track reentry outcomes by requiring service providers to record a core data set
on client contact with post-release services.



Identify cost-effective ways to collect outcome data for all reentry programs.



Consider opportunities to design multi-agency evaluation activities.

10. ENHANCE COLLABORATION AMONG REENTRY SERVICE PROVIDERS, THE
DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH, AND THE PROBATION DEPARTMENT. There is
currently limited coordination between LASD and other government agencies that serve
individuals in the jail (e.g., DMH) or after they return to the community (e.g., Probation).
There are a number of ways in which the various departments and agencies working with
people who are held in the jail could work together to reduce duplication of activities and
streamline service provision, improving individual outcomes and saving resources.
Recommendations in this realm include:


Improve CTU involvement with DMH client release plans.



Continue and expand efforts to coordinate DMH and LASD release activities.



Consider potential CTU-Probation collaborations.

11. INCREASE COLLABORATION BETWEEN AND AMONG JAIL AND COMMUNITY-BASED
PROVIDERS. Strong collaboration among jail- and community-based service providers is
essential for successful reentry. Coordinated services can support a true continuum of care
from jail into the community, reduce duplicative efforts, capitalize on diverse skills, enhance
evaluation, and create an opportunity to better leverage resources. However, an ―Us vs.
Them‖ mentality hinders coordination between the jail and community organizations, and
even between different providers in the community. Currently, competition for limited
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funding and jail access may be inhibiting services providers from working together. Many
recommendations in this report rely on the premise that various reentry service providers can
overcome these barriers and improve collaboration. Recommendations in this realm include:


Continue examining how to coordinate release times between the LASD and
other providers.



Increase collaboration and communication between the CTU and community
providers.



Move to a team case-management approach to reentry.



Unify the various Los Angeles County reentry groups into one council.

 Address systemic barriers to accessing community services for people leaving the
jail.

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Table of Contents
Introduction .......................................................................................................................................... 16
New Pressures: Realignment and Fiscal Crisis .......................................................................... 16
Reentry Services in Los Angeles ................................................................................................ 17
A Community Focus: South Los Angeles and Boyle Heights ..................................................... 21
Aims and Objectives.................................................................................................................. 23
Methods .................................................................................................................................... 24
Report Structure ....................................................................................................................... 26
Chapter One: Profile of Interviewees in Jail Custody.............................................................. 27
Part A: Interviewee Characteristics .......................................................................................... 27
Part B: Priorities and Needs ...................................................................................................... 30
Self-Defined Reentry Priorities .......................................................................................... 30
Reentry Needs ................................................................................................................... 33
Part C: Expectations for Help .................................................................................................... 41
Part D: Services Offered and Received ..................................................................................... 43
CTU Services ...................................................................................................................... 44
Chapter Two: Reentry Service Delivery and Engagement .................................................... 49
Part A: Improving Awareness of the CTU and Reentry Services............................................... 50
Findings ............................................................................................................................. 50
Recommendations ............................................................................................................ 52
Part B: Targeting Reentry Services............................................................................................ 54
Findings ............................................................................................................................. 54
Recommendations ............................................................................................................ 56
Part C: Assessing Needs and Priorities ...................................................................................... 60
Findings ............................................................................................................................. 60
Recommendations ............................................................................................................ 61
Part D: Developing Service Plans .............................................................................................. 62
Findings ............................................................................................................................. 62
Recommendations ............................................................................................................ 63
Part E: Maximizing Service Accessibility and Engagement ....................................................... 65
Findings ............................................................................................................................. 65
Recommendations ............................................................................................................ 68
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Part F: Transition into the Community ..................................................................................... 70
Findings ............................................................................................................................. 71
Recommendations ............................................................................................................ 72
Chapter Three: Operations and Efficiency ................................................................................. 75
Part A: Recruitment, Training, and Management of CTU Staff ................................................ 75
Findings ............................................................................................................................. 76
Recommendations ............................................................................................................ 77
Part B: Data Entry, Management, & Use .................................................................................. 79
Findings ............................................................................................................................. 79
Recommendations ............................................................................................................ 81
Part C: Evaluation of Reentry Services ...................................................................................... 83
Findings ............................................................................................................................. 83
Recommendations ............................................................................................................ 84
Chapter Four: Coordination............................................................................................................. 86
Part A: Coordination within and between LASD and Other Government Agencies ................ 86
Findings ............................................................................................................................. 86
Recommendations ............................................................................................................ 87
Part B: Coordination between LASD and Community-Based Organizations ............................ 88
Findings ............................................................................................................................. 88
Recommendations ............................................................................................................ 90
Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................. 93
Appendix A: Implementation and Feasibility Analysis .......................................................... 99
Appendix B: LASD Master Program List ................................................................................... 105
Appendix C: Neighborhood Definition Maps .......................................................................... 108
Appendix D: Methodology Details .............................................................................................. 110
Appendix E: Additional Figures................................................................................................... 113
Appendix F: Review of Screening and Assessment Instruments ..................................... 126

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List of Figures
Figure 1. Race and ethnicity, by neighborhood ........................................................................ 28
Figure 2. Comparison of interviewees and administrative data cohort .......................... 29
Figure 3. Most commonly cited reentry priorities .................................................................. 31
Figure 4. Differences in reentry priorities by neighborhood .............................................. 32
Figure 5. Most important and most difficult reentry priorities .......................................... 32
Figure 6. Employment before arrest ............................................................................................ 33
Figure 7. Last job type for interviewees with any history of employment ..................... 34
Figure 8. Highest level of education ............................................................................................. 35
Figure 9. Housing before arrest and post-release housing expectations ........................ 36
Figure 10. Substance use needs ..................................................................................................... 37
Figure 11. Mental health needs ...................................................................................................... 38
Figure 12. Expectations about who will help with reentry priorities .............................. 41
Figure 13. Expected sources of help for top five reentry priorities .................................. 42
Figure 14. Service engagement in the jail ................................................................................... 43
Figure 15. How interviewees learned about the CTU ............................................................. 44
Figure 16. CTU awareness and contact ........................................................................................ 45
Figure 17. CTU referral sources ..................................................................................................... 46
Figure 18. Special population flags in the CTU database ...................................................... 47
Figure 19. Age groups of individuals in CTU and AJIS databases ....................................... 48
Figure 20. Racial/ethnic groups of individuals in CTU and AJIS databases ................... 48
Figure 21. Charge type for individuals in CTU and AJIS databases ................................... 48
Figure 22. Essential steps in reentry service delivery and engagement ......................... 49
Figure 23. Need-opportunity triage system ............................................................................... 57
Figure A. Neighborhood affiliation, by neighborhood ........................................................ 113
Figure B. Race and ethnicity, by neighborhood ..................................................................... 113
Figure C. Language, by neighborhood ....................................................................................... 113
Figure D. Place of birth for interviewee and parents, by neighborhood ...................... 114
Figure E. Relationships and children, by neighborhood .................................................... 114
Figure F. Self-reported criminal justice data for current jail stay .................................. 115
Figure G. Self-reported criminal justice history .................................................................... 115
Figure H. Self-reported reentry priorities, by neighborhood........................................... 116
Figure I. Most difficult and most important reentry priorities, by neighborhood.... 117
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Figure J. Employment history, by neighborhood .................................................................. 118
Figure K. Educational attainment, by neighborhood........................................................... 118
Figure L. Housing before arrest and post-release housing expectations, by
neighborhood ................................................................................................................................... 118
Figure M. Indications of substance use problems, by neighborhood ............................ 119
Figure N. Indications of substance use treatment needs, by neighborhood ............... 120
Figure O. Severity of drug problems, by neighborhood...................................................... 121
Figure P. Substance use type and frequency .......................................................................... 121
Figure Q. Substance type that caused the most serious problems.................................. 121
Figure R. Indications of mental health needs, by neighborhood ..................................... 122
Figure S. Mental health history, by neighborhood ............................................................... 122
Figure T. Possible co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders ............ 122
Figure U. Expectations of any help with reentry priorities, by neighborhood ........... 123
Figure V. Sources of expected help with reentry priorities, by neighborhood ......... 124
Figure W. Social networks and supports ................................................................................. 124
Figure X. Family history of criminal justice involvement, by neighborhood .............. 125
Figure Y. Gang involvement, by neighborhood ...................................................................... 125

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Introduction
Los Angeles County operates the largest jail system in the world, with an average daily
population of more than 17,000 people held in eight different facilities. In a county of 10.4
million people spread out over 4,000 square miles, the Los Angeles County criminal justice
system is extraordinarily complex, encompassing 88 municipalities, 47 law enforcement
agencies, and more than 30 criminal courthouses. Adding to the challenges of managing a system
this large, the county jail has been overcrowded for years, affecting both public safety and
county resources. The persistent overcrowding has led to ongoing federal litigation and a
federally imposed population cap.4
While the Los Angeles County Sheriff‘s Department and other agencies have taken many steps
to reduce the population, overcrowding remains a countywide issue. Delays and inefficiencies
throughout the system—from first contact with law enforcement through the court process—
contribute to the numbers of people in custody. Overcrowding, in turn, creates dangerous
conditions for people in custody and guards. In response to longstanding allegations of violence
and a current FBI investigation, Sheriff Leroy Baca recently agreed to shut down the oldest,
outdated sections of Men‘s Central Jail.5

NEW PRESSURES: REALIGNMENT AND FISCAL CRISIS
Adding to the existing pressures on the criminal justice system, two recent events have widereaching implications for the system and the county jail in particular—the financial crisis and the
State of California‘s implementation of the Public Safety Realignment Act, (Assembly Bills 109
and 117), commonly referred to as ―realignment.‖6 First, county revenues in Los Angeles have
shrunk dramatically, along with state funding for the courts and case processing. In response, the
Sheriff has closed jail beds and continues to utilize early release policies to meet the federal
population cap.
Second, realignment has placed many formerly state-prison-bound offenders in local jails and
many parolees on local supervision. Before realignment, people receiving sentences of one year
or more would be sent to state prison. Now, individuals convicted of non-serious, non-violent
and non-sexual felony offenses—who have no serious or violent prior convictions—are serving
4

See Rutherford v. Baca, (Not Reported) F.Supp.2d (C.D.Cal. 2006) WL 3065781.
R. Faturechi, ―L.A. County Sheriff Says Much of Troubled Jail Should Be Closed,‖ Los Angeles Times, April 10,
2012. http://articles.latimes.com/2012/apr/10/local/la-me-baca-jail-20120411 (accessed May 14, 2012).
6
In this report, ―realignment‖ refers to Assembly Bill 109 and a number of additional laws that clarified and refined
AB 109 before taking effect on October 1, 2011. The primary changes are as follows: (1) Many individuals
convicted of non-serious, non-violent, and non-sexual offenses—who have no serious or violent prior convictions—
are now serving their sentences in county jails, even if they are longer than one year; (2) Some offenders released
from state prison are now released to the supervision of the Los Angeles County Probation Department rather than
state parole; and, (3) Parole violators now serve any custody time for violations in county jail instead of state prison.
See California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, available at: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/realignment/.
5

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their sentences in county jail, even if they are longer than one year. The County is also
responsible for the supervision of most non-violent, non-serious offenders after release. For
violations of that supervision, the County may now impose intermediate sanctions up to and
including a period of ―flash incarceration‖ in jail for up to 10 days. Most revocations of postrelease community supervision are now handled by the local court system, but revocation time is
limited to a maximum of 180 days in county jail.
Realignment is significantly expanding the roles and responsibilities of local criminal justice
agencies. The Los Angeles County Probation Department (Probation) is now supervising all
offenders released from state prison for non-serious, non-violent, and non-sexual crimes who
would previously have been on parole (under the Post-release Community Supervision Program,
or ―PRCS‖). Probation is responsible for determining PRCS eligibility, designing and providing
appropriate supervision services, and for initiating flash incarceration and revocation procedures.
In addition to housing the realignment population diverted to local control as well as PRCS and
parole violators, the Sheriff‘s Department is providing arrest and flash incarceration support and
is charged with developing a database to manage the PRCS program. Lastly, the Los Angeles
County Superior Court will handle all PRCS and most parole revocation proceedings.
While the impact of these changes have yet to fully emerge, they are likely to present a
significant strain on the already crowded county jail. The jail population has been projected to
reach nearly 20,000 by the end of 2012 as realignment takes full effect. 7 The County is now
under enormous pressure to reduce the overall jail population and to reserve its costly jail beds
for high risk, serious offenders. The recent shift in custody and supervision of many offenders
(and associated funding) from the state to the county presents a significant challenge but also a
historic opportunity to reexamine the primary function of the jail, to expand alternatives to
incarceration, and to focus efforts on reducing recidivism.

REENTRY SERVICES IN LOS ANGELES
LASD COMMUNITY TRANSITION UNIT
In this context, LASD is placing renewed emphasis on reentry services as one of the best ways to
reduce recidivism and the overall jail population.8 Recognizing the importance of the transition
from jail to the community on the risk of future criminality, LASD instituted the Community
Transition Unit in 2001 with the express goal of ―link[ing] inmates to housing, mental health,
drug rehabilitation, employment, and life skills services to help them transition out of jail and

7

J. Austin, W. Naro-Ware, R. Ocker, R. Harris, and R. Allen, Evaluation of the Current and Future Los Angeles
County Jail Population (Denver, CO: The JFA Institute, April 10, 2012). See https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/
austin_report_20120410.pdf.
8
This emphasis is supported by the reentry research literature. See: F. Osher, ―Short Term Strategies to Improve
Reentry of Jail Populations: Expanding and Implementing the APIC Model,‖ American Jails, Jan/Feb 2007: 9-18.
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into a stable life style.‖ 9 The CTU draws on national models to provide discharge planning and
release preparation services for thousands of people in the jail annually. According to its website,
the CTU ―also seeks to enhance inmate participation in educational, vocational, and other life
skills training programs‖ and ―partners with correctional professionals, medical staff, mental
health staff and numerous community based, faith based and governmental agencies who receive
referrals and facilitate placements for the inmate participants.‖
The CTU currently employs a staff of 17 uniformed custody assistants who provide direct
services to clients in the jail. CTU staff service all jail facilities, but are concentrated at its
headquarters at the Inmate Reception Center (IRC) in downtown Los Angeles. CTU staff work at
Twin Towers Correctional Facility (TTCF), with clients with mental illness; Century Regional
Detention Facility (CRDF) with women; Men's Central Jail (MCJ) with the general male
population; and the Pitchess Detention Center encompassing the North, South, East, and North
County Correctional Facility (NCCF), with vocational program participants. The main source of
CTU funding is the Inmate Welfare Fund.10

PLANNED EXPANSION OF LASD REENTRY PROGRAMS
In the face of realignment, LASD is in the process of significantly expanding its efforts to
provide supportive services for people in custody and after release, mainly focusing on the CTU
and jail in-reach. To carry out the expansion, CTU plans to use realignment funds to hire an
additional 18 custody assistants, three deputies, and one sergeant, and to partner with at least 14
service providers from community-based organizations (CBOs). LASD is heavily emphasizing
the Education-Based Incarceration (EBI) initiative, where personalized curriculums are
developed for participants based on academic and vocational assessments.11 Coursework ranges
from basic reading and writing skills to core subjects like science and history, and incorporates
classes and reading materials as well as tools like MP3 players with pre-loaded lectures. There
are also a number of vocational training programs geared towards acquiring marketable job skills
and learning specific trades.
In February 2012, the department re-launched an innovative program called Just In Reach
(JIR).12 JIR is a partnership between Volunteers of America (VOA), Amity Foundation, and
LASD with funding from the Corporation for Supportive Housing. It aims to help individuals
obtain permanent housing through comprehensive case management, job development services,
and mentoring that begins in jail and continues after release. JIR targets people who have been in
9

The Los Angeles County Sheriff‘s Department, ―Community Transition Unit,‖ http://www.lasdhq.org/divisions/
correctional/ bops/ctu/mission.html (accessed May, 14 2012).
10
The Inmate Welfare Fund includes all profits from the jail commissary as well as ―any money, refund, rebate, or
commission received from a telephone company or pay telephone provider when the money, refund, rebate, or
commission is attributable to the use of payphones by inmates while incarcerated.‖ These funds must be used for
programs and services (or related personnel and infrastructure) that benefit inmates. The Inmate Welfare Fund
Commission serves as an advisory body for decisions about the use of inmate welfare funds, though the Sheriff has
final authority. See http://la-sheriff.org/divisions/correctional/inmate_srvs/ovrview.html (accessed May 14, 2012).
11
In development since 2010, LASD‘s EBI initiative was formally launched in October, 2011.
12
A limited pilot version of the Just In Reach program was launched in August 2008. See http://www.urban.org/
UploadedPDF/411864_supportive_housing.pdf (accessed May 14, 2012).
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jail three times in the last three years and who have been homeless three times in the last five
years. The program served 131 individuals between February and March, 2012.
Major planned changes to reentry programming throughout the jail include:


Risk and Needs Assessment. The LASD is in the process of piloting a modified version of
the Northpointe Institute for Public Management (Northpointe) COMPAS assessment to
determine risk of reoffending and service needs for the realignment population. COMPAS
produces a risk score that will be used to determine eligibility for release to communitybased programs to complete sentences. LASD plans to expand use of the COMPAS to the
entire jail population for use in developing appropriate service and discharge plans.



Community Transition Resource Center (CTRC). Individuals released from custody will
have access to the Center located in the Inmate Reception Center lobby. The CTRC will be
staffed by CTU custody assistants and CBO service providers who will offer assistance with
identification cards, copies of birth certificates, reinstatement of government benefits,
disability services, referrals to community service agencies, taxi vouchers, bus tokens, and
transportation to treatment facilities. The CTRC will also include a federally qualified health
center where people can access medical treatment and pharmacy services.



Reentry Housing Unit. The CTU piloted a temporary housing unit for individuals within
three to five days of release who have not participated in EBI or other programs. Service
providers had regular access to this unit to share information about community-based
programs, in order to provide support to these individuals in the days leading up to their
release.



Second Chance. LASD‘s Education-Based Incarceration Unit and Department of Mental
Health (DMH) have partnered with Volunteers of America to provide case management
services to people in custody with co-occurring disorders who are also homeless and repeat
offenders. Upon release, these clients will transfer into VOA supportive housing. The
program is scheduled to start in May 2012.

The LASD also operates a number of other programs to address reentry needs, many in
partnership with CBOs, including life skills, GED education, personal relations, computer skills,
parenting, anger management, behavior modification, and drug and alcohol education. 13 L.A.
Works provides a number of vocational and technical training programs like auto body repair
and culinary arts. Some additional programs include:14

 Multidisciplinary treatment modules:
o MERIT (―Maximizing Education Reaching Individual Transformation‖), offered at six
jail facilities, involves group housing and a four-phase program focusing on personal
13

Education Based Incarceration Inmate Programs Unit, Los Angeles Sheriff‘s Department, Master Program List,
Sept. 16, 2011 (see Appendix B).
14
Ibid.
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relationships, parenting, substance abuse prevention, leadership and job skills
training. The program is geared toward domestic violence offenders, military
veterans, and Drug Court program participants.
o SMART (―Social Mentoring Academic and Rehabilitative Training‖) provides health
treatment, drug rehabilitation, GED classes, anger management, and life skills
training to gay male inmates in ten-week sessions.


Amity Peer Mentoring provides six months of group counseling sessions facilitated by a
trained peer mentor with a history of criminal justice involvement. Participants are offered
post-release housing in an Amity facility and receive follow-up one year after release.



Volunteers of America’s Incarcerated Veterans Transition Program identifies and
recruits veterans in the jail and moves them into transitional housing with full wraparound
services at the time of release.



Friends Outside operates a jail-based program, PATA (―Placement and Transportation
Assistance for Incarcerated Substance Abusers‖) that facilitates access to drug and alcohol
treatment programs as alternative sentences for eligible individuals in jail custody.

COMMUNITY REENTRY SERVICES
Reentry work begins in the jail but succeeds or fails in the community, particularly during the
first days or weeks after release. For many people leaving jail, the support of community services
providers can make the difference between long-term success in the community versus
recidivism and rapid return to jail. This study explores the great potential in Los Angeles for
expanding and strengthening the collaboration of community-based organizations, jail reentry
services, and local funders to improve reentry services.
Los Angeles County boasts a wide range of community and grassroots organizations that are
engaged in reentry support and advocacy, providing essential services like housing, education,
employment, medical and mental health care, and substance abuse treatment. These communitybased services are actively supported by grant makers who have recognized reentry as vital to the
health of communities—The California Endowment (the funder of this study), the California
Wellness Foundation, the Rosenberg Foundation, and others. Advocates have established several
active task forces focused on reentry and the impact of realignment, including the Los Angeles
Reentry Roundtable and the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership. These organizations and
collaborations have built a basic framework for connecting the jail and community pieces that
are so vital for successful reentry, but they need to move to the next step of productive and
efficient coordination with jail-based services. This study aims to provide a road map for this
process—the recommendations in the report present concrete and tangible ideas for places to
start improving communication to enhance the overall level of service.
Community-based services and support are critical to reentry because successful discharge
planning must take into account the unique context of an individual‘s family and neighborhood
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circumstances. This factor is especially important in areas disproportionately affected by high
rates of incarceration—which tend to be neighborhoods that are primarily home to low-income
residents from minority racial and ethnic groups.15 The cycling of large numbers of people in and
out of these neighborhoods is highly disruptive for both individuals and communities, leading to
community-wide economic decline, weakened social networks, and diminished trust in law
enforcement.16 This destabilizing cycle of incarceration and reentry only exacerbates preexisting
challenges in these under-resourced communities, making support for people returning from jail
a key component of improving individual, family, and community outcomes.
While these communities often face a myriad of challenges, they may also provide valuable
support for individuals returning from jail. For instance, studies show that most people stay with
family members when they leave custody and that families often provide an important source of
contacts to help people find work.17 Involving family members in reentry planning may also
decrease recidivism, with one study finding that more contact with family members during
incarceration predicted lower rates of rearrest.18 Furthermore, keeping families together can yield
long-term benefits in terms of economic well-being and educational attainment of children.19 In
addition, if available, local service providers can be instrumental in keeping people out of jail.

A COMMUNITY FOCUS: SOUTH LOS ANGELES & BOYLE HEIGHTS
Recognizing the inextricable role of community in the reentry process, this project focuses on
individuals leaving the jail who have ties to two neighborhoods in Los Angeles: South Los
Angeles (South L.A.) and Boyle Heights.20 The decision to include these two neighborhoods is
based on a combination of socio-economic factors and the fact that residents from South L.A.
and Boyle Heights are disproportionately represented within the L.A. County Jail population.21
Enhancing the ability of the jail to connect individuals with the supportive services needed
during reentry will improve the effectiveness of community services addressing mental and
15

T.R. Clear, ―The Problem with Addition by Subtraction: The Prison-Crime Relationship in Low-Income
Communities,‖ in Invisible Punsishment: The Collateral Consequences of Mass Imprisonment, edited by M. Mauer
and M. Chesney-Lind (New York: The New Press, 2002): 181-193; and D.E. Roberts. ―The Social and Moral Cost
of Mass Incarceration in African American Communities,‖ Stanford Law Review 56, no. 5 (2004): 1271-1305.
16
T.R. Clear, D.R. Rose, and J.A. Ryder, ―Incarceration and the community: the problem of removing and returning
offenders,‖ Crime & Delinquency 47, no. 3 (2001): 335-351.
17
M. diZerega, Coaching Packet: Engaging Offenders’ Families in Reentry, (Silver Spring, MD: Center for
Effective Public Policy, 2010); and L.A. Vigne, N.G. Visher, and C. Castro, Chicago Prisoners’ Experience
Returning Home (Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 2004).
18
R.L. Naser and C.A. Visher, ―Family member‘s experiences with incarceration and reentry,‖ Western
Criminology Review 7, no. 2 (2006): 20-31.
19
C.W. Nord and J. West, Fathers’ and Mothers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Schools by Family Type and
Resident Status (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Education Research and Improvement,
2001, NCES 2001-032). J. Fields, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2002, Current
Population Reports (Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau, 2003, P20-547).
20
South L.A. and Boyle Heights are two of 14 California neighborhoods that are the focus of The California
Endowment‘s Building Healthy Communities initiative; this study uses the Endowment‘s definition of the
neighborhood boundaries. Refer to Appendix C to this document for maps of the neighborhood boundaries.
21
Chapter One, Figure 1 details the representation of South L.A. and Boyle Heights residents in the jail.
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physical health, drug treatment, housing and other welfare needs, and promote community health
and stability.
Boyle Heights is almost exclusively Latino (94.1 percent, as compared to 47.7 percent countywide and 37.6 percent state-wide). South L.A. historically incorporates some of the most
concentrated black communities in Los Angeles County; currently 19.5 percent of the South L.A.
population identifies as black (as compared to 8.7 percent county-wide and 6.2 percent statewide).22 The ethnic composition of these neighborhoods is mirrored within the jail where Latinos
(49.1 percent) and blacks (31.0 percent) are the two largest racial and ethnic groups.23 These
neighborhoods face multiple challenges:
high rates of unemployment—57 percent of Boyle Heights residents over 16 years of age
and 56 percent of South L.A. residents over 16 years of age are either unemployed or
―not in the labor force‖;24
low rates of educational attainment—68 percent of Boyle Heights residents over 25 years
of age and 67 percent of South L.A. residents over 25 years of age do not have a high
school diploma or equivalency;25 and
high rates of poverty—33 percent of Boyle Heights residents and 34 percent of South
L.A. residents are living at or below the poverty line.26
By focusing on underserved communities of color, this project provides an opportunity to build
culturally responsive jail-based reentry services incorporating the specific needs of people from
these communities and the challenges that they face accessing services both in the jail and in the
community.
Another reason to focus the reentry study on these communities is to build upon their existing
networks of grassroots organizers, faith-based communities, and local service organizations.
22

HealthyCity, ―Population Characteristics, Ethnicty/Race, TCE Community: Boyle Heights, Year: 2010,‖
http://www.healthycity.org/c/chart/geo/place_based_tce/zt/2/report_geo//yk/071#/report/[[2797,22009,[46],1]]/rank/
[0,0,0,0,1,0]/yk/2012050312093410 (accessed May 14, 2012); HealthyCity, ―Population Characteristics,
Ethnicty/Race, TCE Community: South Figueroa Corridor / Vermont-Manchester, Year: 2010,‖
http://www.healthycity.org/c/chart/geo/place_based_tce/zt/11/report_geo//yk/20120503121726179#/report/[[2797,2
2009,[46],1]]/rank/[0,0,0,0,1,0]/yk/20120503121726179 (accessed May 14, 2012); U.S. Census Bureau, ―2010
Census Interactive Population Search: CA-California,‖ http://2010.census.gov/2010census/popmap/ipmtext.
php?fl=06 (accessed May 14, 2012); and U.S. Census Bureau, ―2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA-Los
Angeles County,‖ http://2010.census.gov/2010census/popmap/ipmtext.php?fl=06:06037 (accessed May 14, 2012).
23
See Chapter One, Part D of this report for detail on race and ethnicity of the jail population.
24
The California Endowment, ―Boyle Heights: Map & Data, Employment Status,‖ http://www.mycalconnect.org/
boyleheights/map/ (accessed May 14, 2012); and The California Endowment, ―South Los Angeles: Map & Data,
Employment Status,‖ http://www.mycalconnect.org/southfig/map/ (accessed May 14, 2012).
25
The California Endowment, ―Boyle Heights: Map & Data, Educational Attainment,‖ http://www.mycalconnect.
org/boyleheights/map/ (accessed May 14, 2012); and The California Endowment, ―South Los Angeles: Map & Data,
Educational Attainment,‖ http://www.mycalconnect.org/southfig/map/ (accessed May 14, 2012).
26
The figure for South L.A. is for an area that is larger, but overlapping, with the definition of South L.A. used
throughout the study. City of Los Angeles: Census 2000, South Los Angeles Community Plan Area,‖
http://cityplanning.lacity.org/DRU/C2K/C2kFrame.cfm?geo=cp&loc=SCL&sgo=ct&rpt=PvR&yrx=dummy
(accessed May 14, 2012); and City of Los Angeles: Census 2000, Boyle Heights Community Plan Area,‖
http://cityplanning.lacity.org/DRU/C2K/C2kFrame.cfm?geo=cp&loc=BHt&sgo=ct&rpt=PvR&yrx=dummy
(accessed May 14, 2012).
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There are several examples in both neighborhoods of instances where these networks have
mobilized to address issues of community concern, despite a lack of resources within the
neighborhood and limited support from the larger Los Angeles community. For instance, a
community organizing effort successfully limited the number of liquor stores that were rebuilt in
South L.A. following the riots in the early 1990s, and in Boyle Heights, community organizers
have played a major role in lobbying for physical improvements to the neighborhood, such as
adding green spaces and fixing street lights, and responding to residents‘ concerns about
gentrification. It is important that reentry planning incorporates and capitalizes on these
neighborhood strengths.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The goal of the current project is to enhance reentry services for those returning to the
community from the L.A. County Jail, with a focus on South L.A. and Boyle Heights. Using
multiple data collection strategies and multiple sources, the project aims to describe:
The self-identified reentry needs of men in the L.A. County Jail with ties to Boyle
Heights or South L.A. (the interview cohort), including motivations for seeking help or
engaging in services, views of the reentry services that are currently available, barriers to
access, and perceptions of the cultural fit of existing services;
The extent to which services offered in the jail and in the community correspond with the
self-identified reentry needs of the interview cohort; and
The views of key stakeholders (jail staff, community-based service providers, and
community leaders) of the interventions that are currently provided, the practical barriers
to providing support, and perceptions of the availability and cultural fit of existing jailbased and community-based services.
Despite several promising new programs and a renewed focus on reentry, the demand for reentry
services greatly exceeds current capacity. In addressing these areas, the project aims to maximize
the impact of existing services by identifying barriers to access and providing information to help
identify and target underserved and high-risk groups.
The effectiveness of reentry services can be limited by the varied and often conflicting
viewpoints held by the many groups that have a stake in reentry, including CTU staff and other
uniformed LASD employees working in the jail, community providers, the clients of reentry
services, and community members. In particular, barriers to communication and a lack of shared
consensus about the goals of effective reentry services may hamper effective coordination of
services for clients as they reenter communities.
The current study seeks to address these barriers by combining information from multiple
sources in order to reflect the diverse perspectives of various reentry stakeholders. This report is
designed as a starting point for discussions with LASD and community leaders about strategies
for enhancing current reentry services (as laid out in this report‘s recommendations),
implementing some of these suggestions, and testing their effectiveness.
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METHODS
The findings presented in this report are based on information collected from a variety of
sources, including: semi-structured interviews with people held in jail custody; open-ended
interviews with jail and community-based stakeholders and subject matter experts; and
administrative data records from LASD‘s jail management system and CTU‘s case management
system. In addition, the focus on Boyle Heights and South L.A. was threaded throughout these
data collection methods. Specifically, Vera: interviewed individuals held in the jail with
connections to these areas (i.e. those who lived there prior to arrest or lived there for a substantial
period of time in the past); interviewed community-based stakeholders serving people in those
neighborhoods; and discussed options for improving the impact of community services with
officials, researchers and advocates who are knowledgeable about the issues facing these
communities.


Informational meetings. Prior to beginning the formal data collection methods, Vera held
a number of meetings to introduce the study to jail and community partners, foster
stakeholder buy-in, gather general information about the communities and jails, and solicit
feedback before beginning data collection. Meetings and telephone conferences were held
with The Endowment staff, a number of community service providers and leaders from South
L.A. and Boyle Heights, and jail administrators and their staff. Vera also convened a South
L.A. and Boyle Heights community stakeholder group meeting, including representatives
from service and advocacy organizations from these neighborhoods. The opinions and
feedback expressed in these meetings informed the study design, including the interview
instruments, and provided context for the larger body of work.



Interviews with people held in the L.A. County Jail. The researchers conducted semistructured interviews with 80 men in LASD custody. Criteria for participation in the study
included being: an adult male (18 or older);27 housed in LASD‘s Men‘s Central Jail facility
located in downtown Los Angeles;28 with an affiliation with one of the study‘s target
neighborhoods, Boyle Heights or South L.A. Interviews were conducted in-person by a Vera
researcher working in the jail following a strict set of human subject protection guidelines
that were approved by Vera‘s independent Institutional Review Board (IRB). The
information collected during these interviews provided the basis for a description of the most
prevalent and pressing reentry needs of men held in MCJ, individuals‘ knowledge of reentry
services and motivation to engage with such services, the extent to which people are
accessing services in the jail, and challenges to doing so. The period of time spent in the jail
for these interviews also allowed for Vera researchers to observe the way in which jail
services are provided and the way that jail culture impacts those services.29

27

Women held in LASD jail custody were not interviewed for this study, as women held in jail differ greatly from
men in jail and should be studied independently. Refer to Appendix D for additional information.
28
The L.A. County Jail includes eight facilities spread across the County, seven of which house male inmates. The
largest of these facilities, MCJ, is designed to house 5,000 inmates, over a quarter of the average daily population.
29
See Appendix D to this document for a full description of the interview methods.
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

Interviews with jail and community stakeholders. In addition to the background
meetings mentioned previously, Vera researchers conducted 26 formal interviews with
people who work in the jail or community and have a stake in reentry services in L.A. While
the research team originally planned on conducting 12 interviews, it quickly became clear
that more interviews would be necessary to capture the diverse range of perspectives.
Specifically, the team interviewed five people from LASD management and staff, the
majority of whom work for the CTU, and 21 stakeholders working in the target communities
(e.g., service providers, advocates, researchers) mental health care providers, and others
working on county-wide reentry issues in L.A. County). These interviews covered a range of
topics, including perceptions of reentry service effectiveness, views of practical and
organizational barriers to providing these services, opinions on existing services that display
cultural responsiveness, and suggestions for improving reentry supports. The data collected
from these interviews was analyzed to describe commonly held views of reentry in Los
Angeles (as well as points of disagreement), practical barriers to providing support, and
perceptions of the availability and cultural fit of jail-based and community services.
Stakeholder interviews also provided information about the management, staffing, and
operations of the CTU.



Administrative data records. Vera researchers analyzed data held in two LASD databases:
a jail management system, the Automated Jail Information System (AJIS), and the CTU‘s
case management system, the Facility Automated Statistical Tracking system (FAST). AJIS
data included records of everyone arrested and booked into LASD custody between January
1, 2008 and December 31, 2008. This analysis provided a profile of the jail population,
including demographics, neighborhood (based on zip code), and arrest charges. The team
also analyzed records from the FAST case management system from July 2009 through June
2011 to provide a description of the referrals that CTU received for people in need of reentry
services, including the rate and source of referrals and the demographics of those referred.30



Review of best practices from the research literature and promising practices in Los
Angeles County. The Vera team reviewed best practices for jail reentry and promising
practices in Los Angeles in order to inform the recommendations provided in this report.

Study Limitations
While Vera‘s findings and recommendations are extensive, they are by no means exhaustive.
The scope of the study was limited in several ways. First, the CTU is a major focal point of this
study because it is the main mechanism for transitioning people in the jail back to the
community, and any changes to its practices will have a significant impact. However, Vera did
not examine in detail the internal operations of the CTU and this report is not intended as a
general CTU evaluation. Secondly, this study analyzed reentry services currently provided in the
jail. In light of the significant changes occurring with LASD‘s reentry services, Vera
incorporated and commented on the new plans wherever possible in this report. However, the
impact of these plans cannot be described fully until they are put into practice. Lastly, while
30

Vera was unable to access information for equivalent years from FAST and AJIS, as a result of significant
administrative delays in receiving approval for the request for AJIS records. Analysis was based on AJIS records
from 2008 provided to Vera as part of a previous study.
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researchers paid particular attention to the significant reentry issues related to the mental health
needs of those held in the jail, the study did not closely examine the reentry services provided by
the DMH, except as they interact with the CTU.

REPORT STRUCTURE
The following chapters present the results of analysis relating to the major components of reentry
programming. The findings are based on administrative jail records, interviews with 80 men in
jail custody, and 26 interviews with: LASD employees responsible for delivering reentry
services, community-based service providers, advocates, and researchers. Each chapter
highlights findings from the study‘s multiple data sources and provides examples of promising
practices and innovative approaches currently being used in L.A. and elsewhere in the country.
The research findings in each chapter are followed by a series of practical recommendations for
improving the targeting, reach, and competence of existing reentry services.
Many of Vera‘s recommendations build upon effective programs and policies already in place,
while others highlight a need to supplement current practice with new approaches. The suggested
changes will support the CTU and community organizations to maximize the impact of limited
resources and, in many instances, may even help make the case for increasing those resources.
This study builds upon an assessment of CTU operations and information management needs
Vera conducted in 2007 in partnership with LASD. That project, funded by the Corporation for
Supportive Housing, familiarized Vera with the L.A. County Jail and its reentry services, and
allowed for some measure of comparison with current practices. Vera also recently completed a
two-year study of the county criminal justice system focused on reducing jail overcrowding.
2007 Review of CTU Operations
Vera researchers, planners, and information management staff visited the CTU for one week
during April 2007. They observed CTU operations and interviewed staff at most of the jail
facilities, including Twin Towers Correctional Facility, Men‘s Central Jail, Century Regional
Detention Facility, Pitchess Detention Center, and North County Correctional Facility. To better
understand inmate needs and perceptions of the CTU, the team interviewed 25 CTU clients
housed at CRDF, TTCF, MCJ, and Pitchess. Vera staff also spoke to CTU staff about their day
to day experiences and data management needs, and analyzed data downloads from the FAST
data system. Vera produced a memorandum, provided to the CTU, describing CTU operations at
that time, highlighting challenges to the unit‘s efficiency, and making recommendations for
improvement. The memorandum focused on two broad categories: operations and data
management.
The findings chapters in this report address: 1) the profile and needs of the reentry population; 2)
reentry service delivery and engagement; 3) the operations and efficiency of reentry services,
including staffing, data entry and administration, and evaluation; and 4) coordination within and
between jail and community-based reentry service providers.
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Chapter One
Profile of Interviewees in Jail Custody
This chapter provides a detailed description of demographic characteristics, service needs, and
criminal justice involvement of individuals in LASD custody, drawing upon information from
interviews with people held in the jail and administrative data from two systems: a jail
management database (AJIS) and the CTU case management database (FAST). Much of this
chapter focuses on the cohort of 80 people held in the jail who were interviewed by a Vera
researcher over the course of several months in 2011.31 These interview data provide a
counterpoint to the information from interviews conducted with professional stakeholders groups
and the administrative record review, describing the views, needs and experiences of people held
in the custody of the jail, in their own words. This chapter is divided into the following sections:
A.
B.
C.
D.

Interviewee characteristics (demographics, criminal history, etc.)
Reentry needs and priorities of interviewees
Expectations for help with reentry needs and priorities
Services offered and received

PART A: INTERVIEWEE CHARACTERISTICS
All interviews were conducted with men over 18 years of age who were housed in Men‘s Central
Jail and had ties to Boyle Heights (n=36) or South L.A. (n=44).32 While all of the individuals had
some connection to these neighborhoods, about 15 percent were not living in one of them at the
time of arrest and almost a quarter of the interviewees (23.8 percent) did not expect to return to
these neighborhoods after their release from custody. Figure A in Appendix E provides detail on
neighborhood affiliation.
The interviewees ranged in age from 18 to 60, with a median age of 33. Most interviewees were
Latino (52.5 percent) or black (41.3 percent).33 Boyle Heights interviewees were
overwhelmingly Latino (86.1 percent). The majority of South L.A. interviewees were black (72.7
percent), but there was also a sizeable minority of South L.A. interviewees who identified as
Latino (25.0 percent).34 Figure 1, on the following page, presents race and ethnicity data for the
interviewees.
31

Refer to Appendix D for detail on potential biases in the sample.
South L.A. and Boyle Heights refer to the areas previously defined in the Introduction.
33
Three individuals identified as both Latino and black; for the purposes of this analysis, however, the racial and
ethnic categories are mutually exclusive and these three people are included in the ―Latino‖ category. The majority
of the interviewees who identified as Latino reported being of Mexican descent (n=33, 79 percent of all Latinos).
34
For ease of interpretation, percentages are used throughout this report to describe the proportion of respondents in
a given category or expressing a particular view or opinion. Note that in cases where the analysis refers to subgroups
of interviewees (by neighborhood, for example) percentages may refer to a small number of respondents and
differences between proportions should be interpreted with caution.
32

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Figure 1. Race and ethnicity, by neighborhood
Full Cohort (n=80)

52.5%

South LA (n=44)

41.3%

25.0%

72.7%

Boyle Heights (n=36)

86.1%
0%

10%

20%

30%
Latino

40%
50%
60%
Black
White

70%
Other

80%

90%

100%

Just under half of the full cohort (46.3 percent) reported speaking a language other than English
at home, with most of those individuals speaking Spanish.35 Most of the interviewees (90.0
percent) were born in the United States, with roughly similar rates in both Boyle Heights (88.9
percent) and South L.A. (90.9 percent). Figures B, C, and D in Appendix E provide detail on
race/ethnicity, language, and interviewee and parent birthplace, by neighborhood.
About two-thirds (62.5 percent) of the interviewees reported that they were in a relationship at
the time of the interview. Almost two-thirds (63.8 percent) of the men interviewed also reported
having children under 18, with a median of two children each. Of the 45 fathers who reported
involvement with their children prior to arrest, most indicated that their children were under their
mother's care at the time of the interview (84.8 percent, n=38).36 Figure E in Appendix E
provides detail on relationships and children, disaggregated by neighborhood.
The interviewees included both sentenced individuals (45.0 percent) and those held in pretrial
detention (55.0 percent). For those who were sentenced, the median sentence length was 243
days, ranging from 10.5 days to 19,710 days.37 Individuals also self-reported a wide range of
charges, with interviewees most frequently naming the following charge categories in relation to
the current jail stay:






violent charges (27.5 percent of interviewees);
drug charges (25.0 percent);
property charges (17.5 percent);
violations (17.5 percent); and
public order charges (8.8 percent).

35

Only five participants were interviewed in Spanish, as per the preference of the interviewee.
―Involvement with children‖ includes co-habitation, visitation rights, or another joint-custody arrangement.
37
The long sentence lengths are due to people who were sentenced to prison but have not yet been transferred;
individuals held for longer periods (with more opportunity to be recruited) are likely over-represented in the sample.
Two interviewees were sentenced to drug treatment programs and thus do not have definitive sentence lengths.
36

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The interviewees, on average, had lengthy histories of criminal justice contact with a median of
six arrests and six jail stays (including current contacts). The median age of first arrest for this
group was 18 years old, but there was substantial variation, with individuals reporting a range of
ages from 10 to 44. Figure F in Appendix E provides detail on interviewees’ self-reported case
status, sentence length, and charge information associated with the current jail stay. Figure G in
Appendix E presents data on self-reported criminal justice history. Figure 2 provides a
comparison of basic characteristics for interviewees and the administrative data cohort, including
both the full population of men booked into LASD custody in 2008 (N=139,452) and the
population of men from South L.A. and Boyle Heights (N=1,648).

Figure 2. Comparison of interviewees and administrative data cohort
Interview
cohort
(n=80)

AJIS cohort,
men only
(N=139,452)

AJIS cohort,
S.L.A./B.H. men
only (N=1,648)

South LA
Boyle Heights

55.0% (44)
45.0% (36)

0.8% (1,165)
0.3% (483)

70.7% (1,165)
29.3% (483)

Latino
Black
White
Other

52.5% (42)
41.3% (33)
2.5% (2)
3.7% (3)

52.1% (72,590)
29.0% (40,505)
15.4% (21,533)
3.5% (4,824)

49.4% (814)
48.7% (803)
1.5% (24)
0.4% (7)

Median
Range

33
18-60

32
18-92
(251,669 charges)
10.3% (26,025)
20.7% (52,135)
9.9% (25,017)
11.1% (27,910)
5.7% (14,363)
42.1% (105,975)

30
18-81
(2,894 charges)
9.2% (266)
20.3% (587)
7.5% (216)
12.9% (374)
4.7% (136)
45.3% (1,312)

Neighborhood 38

Race/Ethnicity

Age

Charge type 39
Violent
Drug
Probation and Parole Violations40
Property
Public Order/Quality of Life
Other Crimes41

27.5% (22)
25.0% (20)
17.5% (14)
17.5% (14)
8.8% (7)
N/A

38

For individuals included in the AJIS cohort, zip code data was used to define neighborhood; South L.A. is defined
as zip codes 90044 and 90037 and Boyle Heights is defined as zip codes 90033 and 90023. Note that 58.1 percent of
all unique bookings of men in AJIS did not have any zip code data recorded. Of all bookings with zip code data
recorded, 2.0 percent of bookings are affiliated with South L.A. and 0.8 percent are affiliated with Boyle Heights.
When ranking home address zip codes associated with bookings by frequency, the four Boyle Heights and South
L.A. zip codes are within the top three percent of all zip codes, which accounts for 69 percent of all bookings.
39
For those in the AJIS cohort, charge type includes the count of all charges associated with each booking and does
not focus on a ―top charge.‖ Charge categories were created by Vera researchers.
40
Violations are likely undercounted because data are not consistently updated when someone is booked on a new
charge and it is later discovered that they were also on probation or parole at the time of the new offense.
41
―Other crimes‖ includes a wide variety of charges such as administrative offenses (e.g., failure to appear), status
offenses (e.g., immigration related offenses), traffic offenses, etc. These offenses were not reported by the interview
cohort; this may, in part, be due to the short lengths of stay associated with many of these charges.
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PART B: PRIORITIES AND NEEDS
As the result of previous studies conducted by Vera in L.A. and elsewhere in the country, the
research team has come to understand that service providers‘ definitions of an individual‘s
reentry service needs and the personal priorities of people held in the jail do not always coincide.
To document both of these facets of ‗need‘ the interviews used two different, but related,
questioning strategies. One set of questions asked interviewees to self-define the most pressing
challenges that they expected to face after release to assess ―personal priorities‖. The second
strategy involved administering a series of validated screening measures and behavioral
questions to collect information on indicators of factors service providers would recognize as
―reentry needs,‖ including indications of homelessness, rates of drug use, signs of mental illness,
educational attainment, and employment histories. Answers to these questions provided a
measure of these reentry needs, irrespective of whether the interviewees identified each of these
areas as a personal priority.
While often overlapping, priorities do not necessarily encompass all of a person‘s needs, and
vice versa. It is important to be aware of both of these domains when planning reentry services.
For instance, an individual may identify reuniting with family as his biggest reentry priority, but
a service provider may be focused on the individual‘s history of substance abuse and preventing
relapse as their primary need. While these two issues may certainly be related—addressing
addiction related problems may be an essential step towards regaining contact with children—it
is important that services are designed to address both personal priorities as well as demonstrated
needs. In this example, a service provider may have more success in engaging the client in
substance use treatment if that program is framed as one step towards the end goal of improving
his relationship with his children.

SELF-DEFINED REENTRY PRIORITIES
During the interviews, participants were asked what three things they would find most
challenging upon leaving jail (―reentry priorities‖), and their thoughts on which of the identified
challenges would be: a) the most difficult to address, and b) the most important to address.42
These responses were coded by the research team into one of fourteen categories. The five
priorities that interviewees reported most frequently were employment (72.5 percent), housing
(33.8 percent), problems with substance use (32.5 percent), improving relationships with family,
children, and/or intimate partners (26.3 percent), and ―staying out of trouble‖ (22.5 percent).
Figure 3, on the following page, provides detail on the frequency with which each priority was
reported.

42

Not all interviewees reported three needs; 17 people reported only two needs and five reported only one need.
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Figure 3. Most commonly cited reentry priorities43 (n=80)
Other*

5.0%

Health

2.5%

Mental Health

5.0%

Peer Influence

6.3%

Policing

6.3%

General reintegration into society

8.8%

Basic Needs

10.0%

Education

10.0%

Spiritual/Personal Development

11.3%

Financial Concerns

13.8%

Staying out of trouble

22.5%

Relationships

26.3%

Substance Use

32.5%

Housing

33.8%

Employment

72.5%
0.0

10.0

20.0

30.0

40.0

50.0

60.0

70.0

80.0

Percentage of Interviewees Citing Each Priority

Some categories were reported at similar rates regardless of neighborhood affiliations (e.g.
employment concerns), but in other areas there were notable differences between South L.A. and
Boyle Heights interviewees (see Figure 4, on the following page). In South L.A., interviewees
were much more likely to prioritize the reentry challenges of housing and financial concerns. On
the other hand, Boyle Heights interviewees reported needs related to staying out of trouble and
substance use at higher rates than South L.A. participants. Figure H in Appendix E provides
information on these self-reported reentry priorities, disaggregated by neighborhood.

43

Individuals reported up to three needs and, thus, the categories included in this table total more than 100 percent.
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%of interviewwes from each neighborhood

Figure 4. Differences in reentry priorities, by neighborhood
50.0

43.2%

45.0

38.9%

40.0
35.0

25.0

30.6%

27.3%

30.0

22.2%

18.2%

20.0

15.9%

15.0

8.3%

10.0
5.0
0.0
Housing

Financial Concerns

Substance Use

Boyle Heights (n=36)

Staying out of trouble

South LA (n=44)

The five most commonly reported reentry priorities were also mentioned by the largest number
of people as both the most important and the most difficult reentry challenges to address (see
Figure 5, below). Figure I in Appendix E provides detail on the most important and difficult
reentry priorities, disaggregated by neighborhood.

Figure 5. Most important and most difficult reentry priorities (n=80)
9%

Staying out of trouble

Relationships

8%
Most Difficult

5%
14%
19%

Substance Use

Housing

Most Important

14%
15%
11%
28%

Employment

30%
Percentage of Interviewees

Interviewees were particularly emphatic about the central role of employment and housing in
post-release success; a number of people suggested that, if these key needs are not addressed,
return to jail is almost guaranteed. As two interviewees explained:
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―A job program would be real cool. They throw a wolf in the middle of the
desert with no meat and we're hungry. That's why we keep coming back,
there's no work!‖
―If you don't have housing, you don't have anything. Trouble comes
knocking. When you have housing, you can lay down any time. That's the
key thing… If you're not rested, bathed, and fed, you don't stand a chance
to do anything or participate in any [community] programs.

REENTRY NEEDS
People face a number of challenges when they leave jail and return to the community, including
problems finding employment and stable housing, a need for education and training, issues
related to mental health and substance use, and the stresses of environmental influences, like
gangs, family, and friends. The interview included a number of measures designed to investigate
these common reentry needs using a combination of validated scales and targeted questions
about individual circumstances, such as employment, housing, and behavioral health. When
appropriate, this section compares the responses to these more ―objective‖ questions about
reentry needs to the self-defined priorities described in the previous section, highlighting the
overlap or mismatch between the services people want and the kinds of needs that reentry
services generally target.

Employment
A majority of interviewees were unemployed at the time of arrest (58.7 percent), with many
reporting that they had been unemployed for more than one year (36 percent, n=29) and some
reporting that they had never been employed (8 percent, n=6). This coincides with the finding
that employment was the most commonly cited reentry priority (72.5 percent of interviewees,
refer to Self-Defined Reentry Priorities for detail). Furthermore, for those who were employed at
the time of arrest, one third reported that their job did not provide sufficient income to cover
basic expenses, like rent, food, and transportation. Figure 6 provides detail on interviewees‘ last
period of employment. Figure J in Appendix E provides these data, by neighborhood.

Figure 6. Employment before arrest (n=80)

15%

Employed
at arrest
41%

Unemployed
at arrest
59%

36%

8%

Last job was 2010 or later

Last job was before 2010

Never had a job

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A number of interviewees expressed a desire for skill development and job training for specific
trades: ―something that’s needed in the workforce.‖ As one person put it, ―The field I was in,
[irrigation], is obsolete now… I’d need to either go back to school or receive some type of job
training.‖ Some people suggested courses on electrical engineering, culinary arts, mechanics, or
bus driving; others specifically noted a need for training in computer skills and office skills.
Figure 7 provides detail on the last job held by those interviewees who reported having any
history of employment, regardless of their employment status at the time of arrest.

Figure 7. Last job type for interviewees with any history of employment (n=74)

30%
(22)

16%
(12)

Food Services
Construction/Buildling

22%
(16)

Factory/Warehouse
Other manual labor
Other non-manual labor*

23%
(17)

9%
(7)

*Other non-manual labor includes a variety of jobs, such as security, in-home supportive services, barbers and
make-up artists, office jobs, and sales.

In addition to training for specific trades, some interviewees highlighted a need for training
specifically on the process of applying for jobs:
―[They could] offer programs such as… how to do a job interview. I’ve
never done that. I would love to practice in today’s job market on how to
do the interview.‖
Interviewees suggested that the jail should provide classes that teach inmates about various steps
of the process, including writing a resume, filling out job applications, and interviewing. Another
person suggested that the jail put in place computer classes that also provide opportunities for
individuals to apply for jobs online, while still in jail.
A few people brought up the additional complications of trying to find work when you have a
criminal record, noting a need for targeted employment resources that can direct people to
companies willing to hire people who have felony convictions. As one person explained, ―We
need job referrals, jobs that someone with a felony can qualify for. Referrals that are geared
towards us.‖ Some interviewees suggested that companies open to hiring people with criminal
records should come to the jail, to offer job training or participate in job fairs, and provide
opportunities for individuals to apply for employment opportunities with them before release.
―If an outside resource would come in offering work, I would jump on it
regardless of pay. We need more agencies to come in and do job training,
it would be very helpful.‖
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Education
Interviewees reported a wide range of educational attainment from no schooling (n=1) to
Bachelor‘s degrees (n=4), but a substantial portion (42.5 percent) had neither a high school
diploma nor a GED (see Figure 8 for detail). Education levels were generally lower among the
interviewees from Boyle Heights than those from South L.A. (52.8 percent of Boyle Heights
interviewees did not have a high school diploma or GED, as compared 34.1 percent of South
L.A. participants). However, only ten percent of all interviewees self-reported education as a
reentry priority. Figure K in Appendix E provides further detail on educational attainment,
disaggregated by neighborhood.

Figure 8. Highest level of education (n=80)
35

29

30

24

25
20
15

11

10

5
5

4

3

4

0

Housing
In order to provide a proxy of housing stability, interviewees were asked where they slept the
night before their arrest and where they expected to stay when they left the jail. Prior to arrest,
the majority of interviewees reported ―stable‖ housing arrangements—living in their own house
or apartment or at a family member‘s home (58.8 percent). Just under one-fifth (18.8 percent) of
the interviewees reported ―unstable housing‖ the night before arrest, defined as staying with a
friend, in a hotel, or on the street or in another public place.44 However, the study‘s
neighborhood focus has likely led to an underrepresentation of people who are homeless or
unstably housed in the study and this figure might not be representative of the extent of
homelessness throughout the larger jail population. Figure 9 provides detail on pre-arrest housing
and post-release housing expectations. Figure L in Appendix E presents this information,
disaggregated by neighborhood.
44

About a third (33.8 percent) of interviewees self-reported housing as a personal reentry priority, including a wide
range of needs, from simply finding a place to sleep to obtaining their own apartment or house.
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Interviewees reporting this type of housing

Figure 9. Housing before arrest and post-release housing expectations (n=80)
35
31
30

Sleep before arrest

Sleep after release

27

25
20
20
16
15
10

14

13
8

8
6

5

4

5
1

5

2
0

0

0

*The ―Other‖ housing category includes rehabilitation centers, halfway houses, hospitals, and transitional housing.

A number of responses imply a need for support with housing following release; eight people
expected to return to a friend‘s home or a hotel following release. Another eight people reported
that they did not know where they would stay when they left jail, a possible indication of
unstable housing. A significant proportion of those interviewees who were living in their own
house or apartment at the time they were arrested (n=14) did not expect to be able to live in their
own residence after release, with far more people reporting they would live with a family
member post-release. Researchers did not collect details on the reasons that people were unable
to return home (e.g., eviction due to criminal justice involvement, or falling behind on rent
payments while in jail), but this finding suggests the need to further explore this issue with the
aim of developing interventions to help people maintain existing housing arrangements.

Substance use
Responses to a brief screen for drug abuse and dependency suggest very high rates of problems
connected to substance use. Sixty percent of the interviewees screened positively for a substancerelated problem, corresponding with the DSM criteria for a diagnosis of drug dependence. This
indicates quite high levels of substance use needs, and is nearly twice the number of people who
identified substance use as a reentry priority (32.5 percent of the sample). Figure 10 provides
detail on the disparities between the proportion of interviewees self-reporting substance use
needs and those identified by a validated screening tool for substance dependency, the Texas
Christian University Drug Screen (TCUDS).

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Figure 10. Substance use needs (n=80)
Most important reentry need

13.8%

Most difficult reentry need

18.8%

Self-reported reentry need

32.5%

Likely need based on screening tool

60.0%
0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

The disparities illustrated in Figure 10 underscore barriers to providing drug treatment services
in the jail or as part of reentry programming, with almost half of those who experience symptoms
of substance dependence not self-identifying as requiring support in this area. This finding
suggests that many people in the jail either do not want to address their substance use or do not
view accessing treatment as a priority when compared to competing needs.
Positive screens were particularly high among Boyle Heights interviewees at 72.2 percent, as
compared to 50.0 percent of South L.A. interviewees. Furthermore, a larger proportion of Boyle
Heights interviewees reported that it was ―extremely important‖ to get substance use treatment
after leaving the jail. Figures M, N, and O in Appendix E provide detail on various indications of
substance use needs, by neighborhood.
Respondents reported using a variety of substances with varying frequencies—ranging from
once in the twelve months before arrest to daily use during that same period. Ninety-four percent
of interviewees (n=75) reported using any drugs or alcohol in the past 12 months, including 63
people who reported using at least one illicit drug. When these individuals were asked which
substances caused them the most serious problems, the most common responses included alcohol
(24.0 percent, n=18) and methamphetamine (20.0 percent, n=15); only four people reported that
marijuana caused the most problems. Nineteen people (25.3 percent) of those who reported any
drug or alcohol use during the preceding year reported that they did not have any substancerelated problems. For those individuals who reported that a doctor or other medical professional
has told them that they had a drug or alcohol problem, people most frequently reported that those
issues were related to alcohol (n=7) and methamphetamine (n=5). In Appendix E , Figures P and
Q provide detail on the substances that people reported using, how frequently they used them,
and which caused the most serious problems.

Mental health
Identifying mental health problems in correctional settings is difficult and the interviews
conducted with people in jail custody as a part of this study did not provide an opportunity for a
full psychiatric assessment, the ―gold standard‖ measure of mental health need. As an alternative,
the interviews employed the Correctional Mental Health Screen for Men (CMHS-M), a short tool
validated for use in correctional settings that is designed to detect signs of mental health
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problems that warrant a full psychiatric assessment. While only five percent of the interviewees
self-reported mental health as a reentry challenge, 42.5 percent of the cohort screened positively
as having some indication of mental health problems that warrants a complete clinical
assessment for mental illness.45 This suggests that as few as one in eight of those who may
benefit from psychiatric services self-identify mental health as one of their top three priority
areas of need.
Furthermore, about 34 percent of the cohort screened positive on both the substance use and
mental health screens, indicating a possible co-occurring substance use and mental health
disorder. Figure 11 provides detail on disparities between self-reported mental health needs and
potential issues indicated by the CMHS-M. The disparities between self-reported mental health
needs and these other measures highlight the importance of thinking carefully about the tools that
are used to identify mental health issues.

Figure 11. Mental health needs (n=80)
Most important reentry need

2.5%

Most difficult reentry need

1.3%

Self-reported reentry need

5.0%

Likely need based on screening tool

42.5%
0%

5%

10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50%

Again, positive mental health screens were higher among Boyle Heights participants (52.8
percent) than among people from South L.A. (34.1 percent). Boyle Heights interviewees also
reported higher rates of diagnosed mental illnesses (38.9 percent) than South L.A. participants
(20.5 percent).46 However, when participants were asked if they would benefit from talking to
someone about their mental health, 52.8 percent of Boyle Heights interviewees responded in the
affirmative (the same proportion that had positive screens), but 68.2 percent of South L.A.
interviewees reported that they would benefit (twice the rate of people who had positive mental
health screens). Figure R in Appendix E provides detail on the various indications of mental
health need, by neighborhood.
45

LASD and the DMH conduct screening and assessment interviews to identify people with serious mental illness
during the jail intake process. Those who require intensive treatment and individuals who pose a threat to the safety
of themselves or others are diverted to Twin Towers (the mental health facility at the jail). As such, the rates of
mental health problems described here may be an undercount. In addition, individuals who were diverted to Twin
Towers may be more likely to self-report mental health needs, making the MCJ sample biased towards those that are
less likely to report mental health as a priority.
46
Of those with previous diagnoses (n=23), most had depression (n=7), anxiety (n=6), and bipolar disorder (n=5).
Median age of diagnosis was 16.5 years old for Boyle Heights and 20.5 years old for South LA.
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There are several potential explanations for the disparity in rates of mental health need between
the study‘s two focus neighborhoods. For example, there may actually be higher rates of mental
illness in Boyle Heights, or South L.A. residents may have just been less willing to reveal their
mental health needs. However, the finding that nearly six out of ten interviewees stated that they
would ―benefit from talking to someone about their mental health‖ suggests that this simple
question may provide a first step in deciding who requires further screening or assessment.
Furthermore, the disparity in rates of identified mental health problems between Boyle Heights
and South L.A. may also have implications for developing culturally responsive screening and
assessment tools. In Appendix E, Figure S provides detail on individuals’ mental health screens
and histories and Figure T provides detail on potential co-occurring disorders, disaggregated by
neighborhood.

Other medical conditions
Almost three-quarters of interviewees (73.7 percent) reported being in ―good‖ to ―excellent‖
health. Slightly less than a quarter (23.3 percent) reported ―fair‖ health, and only five percent of
the study cohort stated that they were in ―poor‖ health. This corresponds with the low numbers
self-reporting health as a reentry priority (only two people out of the sample identified health
issues as a reentry need). Despite these generally positive reports on health status, when asked to
explain their health, some of the sample did have health problems, including a range of
conditions, such as asthma and high blood pressure. In some instances, people who said they
were in ―good‖ health also reported serious health issues like Hepatitis C and gunshot wounds.

Stigma, self-esteem, and social skills
Some interviewees spoke about the detrimental impact that the experience of incarceration has
on the reentry process. A few people noted a ―fear of rejection‖ and shame in connection with
the post-release job search: ―Should I lie about being a convict? It gets sad being turned down.‖
Another person discussed the way in which this rejection can have far-reaching repercussions,
explaining that ―[b]eing denied a job because you’re on parole leads to depression and then to
drugs.‖ Others spoke more holistically about the negative impact of incarceration on one‘s
emotional well-being:
―We come away with PTSD from jail. We have shame and depression, live
in fear of people finding out about our past.‖
―We need psychological support; we lose so many people in here. Our
morale goes away; it's bad for the soul.‖
Interviewees highlighted a need for classes that teach social skills and life skills, focusing on new
ways of thinking and ways to approach relationships and other social situations. One person
noted that he would like to see, ―Programs for motivation to help me change my way of thinking;
maybe even how to make friends and connect with others.‖ This finding was notable, as the
interview instrument does not include any questions that specifically address this area, yet many
of the participants brought up the issue without any prompt. As one individual explained:
―Jail could be doing more to address issues around relationships and teach
inmates how to be more social. You feel inferior to everyone else here.
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Social skills need to be addressed by the programs here. Like a class that
deals with self-esteem, not just anger management and domestic violence.
Teach self-worth so inmates can feel good when they leave here.‖
In addition, some interviewees specifically noted positive experiences with Moral Reconation
Therapy and the way in which it helped them change their behavior.47

Policing
There were a number of people who felt that policing and parole practices would make it
difficult to avoid rearrest. A number of interviewees cited arbitrary stops by police and trivial
parole or probation violations as a major contributing factor for rearrest:
―In my neighborhood, you can be walking to the store for your mother and
be arrested. Nine times out of ten the police will stop you.‖
―But there's still a chance [that I’ll be rearrested] because parole makes it
very difficult. If you have a water pistol in your room, it's a simulated weapon.
They can search your home for these things and you're back in jail.‖

47

Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) is a cognitive behavioral approach commonly used in corrections, which aims
to address ―ego, social, moral, and positive behavioral growth.‖ MRT is included in SAMHSA‘s National Registry
of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (see http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=34).
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PART C: EXPECTATIONS FOR HELP
Project participants were asked whether they expected to receive assistance to address their selfdefined reentry priorities. The vast majority of the sample (91 percent) expected to receive help
with at least one of their reported priorities, and half of the interviewees expected to receive help
with all of their reported priorities. See Figure U in Appendix E for detail on help expectations,
disaggregated by neighborhood.

SOURCES OF SUPPORT
In order to better understand interviewees‘ expectations, we asked who they thought would
provide support for each reentry priority. The majority of interviewees (79 percent) believed they
would receive help from someone in their community, compared to only 38 percent who
believed they would receive assistance from someone in the jail. Figure 12, below, provides
additional detail. Figure V in Appendix E provides this information by neighborhood.

Fig 12. Expectations about who will help with reentry priorities (n=80)
Other No help
help
9%
9%

Community
and jail
help
34%

Only
community
help
45%

Only jail
help
4%

Perceptions about the source of help varied somewhat across categories of need. For instance,
most people who identified housing or employment as reentry priorities did not expect to recieve
support from jail staff to address these problems. In contrast, interviewees who named substance
use issues as a reentry priority were almost twice as likely to say that they expected to get
treatment support from the jail. Figure 13 provides further details on interviewees‘ beliefs about
sources of support for each of the top five reported reentry priorities.
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Figure 13. Expected sources of help for top five reentry priorities
Staying out of trouble (n=18)

50%

Relationships (n=21)

10%

14%

(n=27)

7%

19%

Employment (n=58)

9%

Housing

Substance Use (n=26)
0%
Jail help only

29%

10%

Both jail and community help

30%

33%

11%

47%
27%

20%

33%

14%

33%

12%

15%

17%

30%
7%

27%
40%

50%

60%

Community help only

26%
19%

70%

80%

Other help

12%
90%

100%

No help

SOCIAL NETWORKS
Interviewees reported a range of experiences with supports outside of the jail. Some people
reported strong social support, noting that family and friends would provide both tangible and
intangible help, from leads on jobs to emotional support. ―I have no real reentry obstacles. I
have lots of support and a job possibility.‖ Furthermore, some saw their social networks as a
source of motivation to change: ―I need to do something more for [my children], be there for
them when they need me. I can't do anything for them being in here.‖ Others noted that they
have very limited networks of support, with some people reporting feeling isolated, without
anyone to talk to or turn to for help. One man noted, ―If my sister would have let me sleep in her
car the night of my arrest, I wouldn't have been walking the streets.‖
Interviewees were also asked questions about sources of social support in three domains:
emotional support (do you have anyone to talk to when you are upset?); material aid (is there
anyone who would lend you 25 dollars?); and socializing (is there anyone you can hang out with
to relax and have fun?). Almost all interviewees reported having support in each of these areas
(96.3 percent). The most common sources of support were family (parents, siblings, and others),
significant others, friends, and neighbors. A substantial minority also reported religious leaders
as a source of emotional support (31.3 percent). See Figure W in Appendix E for more detail.
Though in many cases social networks provide positive support and influences, a number of
community stakeholders mentioned that multigenerational histories of criminal justice contact
and gang affiliation can impede individual efforts to end criminal activity. Interviewees
commonly had family histories of incarceration and gang affiliation, with half reporting that at
least one family member had been to jail and 41 percent of all interviewees reporting at least one
family member who is gang-involved. See Appendix E, Figure X for detail by neighborhood.
Similarly, friends and neighborhoods can have a negative impact on reentry outcomes. When
asked about personal priorities for reentry, about one fifth (22.5 percent) of interviewees reported
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a need to ―stay out of trouble‖ and another five people discussed the risk of returning to patterns
of drug use and involvement with gangs once surrounded by old friends. A few interviewees
noted that returning to the same neighborhood would be problematic. For example, one person
explained,―If I stay away from Hollywood I'll be okay. My friends do drugs and I get in trouble
when I'm around them. I plan to stop associating with them.‖
About one-fifth (21.3 percent) of the interviewees reported that they had some involvement with
a gang; an additional 3.8 percent reported that they were previously in a gang but had since
ended their involvement.48 These rates were higher among Boyle Heights interviewees, with 36.1
percent reporting past or present gang involvement, compared to 15.9 percent of South L.A.
interviewees. See Figure Y in Appendix E for detail on interviewee gang involvement.

PART D: SERVICES OFFERED AND RECEIVED
About a fifth (n=17) of the interviewees had been offered help in the jail with one of their reentry
priorities in the past (including the jail stay when the interview took place) and only 11 people
reported actually receiving services (see Figure 14). Despite low rates of engagement, most
interviewees expressed a desire for services, with 89 percent of interviewees responding
positively when asked if they would accept if someone offered them services in the jail.

Figure 14. Service engagement in the jail
Full Cohort (n=80)
Services
Has anyone in the L.A. County Jail ever offered to assist you
with any of [your reentry priorities]?

21.3% (17)

Did you accept the offer?49

20.0% (16)

Status of services at the interview
Services received

11

Services pending

4

Services denied

1

If offered help with these needs today, would you accept?
Yes

88.8% (71)

No

7.5% (6)

Missing

3.8% (3)

48

No one explicitly noted gangs as a reentry priority and very few mentioned it during the interviews. This may
stem from fear of sharing negative feedback about one‘s gang, or maybe few see gang involvement as an issue.
Furthermore, Vera researchers were told anecdotally that high-security housing areas tend to have a larger
proportion of gang members; this study‘s limited access to these housing areas may have biased the sample towards
a population with lower levels of gang involvement.
49
It was clear from interviewee responses if they had accepted services, but in some cases the services may have
been pending at the time of the interview (e.g., a General Relief request that cannot be completed until release).
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The services most frequently reported by interviewees as being offered in the jail relate to
substance use treatment (n=7), housing/shelters (n=6), education (n=6) and General Relief
(n=5).50 Individuals were also offered services relating to employment, SSI, religious support,
counseling, and basic needs (e.g., transportation, clothing).

CTU SERVICES
The Community Transition Unit is the primary mechanism the jail uses to link individuals with
reentry services.51 Vera asked interviewees some specific questions about their familiarity and
experiences with the CTU. Of the eighty interviewees, about one third (32.5 percent) had heard
of the CTU. About half of this group had heard about the CTU from other inmates (n=12), while
others reported hearing dorm announcements, (n=9), seeing a sign (n=1), or learning of CTU
from a combination of these sources (n=3) (see Figure 15).
In some instances, interviewees reported hearing dorm announcements relating to reentry
services, but did not connect these announcements with CTU services. For example, some people
recalled ―deputies‖ making announcements for General Relief, suggesting that these individuals
were neither aware of the name of the unit, nor were they aware of the distinction between
general LASD staff and CTU custody assistants.

Figure 15. How interviewees learned about the CTU (n=25)52

3
1
Other inmates

12

Jail staff
Sign
More than one source

9

50

General Relief (GR) is a ―County-funded program that provides financial assistance to indigent adults who are
ineligible for federal or State programs.‖ For eligibility criteria, see http://dpss.lacounty.gov/dpss/gr/default.cfm.
51
The CTU is explained in more detail in the Introduction.
52
There was missing data for one of the 26 people who knew about the CTU on how they heard about the CTU.
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It was apparent from interviews, however, that even when they had heard of the CTU, many
people did not understand its role. For example, a number of people implied that General Relief
is the only thing that the CTU can provide, with some individuals noting that they would not
seek CTU services because they did not want to receive General Relief, suggesting a lack of
clear messaging about the role of the unit in the jail. Of those individuals who had heard of the
CTU, nine had met someone from the CTU and six went on to receive services (see Figure 16).

Figure 16. CTU awareness and contact

100%
32.5%
11.3%

80 people were
interviewed
26 were aware of
the CTU
9 had contact
with the CTU

7.5%

6 received
CTU
services

The six people who were able to connect with the CTU expressed satisfaction with the services,
indicating that the CTU was either somewhat helpful (n=2) or very helpful (n=4). These
individuals reported that the CTU staff are respectful and ―do their job,‖ in sharp contrast to their
views of most LASD staff. As one interviewee explained:
―They worry about your well-being for when you leave. Do you have housing,
[are you] financially set? They make it their job. Deputies don't care, though‖
―CTU gives you a good start, instead of just leaving with property in your hand.‖

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CTU referral sources
In addition to information collected as a part of the interviews with people held in the jail, the
Vera research team analyzed data from the CTU‘s data management system (FAST) for requests
entered between July 2009 and June 2011. Due to a number of complications related to the
FAST database, the analyses presented here are limited to information on referral sources,
request types, and demographics of people referred to the CTU.53
The CTU recruits clients using a range of resources including information on homelessness
collected at jail intake, referrals from other staff working in the jail, ‗early release‘ lists, and selfreferrals (including inmate request forms). Figure 17 provides detail on the source of the 17,144
referrals to the CTU that occurred over four six-month periods between July 2009 and June
2011. Referrals fell by 37 percent between the first six-month period and the last, with much of
the decrease being driven by a drastic reduction in inmate request form referrals (a 46 percent
decrease in this type of referral over the 18 month period).54 During that time, inmate request
forms were the most common referral source (53 percent of all referrals between 2009 and
2011), followed by the homeless list (31 percent).

Figure 17. CTU referral sources55
Jan-Jun11 (n=3463)

1759

Jul-Dec10 (n=3343)

1757

1202
980

2258

Jan-Jun10 (n=4860)

1597
3247

Jul-Dec09 (n=5478)
0
Inmate Request Form

1000
Homeless List

1462
2000

Custody Personnel

3000
DMH

4000

5000

Early Release list

6000

Other/Unknown

53

It is not possible to be certain if people in the FAST database have had contact with the CTU directly, or if they
were entered into the system based on CTU protocol (e.g., all individuals on the homeless list used to be added to
the database). It is also difficult to determine the outcome of CTU contacts (e.g., if someone requests housing
assistance, FAST does not always include data on resultant contact or services). The CTU recognizes these
complications and is in implementing a new data system with the aim of addressing many of these issues.
54
In part, this decline in CTU referrals may be associated with a modest decrease in the overall jail population and
reduced reliance on the homeless list for targeting CTU clients. However, these factors are unlikely to explain the
full extent of the decrease and it is possible that other environmental factors may explain some of the reduction.
55
These 17,144 referrals were associated with 14,669 unique bookings.
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In addition, FAST flags individuals who fall into a few specialized client pools, including people
who are homeless, veterans, and the mentally ill. Figure 18 provides detail on the percentage of
the unique bookings that appear in the FAST system which also have each type of flag.56
Figure 18. Special population flags in the CTU database
50%
45%

45%

43%

43%

45%

40%
35%
30%

25%

25%
20%

18%

15%
10%
5%

26%

22%

9%

8%
6%

8%

0%

Jul-Dec09
(n=4586)

Jan-Jun10
(n=4112)
Homeless flag

Jul-Dec10
(n=2916)

Mental health flag

Jan-Jun11
(n=3055)

Veteran flag

Characteristics of individuals in the CTU database
In order to examine the extent to which the individuals in the CTU‘s database are representative
of the overall jail population, the Vera research team analyzed demographic and charge
information from FAST and AJIS (see Figures 19 and 20, on the following page).57 In general,
older individuals (46 to 63 years old) were overrepresented in the CTU database as compared to
the general jail population, possibly as a function of higher levels of need amongst older people
in the jail or a greater willingness to seek support.58 In regard to race and ethnicity, black
individuals were overrepresented in the CTU database and Hispanic individuals were
underrepresented.59 Women were only slightly overrepresented in the CTU data, making up 21
percent of the unique bookings in the CTU database as compared to 17 percent of the bookings
in AJIS data.

56

The vast majority (95 percent) of FAST records with a mental health flag were referred from TTCF or the
women‘s facility, CRDF.
57
There are 14,669 unique bookings in the CTU database; the CTU population for Figures 19 through 21 varies
slightly from this figure due to missing data in these realms.
58
This group also had a higher prevalence of mental health flags than the overall CTU population.
59
The overrepresentation of black clients in the CTU database is likely driven in part by the homeless list; 41
percent of those on the homeless list are black, 24 percent are white, and 31 percent are Hispanic. Note that
―Hispanic‖ is used when referring to CTU and AJIS data, as that is the language used in those data systems. The
Vera research interview instrument, on the other hand, uses the term ―Latino.‖
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Figure 19. Age groups of individuals in CTU and AJIS databases
AJIS data (n=169,002)

14%

CTU data (n=14,647)

68%

9%

18%

61%

0%

20%

1%

29%

40%

60%

18-21

22-45

1%

80%

46-63

100%

64+

Figure 20. Racial/ethnic groups of individuals in CTU and AJIS databases
AJIS data (n=169,002)

49%

CTU data (n=14,649)

31%

29%
0%

10%

17%

43%

20%

30%

40%

Hispanic

50%
Black

3%

24%
60%

70%

White

80%

4%
90%

100%

Other

Figure 21, below, describes information on arrest charges, comparing data from FAST with AJIS
records for everyone who was arrested and booked into jail custody during 2008. This shows that
people who are known to the CTU are disproportionately facing drug, property, and
administrative charges (administrative charges include court offenses, like failure to appear,
municipal code offenses, etc.). Conversely, individuals who appear in the CTU‘s data system are
less likely to be facing public order charges, violent charges, or a range of ‗other‘ charges (these
include a wide range of offenses, such as indecent exposure, criminal threats, stalking,
disobeying a domestic relations court order, and others).

Figure 21. Charge type for individuals in CTU and AJIS databases
AJIS (n=304,565)

22%

CTU data (n=14,639)

31%
0%

Drug

12%

Property

10%

20%

13%

21%
30%

Administrative

40%

27%

20%
50%
Other

60%

10%

20%
70%

Violent

80%

6%

6% 2%
90%

100%

Public Order

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Chapter Two
Reentry Services & Engagement
Reentry services in the L.A. County Jail are overwhelmed by the potential level of demand.
There are approximately 400 to 450 daily admissions to LASD custody; with a staff of 19, the
CTU is only equipped to serve a small fraction of this number. 60 Because these capacity
constraints make it impossible to provide reentry services to everyone who enters the jail, CTU
staff and other providers working in the jail must selectively target potential clients and prioritize
the delivery of services. Without a structured approach to service delivery, scarce resources can
be easily squandered by targeting people who do not require or want support, trying to intervene
with people who are released too quickly to access the programs being offered, or providing
services that fail to address clients‘ most vital needs.
In light of the pressing need to increase the capacity of existing services, Vera recommends that
LASD increase investment in reentry programming. However, it is just as important that reentry
service providers ensure that resources are directed towards those who are most in need of
support and that service models incorporate strategies to maximize engagement both within the
jail and in the community after release.
To promote client engagement with services, this chapter discusses the following components of
engagement, highlighting the importance of:
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.

improving awareness of the CTU and reentry services among people held in the jail;
targeting reentry services for key client groups;
assessing needs and priorities of clients of reentry services;
developing service plans that are tailored to individual needs, priorities, and circumstances;
maximizing service accessibility and engagement in the jail environment; and,
focusing on the transition into the community.

Figure 22: Essential steps in reentry service delivery and engagement
Improve
Awareness

Target
Services

Assess
Needs &
Priorities

Develop
Service Plans

Maximize
Service
Accessibility &
Engagement

Transition into
the Community

60

The CTU plans to add 12 new staff positions to respond to realignment and the growing jail population. While a
significant enhancement to the unit‘s current capacity, a much larger investment of staff, training and other
resources is required to meet the demand for supportive services in the jail.
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Engagement is an ongoing process, not a one-time activity. While the CTU and community
reentry providers have recently expanded and improved their efforts to connect clients with
services (refer to the Introduction for a description of these activities), Vera‘s findings highlight
areas where perceived or actual barriers to engagement persist. This chapter combines
information from qualitative interviews with jail and community service providers and
stakeholders, the jail inmate survey, and analysis of administrative jail records to document
ongoing challenges, highlight successes and promising approaches currently employed by
LASD, and provide recommendations for additional measures to further encourage the
participation of people in jail with reentry services.

PART A: IMPROVING AWARENESS OF THE CTU & REENTRY SERVICES
There are a number of benefits to focusing reentry services towards specific populations
(discussed in detail in Part B of this chapter), but these targeting efforts should be balanced with
the need to provide services that are accessible to those who self-select to receive support. In
order to maximize opportunities for people to request help they must be aware of the reentry
services that are available in the jail and know how to access these services. However,
publicizing reentry services in the jail is far from straightforward. A lack of trust between people
in custody and jail staff, security concerns, language barriers, and literacy issues can all
undermine efforts to inform people of the programs and services that are available. This section
discusses strategies for increasing access to reentry services by advertising existing services and
ensuring that information is readily available in the jail about how to request support.
To be effective, publicity strategies should go hand in hand with an increased investment in
reentry services, ensuring that the capacity to provide supportive services is able to keep pace
with increases in demand. Refer to Part B: Targeting reentry services and Part D: Developing
service plans for recommendations on how to make the most efficient use of resources, by
targeting high need populations for more intensive services and providing less resourceintensive, ―lighter touch‖ services to others.

PART A – FINDINGS


Limited awareness of CTU and reentry services among people held in the jail. The
CTU currently uses a number of approaches to promote their services, including dorm
announcements, videos, and signage; plans are in place to expand the scope of these
marketing activities. Other service providers in the jail, such as the MERIT program, use
dorm announcements and sign-up sheets.
Despite the variety of methods used to advertise CTU services, people in jail custody
currently have limited awareness of both the CTU specifically and reentry services generally.
As documented in Chapter One, many individuals interviewed for this study had no
knowledge of available services or how to request such services. A minority of the
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interviewees (32.5 percent) had heard about the CTU and only six people out of 80 ultimately
received CTU services.61 A few people noted a general awareness of the program, but did not
know it ―by name.‖ Furthermore, there was general confusion about the role of the CTU and
the distinction between CTU employees and other jail staff.


Inmate request forms. Of the 17,154 referrals between July 2009 and June 2011, inmate
request forms were the most common source of referrals (53 percent of all referrals).62 While
it is not possible to tell from the data if people are specifically requesting CTU support, or if
these requests are being referred to the CTU by default, there is a clear desire for supportive
services. On the other hand, there are a number of issues with the current forms that may still
be limiting the volume of requests. Many interviewees expressed familiarity with the forms
and knew where to find them, but some suggested that their placement in boxes outside the
dorm is not very accessible. Researchers also noticed that the boxes are often empty. In
addition, the inmate request form is on the bottom half of a larger sheet used to lodge
complaints, and the full paper is commonly referred to by jail staff as a ―complaint form.‖ A
few interviewees mentioned that they were hesitant to fill out a form for fear of antagonizing
LASD officers. Relying on the forms also presupposes sufficient English literacy skills.
People in custody and CTU staff mentioned that it often takes ‗weeks‘ to respond to requests
and this may not happen before the time of release.63

 Provision of information via posters and videos. The CTU is promoted in a video
playing at the Inmate Reception Center (IRC) during intake; none of the men held at MCJ
who were interviewed for this study mentioned seeing this video. Only two interviewees
noted seeing signs for the CTU and Vera researchers did not see any CTU posters in Men‘s
Central Jail. Vera researchers saw signs promoting CTU services posted in the North County
facility‘s reception center and, at Men‘s Central, outside of the CTU headquarters located
within closed doors from the Inmate Reception Center (very few individuals held in the jail
pass by the CTU office). These signs are misleading, however, and make it appear that the
CTU only serves veterans.

 Referrals from jail staff and others. The CTU receives a number of referrals from other
jail staff, including custody assistants, deputies, class facilitators, and chaplains, as well as
family members who can make requests via a 1-800 telephone number.

 Dorm announcements and word of mouth. CTU staff periodically visit dorms and
classrooms to announce available services. These dorm announcements were one of the most
common ways that interviewees learned about the CTU, second only to hearing about the
CTU from other people in custody. Both of these methods highlight the value of in-person
61

Our interview sample may be biased in favor of greater awareness of CTU services given that a number of them
were housed in school dorms or trustee dorms, where CTU is more likely to make announcements about their
services; thus, the true proportion of the jail population who is aware of the CTU is likely less than one third.
62
The 17,154 referrals were associated with associated with 14,669 unique bookings. Referrals do not necessarily
indicate any interaction with clients. Data on contact with clients, or services provided are not recorded in a
consistent manner within the FAST system, making it difficult to analyze rates of contact or case outcomes.
63
Due to issues with the FAST data system, the Vera research team was unable to explore the CTU‘s follow-up on
the referrals generated by inmate request forms, or the time from receipt to client contact.
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communication as compared to paper and video advertisements. One CTU staff member
explained that the CTU tends to focus in-person publicity efforts primarily on the trustee and
school dorms, making regular announcements during the MERIT program classes. Thus,
these announcements may not reach many groups within the jail, such as people in higherrisk classification areas and others who may benefit from reentry services.

PART A – RECOMMENDATIONS
The CTU has planned an expansion of its current strategies for publicizing its services that
addresses many of the findings described above. Based on findings from this research, Vera fully
supports full implementation of these enhanced marketing strategies and provides further
recommendations for maximizing their impact.
Promising Practice
Planned Expansion of CTU Marketing Strategies64
As a part of a planned expansion of marketing strategies, the CTU intends to publicize reentry
services in the following ways:
―Signage located throughout jail facilities;
The ―Out the Gate‖ reentry video will be shown throughout IRC and inmate housing locations
via television monitors. This video, which includes segments on ―taking responsibility for your
life‖ and adjusting ―mentally & emotionally to your community upon release,‖ also contains
information on how to contact CTU for CTRC services;
The placement of mobile push carts containing program brochures regarding services, public
benefits, veterans, and CTU information will be available in areas where inmates congregate to
ensure maximum exposure;
Distribution of the ―L.A. Reentry Guide.‖ This guide uses a ―Self-Help‖ format that provides
information on an abundance of community resources—such as telephone numbers, websites,
addresses, etc. on services and organizations throughout Los Angeles County. The guide is easy
to read and comprehend but, most importantly, it provides the inmate the option of contacting the
agencies themselves or contacting staff at CTU for assistance and guidance.
The CTRC program will also be marketed to the families of inmates who will view a slide show
video which will be shown over television monitors in the visiting waiting room areas
throughout the jail facilities. The video provides a comprehensive orientation about the
programs and services available in jail facilities. Families will also have access to the ―L.A. Reentry Guide‖ which will be readily available to them upon request.‖
In addition to the planned marketing expansion, the approaches listed on the following page may
increase awareness of CTU services within the jail.
64

This material is from the LASD Inmate Services Bureau AB109 Public Safety Realignment Plan, Sept. 23, 2011.
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 Replace inmate request forms with “Service Request Forms” that are completely
distinct from “complaint forms,” easy to understand, and widely available. This
form should be distinct from the general ―complaint form‖ to avoid potential
misunderstandings about the purpose of the forms. The Service Request Forms could employ
a ―tick-box‖ format for commonly requested services (e.g., General Relief, housing, etc.)
alongside a space for recording additional notes or requests for other types of support. The
forms should be available in English and Spanish, and should be located inside the dorms,
rather than right outside. These request forms could also be provided to all jail-based service
providers (e.g., MERIT providers, chaplains, etc.) to maximize accessibility. Ideally, there
should be a method for tracking CTU requests, providing benchmarks for measuring
response times to inmate requests.65 It would also be helpful to prioritize request types, so
that issues like medication requests are handled more quickly. Furthermore, the CTU may
want to consider placing a priority on Service Request Forms over other types of referrals to
the CTU; by providing timely responses to these client-driven requests, even if the
individual‘s needs cannot be immediately met, the CTU can foster trust and a reputation of
responsiveness among people held in the jail.


Provide CTU flyers via mail call and pass out flyers in dorms. A few individuals in
custody suggested that flyers be passed out within the dorms and via mail call, making it
more likely that individuals will see advertisements. This approach may be particularly
useful for short-stayers and individuals who are held in segregation units, as both have
limited opportunities to learn about services. Flyers could also be available in visitation
areas, providing a low-resource method of informing families of the services that are
available. The CTU‘s planned information carts could also be made available during mail
call and in visitation areas.



Place televisions playing CTU informational videos in other areas in addition to the
IRC. Vera supports the CTU‘s plans to play the ―Out the Gate‖ video throughout all jail
housing areas. In the IRC, people may be too preoccupied with intake procedures (transfers,
medical screenings, classification, etc.), too disoriented by the effects of intoxication or
detox, or too overwhelmed upon admission to absorb information about reentry services.



Expand the use of staff presentations about services to all dorms. Given the success
of in-person announcements, CTU staff or other jail staff should consider making weekly
standardized announcements about CTU and other jail-based services throughout the jail,
beyond the school and trustee dorms.



Distribute a condensed reentry guide widely throughout jail. The CTU is already
planning to increase distribution of its reentry guide throughout the jail. Based on interviews
with people in custody, the CTU should consider distributing the detailed comprehensive
reentry guide to all service providers, but a condensed and accessible version (in English and
Spanish) might be more helpful for people held in the jail. Vera supports LASD‘s plans to
distribute this guide as widely as possible.

65

For example, by time-stamping request forms as they are received, the CTU could monitor response times for
different types of requests, providing important management information for improving services.
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

Provide training on reentry services for certain deputies and people in custody
throughout the jail. LASD should consider training staff to answer questions about the
reentry services available in the jail and to encourage people to access services, providing the
CTU with greater reach than is possible with either its current staff of 17 custody assistants,
or with the additional 18 custody assistants who will be hired. The CTU could also capitalize
on word-of-mouth communication by providing a similar training to a subset of people held
in the jail. One interviewee suggested that the dorm ―house mouse‖ (the person who acts as
an informal liaison between jail staff and people held in each dorm) could act as a peer
educator, ―pollinating the dorms‖ with information about reentry services.

 Conduct outreach to defense lawyers about available services. The jail may want to
consider sending regular email correspondence to public defender offices with information
on the reentry services that are available for people in the jail.


Ensure that materials (service request forms, signs, videos) are available in Spanish
and provide translation in other languages as needed. This is a very low-cost way to
improve awareness of services. It is important that translation services are well publicized.

PART B: TARGETING REENTRY SERVICES
Targeting strategies aim to maximize the effectiveness and reach of reentry services by using set
criteria to identify those who are underserved and/or may benefit the most from reentry
interventions. Appropriate groups for targeted interventions may include long stayers, frequent
recidivists, or people with particular types of need, such as the chronically homeless or people
requiring mental health or substance abuse treatment. Methods for targeting services may include
brief screenings, risk assessment interviews, and/or use of jail administrative data to identify
repeat recidivists and those who are likely to be rearrested upon release.

PART B – FINDINGS
The CTU currently uses or is planning to use several active methods of reaching reentry clients
in the jail including targeting people who are homeless, veterans, and participants in specialized
programs like MERIT, and administering an assessment tool to identify appropriate clients.

 Current targeting initiatives:
o Targeting people who are homeless or veterans. Currently LASD engages in
limited targeting of the homeless and veteran populations through self-identification
during the jail intake interview, referrals from religious services, and via inmate
request forms. While the CTU has an ongoing focus on veterans, Vera heard
conflicting information about the extent to which reaching the homeless population is
an explicit aim of the CTU and if the homeless list is still being used to target clients.
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CTU policy does not involve using the homeless list except for certain specific
programs. Some CTU staff mentioned that most clients are recruited through the
homeless database, while another staff person said they receive a homeless list ―every
now and then.‖ About one third (31 percent) of CTU referrals in the FAST database
between July 2009 and June 2011 were attributed to the homeless list. However,
issues with the FAST database make it difficult to determine how many of those
referrals resulted in contact with the CTU. Some reentry programs have a more
specific focus; the Just In Reach program, for example, targets people who are
homeless, repeat offenders, and charged with lower level offenses.
When Vera analyzed this issue in its 2007 assessment of CTU operations and
information management needs, researchers concluded that the homeless list was not
an effective means of targeting clients.66 Researchers found that the homeless list was
often inaccurate and that custody assistants spent a lot of time reaching out to people
identified on the list who either did not want services or were not actually homeless.

o Informal targeting and triage based on security level, criminal history, length of
stay, and motivation to engage in services. Individual CTU staff members employ a
range of ‗informal‘ mechanisms for targeting potential clients. For example, while
CTU does not officially target services based on security level or offense type, one
staff member explained that they tend to prioritize repeat offenders classified as midrange security levels five through seven who are booked on drug, robbery, burglary,
or attempted murder charges. This person noted that lower level inmates are not
targeted because they are typically released too quickly to complete applications for
services like General Relief. Another person noted that those classified as higher risk
are not prioritized because they may pose a risk to staff and are often held in the jail
en route to state prison, rather than being released directly back into the community.
Some CTU staff also noted focusing on people who are motivated to modify their
behavior and take part in services. This idea is supported by the range of responses
from people held in the jail who were interviewed for the study—from those who see
jail as the right time to try to make a change (―Because I'm tired of this revolving
door in/out of the system,‖ or, ―It starts in here. It's supposed to be about
rehabilitation‖)—to others who have no interest in accessing services (―I enjoy being
self-sufficient. I don’t want to rely on anybody else‖). Furthermore, some people may
want help, but do not view the jail as an appropriate place to access services (―It’s not
a rehab… it’s not that type of system‖).

 Future plans for targeting efforts:
o Education-Based Incarceration. Since 2011, LASD has been in the process of
implementing an Education-Based Incarceration approach throughout LASD
66

D. Coursen, M. Goldern, J. Parsons, G. Shin, and N. Sugie, ―Assessment of CTU operations and information
management needs,‖ memo to the Los Angeles County Sheriff‘s Department (New York: Vera Institute of Justice,
June 28, 2007).
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facilities, with the aim of ―deterring and mitigating crime by investing in [LASD]
offenders through education and rehabilitation.‖67 While implementation is ongoing,
LASD plans to expand EBI to include a wide range of initiatives and programs, from
playing educational videos in the dorms to extensive programs, like Moral
Reconation Therapy and the MERIT Bridges to Recovery Program. 68 The CTU is
planning to focus the vast majority of reentry efforts on people who participate in EBI
programming with the assumption that these people have demonstrated that they are
amenable to services, and are therefore more likely to benefit from reentry supports.
o Targeting based on a standard measure of risk and needs. At the time of this study,
the CTU was not using standard measures of risk and need to proactively identify
reentry clients or to determine specific reentry needs. However, researchers were
informed that the Department is in the process of implementing the COMPAS, an
interviewer-administered risk assessment tool, which has been tailored to the needs of
LASD. The decision to adopt the COMPAS reflects best practices in risk and need
assessment.
Specifically, the COMPAS is a validated assessment tool designed for use in
correctional environments that includes a series of questions to assess an individual‘s
risk of re-offending.69 In the short term, the CTU plans to use a modified version of
the COMPAS to: (1) assess the risk and needs of the realignment population serving
their sentences in the jail in order to determine eligibility for community-based
alternatives to custody, and (2) provide information for case management purposes.70
Researchers were informed that the CTU is nearing completion of a test phase of the
COMPAS, which focuses on MERIT participants, people in wheelchairs, and women.
The CTU plans to require CBOs with jail contracts or memorandums of
understanding to enter COMPAS case management information for all clients in
order to improve their capacity to monitor client outcomes. Even with the planned
addition of 18 custody assistants, the time required to complete full COMPAS
assessments with all those entering custody may severely limit the availability of
CTU staff to provide other reentry planning services.71

67

Los Angeles County Sheriff‘s Department (LASD), Education Based Incarceration, (Los Angeles: Los Angeles
County Sheriff‘s Department, Correctional Services Division, 2010).
68
The MERIT Bridges to Recovery Program is a ―domestic violence intervention and recovery program‖ (Ibid.).
69
T. Brennan, B. Dieterich, and B. Ehret, Research Synthesis and Reliability of COMPAS (Northpointe Institute for
Public Management, Inc., 2007). For more information on the various COMPAS assessment software, see
http://www.northpointeinc.com/software-suite.aspx.
70
Initially, COMPAS will be administered to those who are both in the sentenced AB 109 population and already
engaged in programming, like MERIT. Individuals who complete the jail-based program and have a low risk score
on COMPAS will be eligible to complete their sentences in a community-based alternative to corrections (CBAC)
program. In the longer term, LASD plans to have CTU staff administer the assessment to the entire jail population.
71
Due to technical difficulties with integrating CHHRS data into COMPAS, the 132 questions are currently being
completed by hand, which is taking about 55 minutes per assessment. CTU reports that the computerized version
should take about 12-15 minutes to complete.
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o Realignment population. CTU plans to use COMPAS to assess the realignment
population in order to determine risk and needs levels. Vera was told that the
realignment cohort will also be targeted for Education-Based Incarceration
programming according to identified needs. Individuals who complete a jail-based
program and have low COMPAS risk scores will then be eligible to complete their
sentences in an LASD community-based program.

PART B – RECOMMENDATIONS
The combination of significant budget constraints and the projected growth of the jail population
due to realignment make it essential to develop a system of triage to guide decisions about the
allocation of scarce reentry resources. Such a system would allow the CTU to achieve the
maximum possible impact given capacity limitations, targeting outreach efforts towards those
with the greatest levels of risk and the most pressing needs. For example, in many jail systems a
small number of frequent recidivists consume a disproportionate amount of the jail‘s resources.72
In many cases, these people cycle through the jail repeatedly without ever self-identifying as
requiring reentry services. Similarly, those who are homeless, mentally ill or chronic substance
users may be harder to reach, but may benefit the most from being linked with supports in the
community.

 Triage clients based on level of need and opportunity to serve. The CTU should
consider developing a triage system that focuses on those clients who are most likely to need
and benefit from reentry services. Potential CTU clients could be classified using a
combination of COMPAS risk scores (need) and opportunity to provide services (e.g.,
projected length of stay), targeting those who both have the highest levels of need and will be
in jail a sufficient amount of time to engage in services. This classification system could also
be shared with CBOs to prioritize the provision of jail in-reach services and communitybased reentry services in the community. Chapter Three, Part B of this report provides a
detailed description of strategies for using administrative data to inform decisions about
triaging reentry services.

Figure 23. Need-opportunity triage system
Low Need

High Need

Low Opportunity

Low Priority

Low Priority

High Opportunity

Low Priority

Target
Population

72

G. Shubert, Frequent Users of Public Services: Ending the Institutional Circuit, Changing Systems to Change
Lives (Washington, DC: Corporation for Supportive Housing, 2009).
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Within this framework, there are a few groups within the jail that may provide a focus for
targeting and outreach efforts:

o Longer stayers. The combination of brief lengths of stay and unpredictable release
times means that pretrial detainees and those serving short sentences are difficult to
engage and serve. One way of maximizing the impact of services is to target those
who are serving longer sentences, including the new realignment cohort, ensuring that
there is adequate time to conduct meaningful reentry planning. The CTU should
consider targeting this population and those serving longer county sentences as they
near the end of their jail terms, given the greater opportunity to provide services and
the possibility that these groups may be at high risk of recidivism.
o People sentenced to jail terms. The CTU should consider focusing on individuals
who will serve their sentences within the jail (regardless of AB109 status). Targeting
this group has the dual advantage of reaching those who are held in the jail for long
enough to receive a meaningful ‗dose‘ of reentry services and who have a set release
date, allowing for more effective reentry planning.

o Pre-existing CTU clients. By identifying those who have received services during
prior jail stays and reconnecting them with their case manager, the CTU can
maximize engagement and help ensure continuity of service provision. To this end, an
automatic data trigger should be included in the jail‘s data system to quickly alert the
CTU when a former client is readmitted (see Chapter Three, Part B for detail on using
administrative data for this purpose).

o People with mid-level risk classifications. As discussed earlier in this section, a few
CTU staff noted targeting people with a mid-level security classification. Given
resource constraints, the CTU may want to make the focus on this group a part of
official CTU protocol.

o Frequent recidivists. Individuals who are caught in the revolving door of repeated
incarceration consume a disproportionate amount of jail resources. For instance, of
the 80 men in MCJ interviewed for this study, the 20 most frequent recidivists selfreported a median of 22.5 previous jail stays each, compared to an average of four
admissions for the remainder of the interview cohort. Successfully linking this
population with services can both improve individual outcomes and lead to longer
term reductions in the total jail population.

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Promising Approach
Using Screening Tools to Identify Frequent Users of Multiple Government Systems73
An analysis conducted by the Economic Roundtable for the Corporation for Supportive Housing
identified ―frequent users‖ of public services among the adult homeless population in Los
Angeles. According to this analysis, the top ten percent of service users incurred average
monthly costs of $6,529 related to their use of jail, mental health, general health care, and
housing services. Sixty-nine percent of this group had been in jail custody at least once during
the preceding three-year period. The Economic Roundtable developed a 27-item screening tool
to identify the heaviest service users as a way of targeting housing services. For those
successfully placed in supportive housing, average monthly costs fell by $4,589, a 70 percent
decrease.


Ensure that CTU staff use the homeless list solely for homelessness-related
programs, such as Just In Reach. CTU policy currently restricts use of the homeless list to
the identification of appropriate clients for the Just In Reach program, but Vera received
conflicting responses from staff about its use. Given that confusion, the CTU should clarify
its policy and train all staff members on using the homeless list only for identifying
candidates for housing-related services.



Prioritize individuals who are motivated to engage with services. As documented by
Vera in 2007 and confirmed by interviewees in the current study (both CTU staff and men
held in the jail), many people are not ready to engage with services, either because they do
not believe they need help or have no interest in receiving services in a jail setting. There are
two main strategies for determining who is ready to take part in reentry services:
o Identify those who have a demonstrated interest in engaging in services by
focusing on those who self-elected to participate in programming in the jail. For
example, the CTU plan to focus on EBI clients capitalizes on a group of people who
have already shown a commitment to change.
o Use assessments of treatment readiness and motivational interviewing to reach
those who are less likely to independently seek out services. There are a number of
validated assessment tools that can be used to measure readiness to access treatment
services. (In fact, LASD‘s new COMPAS tool includes one of these assessments as
an additional screening option.) Motivational interviewing techniques can strengthen
individuals‘ motivation to change and increase rates of engagement.74 These
strategies may be useful for gauging and enhancing motivation among target

73

D. Flaming, P. Burns, G. Sumner, M.H. Moreno, and H. Toros, Crisis Indicator: Triage Tool for Identifying
Homeless Adults in Crisis (Los Angeles: Los Angeles Economic Roundtable, 2011); and Corporation for Supportive
Housing, ―Los Angeles Frequent Users Systems Engagement (FUSE) Program,‖ http://www.csh.org/ csh-solutions/
community-work/systems-change/local-systems-change-work/los-angeles-fuse (accessed May 14, 2012).
74
For examples of screening tools designed to assess motivation to access drug and alcohol treatment see the
Readiness to Change Questionnaire (RCTQ) and Stages of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness Scale
(SOCRATES). Note that these tools are designed to assess readiness to access substance use treatment services
specifically and are not geared towards general motivation to engage in other types of services. See Appendix F for
further detail on these scales.
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populations described previously who have higher risks and needs but may be less
likely to independently seek out services. For example, people with mental health or
developmental disorders may be less likely to participate in EBI, but may readily
accept services if offered.
Using these two strategies in tandem builds on current engagement of clients in programming
without excluding those who are less likely to request services but may benefit greatly.

PART C: ASSESSING NEEDS & PRIORITIES
Being able to identify individuals‘ specific needs is a fundamental step in delivering reentry
services. Because average lengths of stay in the jail are so brief, it is important to identify needs
quickly, but with sufficient accuracy and detail to develop reentry service plans. The choice of
screening and assessment tools will depend on a variety of factors including the resources
available, the skill level and training of staff, and the available reentry services. Conducting an
assessment of housing needs, for example, is obviously unnecessary if reentry programming does
not include housing services and may raise false expectations of support.

PART C – FINDINGS
 Assessments currently used in the jail. Currently, the CTU uses a variety of approaches
during intake and assessment, based on the individual preferences of CTU staff. Some CTU
employees have developed structured processes to learn about needs and service requests,
such as standardized intake forms and interview questions. Others prefer more informal and
conversational methods to learn about people‘s reentry needs, and others offer a particular
service that meets a specific need (e.g., General Relief) rather than conducting an assessment
to determine an individual‘s full range of needs. In addition, staff may use self-reported
information from jail intake interviews, inmate request forms, and other referrals to identify
needs. The implementation of the COMPAS across the jail will provide a standardized
method for identifying reentry risks and needs.


Reentry needs and personal priorities. As reported in Chapter One, self-defined reentry
priorities do not always correspond with the needs that are flagged by more targeted
questions or structured screens and assessments. For instance, very few people held in the jail
identified mental health as a reentry priority (four out of 80 interviewees); yet, over twothirds of the interviewees (n=64) responded in the affirmative when asked, ―Would you
benefit from talking to someone about your mental health?‖ Similarly, while about a third of
interviewees reported substance use issues as a reentry priority, almost twice as many
individuals showed signs of substance dependence based on their responses to questions from
a validated screening tool. The disparities in these numbers highlight that individuals may
prioritize reentry concerns differently than service providers.

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PART C – RECOMMENDATIONS
The CTU should expand upon its plans to formally identify and assess the reentry needs of all
people in jail custody.


Use validated risk and needs assessment tools. Validated assessment tools are an
essential component of identifying reentry needs and Vera supports LASD‘s decision to
begin implementation of the COMPAS. As the CTU is still piloting the COMPAS, it is not
yet clear if the assessment will meet all of CTU‘s needs, if the tool is too burdensome to
implement jail-wide, or if it does not provide all of the requisite information for planning
reentry services. The COMPAS includes certain additional tools which may be used as
supplements when triggered by responses to the questions in the main COMPAS assessment.
These supplements include screening tools for drugs, mental health, criminal thinking,
motivation to change, and sex offender risk. If the full COMPAS is too burdensome or does
not provide sufficient information, the CTU may want to consider using only the shorter
screening tools in COMPAS or from elsewhere that focus on discrete areas of need. For
example, the Correctional Mental Health Screen for Men and Women (CMHS-M and
CMHS-W) or the Texas Christian University Drug Screen (TCUDS), which is available in
COMPAS, provide short alternatives.75 A list of additional screening and assessment tools
that are commonly used in correctional settings is included in Appendix F, including a
summary of the domains covered by each tool, average time to administer, training
requirements and cost.



Consider using markers of recidivism risk from the LASD’s administrative data
systems to flag people who are in need of the lengthy COMPAS assessment. Given
capacity constraints, the LASD could consider using administrative data markers of
recidivism risk (such as number of prior admissions) to flag people who are most in need of
the more detailed assessment that the COMPAS provides (see Chapter Three, Part B for
more detail).



Pull previous assessments at the time of jail readmission and update them as
necessary. The results of previous assessments should be pulled and updated immediately if
someone is readmitted to jail, both reducing duplication of activities and client ―assessment
fatigue‖ (refer to Chapter Three, Part B for more information on using an automatic
―trigger‖ to alert the CTU when a former client returns). While some assessments should be
readministered (e.g., diagnostic assessments), there may be certain information that does not
need to be collected multiple times. For instance, if an individual provided the CTU with
information on his full mental health history during a previous period of incarceration, it
would not be necessary to conduct the same interview again during subsequent jail stays.

75

J. Ford and R.L. Trestman, Evidence-Based Enhancement of the Detection, Prevention, and Treatment of Mental
Illness in the Correction Systems, Final Report (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 2005); K. Knight,
D.D. Simpson, and J.T. Morey, Evaluation of the TCU Drug Screen, Final Report (Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, October 2002, Doc No. 196682).
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

Target in-person assessments toward those who have a high opportunity to receive
reentry services. Given the short average lengths of stay in jails, the CTU should time
assessments in such a way that it avoids spending valuable staff time assessing individuals
who will leave the jail within a few days and will not have time to receive services. For
example, data describing all people arrested and booked into the jail between January 1, 2008
and December 31, 2008 indicate that almost a quarter (24 percent) of people booked into the
jail stayed for two days or less and 44 percent left the jail in one week or less. For people
who are still in the jail after the end of the first week, the average length of stay is 35 days.
Conducting assessments after the end of the first week could help minimize the resources
spent assessing very short stayers.



Consider a variety of assessment techniques depending on the type of information
needed. As self-defined priorities are not always representative of an individual‘s full scope
of needs, it is essential to ask a range of questions. Even the phrasing of questions can yield
different information, particularly around sensitive issues like substance use. For instance,
asking, ―What drugs do you use?‖ or ―Has your drug use ever made you so sick that it caused
you to miss work?‖ may detect issues that individuals would not readily admit to if asked,
―Do you have a drug problem?‖ At the same time, it is important to identify people‘s
personal priorities, as those are the issues they will be most motivated to address; if someone
identified employment as their most pressing reentry need, for example, they may not be
enticed by mental health services, regardless of how severe their mental health needs may be.

PART D: DEVELOPING SERVICE PLANS
Individuals interviewed for the study emphasized the importance of walking out of the jail with
―a plan.‖ As one interviewee explained, ―I need guidance and the right direction. Where will I
go when I leave here? …I need a plan.‖ However, reentry services must avoid the ―one-size-fitsall‖ approach; service plans should address the needs and priorities identified during assessments
and take into account logistical barriers to service provision, such as length of stay.

PART D – FINDINGS


There is a mismatch between perceptions of services offered and individual needs
and priorities. Of note is the ―mismatch‖ between some of the services promoted by jail
administration and those needs prioritized by people held in the jail. For example, LASD has
put great effort into marketing the initiative on Education Based Incarceration—the need for
which is supported by this study‘s findings that over 40 percent of people interviewed in the
jail had not received a high school diploma or GED. However, only 10 percent of those
interviewed for the study self-identified education as a reentry priority. While EBI includes
many vocational-related programs, its name or marketing may be missing the mark. Far more

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interviewees noted the importance of job training than academic programs in order to learn
new skills and to become more competitive in the job market.
People held in the jail who were interviewed for this study had a number of specific
recommendations for services that the jail could provide, including:
o Job training, including training for specific trades, computer classes, and guidance on
job search skills, from resume writing to interviewing;
o Basic mental health services in the general population, including talk therapy;
o Peer mentoring programs; and
o Social skills and self-esteem enhancing classes designed to help individuals with
communication issues, relationships, and feelings of self-worth.
Notably, a number of these suggestions are in fact already occurring in some capacity within
at least one of the LASD facilities. For example, a wide range of programs are provided
under the umbrella of EBI, which extends well beyond traditional educational programs (e.g.,
GED classes) and includes job-training programs, life skills courses, parenting classes, and
other services.76 Few of the people interviewed for this study were aware of these programs,
suggesting a need to improve marketing of existing services.
Some of the people held in the jail who were interviewed for the study commented favorably
on programs like MERIT and Amity‘s peer mentoring, which address some of the areas of
need listed above, including life skills and the expanded use of peer mentors in reentry
services.

 The impact of length of stay on service provision. Even for those who stay in the jail
long enough to receive some kind of services, length of stay may impact the type of services
provided. The LASD jail population has a wide range of lengths of stay, from less than one
day to 480 days, providing very different opportunities for service provision. Some of the
supports available in the jail take minutes to provide (e.g., providing a reentry resource
guide) while others take months (the twelve-week Bridges to Recovery program).

PART D – RECOMMENDATIONS


Provide an opportunity for everyone to receive basic support in reestablishing
benefits and getting government identification. There are some services that everyone
can benefit from. As the CTU and its partners expand services with the Just In Reach and
CTRC programs, they should make sure that the following basic requirements for reentry are
satisfied before all releases: (1) government benefits like General Relief or Supplemental
Security Income are established or reestablished; and, (2) identification is secured.

76

For instance, a Job Preparation course within the Adult Basic Education program trains individuals held in the jail
on creating a resume and cover letter, completing a job application, and searching for jobs. See LASD, 2010.
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Promising Approach
Risk, Need, Responsivity Theory
A growing number of criminal justice interventions and assessment tools are based on Risk,
Need, Responsivity (RNR), a set of theories first developed in the 1990s to inform the targeting
and delivery of treatment programs.77 In order to maximize impact, RNR incorporates three main
principles into the development of service plans:
1) Risk. The most intensive services should be reserved for clients who have the highest risk of
recidivism. Risks for reoffending include a number of static factors, like age, gender, arrest
charge, or criminal history. For those who are unlikely to recidivate, the best option is often not
to intervene at all–studies have shown that providing intensive services to this group can actually
make people worse, potentially leading to increased rates of reoffending.78
2) Need. Services should be targeted at those with the highest levels of need. Needs include a
number of dynamic factors, or ―criminogenic needs‖, such as substance use, antisocial
personality, criminal associates, problem solving skills, and hostility/anger; services are most
effective if they address an individual‘s criminogenic needs.
3) Responsivity. Services should be tailored to the specific situation of individual clients,
including such elements as motivation, environmental support, positive relationships with
correctional staff, mental functioning, and self esteem.
Tools such as the COMPAS and LSI-R assess a combination of static factors (risks) and dynamic
factors (needs) that have been shown to predict reoffense rates.



Ensure that intensive services address criminogenic needs. Services should be tailored
based on levels of need as determined by validated screening and assessment tools, with
plans designed to address individuals‘ ―criminogenic needs‖ that predict recidivism.79 As
noted previously, the most intensive services should be provided to those who are high-risk
and high-need; those who are low-risk and low-need may not require any interventions at all.

Promising Practice
A Better Chance Reentry Initiative (ABC)
A program spearheaded by the ACLU and funded by the Soros Foundation, the ABC task force
seeks to remove barriers to reentry for people with disabilities in the L.A. County Jail. ABC is
working with the LASD and the new CTRC to provide assistance to individuals with disabilities
in (re)establishing SSI benefits immediately upon release.

77

D.A. Andrews and J. Bonta, The psychology of criminal conduct: 2nd Edition (Cincinnati, OH: Anderson, 1998).
F. Taxman, M. Thanner, and D. Weisburd, ―Risk, Need, and Responsivity (RNR): It All Depends,‖ Crime
Delinquency 52, no. 1(2006): 28-51.
79
Criminogenic needs are characteristics that are linked to offending behavior. Some examples from the research
literature are: antisocial personality patterns; procriminal attitudes; social supports for crime; substance abuse;
family/marital relationships; school/work; and prosocial recreation. See D.A. Andrews, J. Bonta, and S.J. Wormith,
―The Recent Past and Near Future of Rsk and/or Need Assessment,‖ Crime and Delinquency 52, no. 1 (2006): 7-27.
78

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 Differentiate between long and short stayers to design brief interventions and
more intensive service plans. Of course, services must account for a person‘s projected
length of stay to ensure that plans are realistic about what services can be delivered before
release. For those who are only in jail for a few weeks, quick and low cost (―light-touch‖)
services can be offered, such as providing resource guides, screening for benefits, and
providing transportation upon release. Some services require longer periods of time to
administer, including 12-step programs, relapse prevention, therapy, anger management
classes, limited-duration therapeutic communities, literacy training, and job training
programs.


Engage people in services by addressing the issues they view as personal priorities,
such as employment, housing, and family unification. People are more likely to
participate in programs that focus on their personal priorities, so services should address
these client-defined priorities alongside needs that are associated with recidivism. For
instance, almost three-quarters of the individuals held in the jail interviewed for this study
named employment or job-training as a priority, but only four people mentioned accessing
mental health supports as a personal priority, despite very high levels of need in this area. A
job training program that also provides referrals to mental health services may help engage
people with needed psychiatric treatment that they may not otherwise seek out. Similarly, a
few interviewees highlighted the need to make changes in their behavior for the sake of their
children and families. Reentry programs that focus on rebuilding family relationships may
also provide a powerful incentive for individuals to address their criminogenic needs (e.g.,
abstaining from drinking as a necessary step to regain the trust of family members).

PART E: MAXIMIZING SERVICE ACCESSIBILITY & ENGAGEMENT
Even with a well-developed service plan, barriers associated with the specific environment of the
jail—like a distrust of jail-based services, or intimidation by gang members—can undermine
efforts to engage people with reentry services.

PART E – FINDINGS


Negative perceptions of LASD staff. Actual or perceived intimidation in the jail may
prevent people from requesting or accessing services. One of the most common reports from
people in the jail was concern about the ―disrespectful‖ way people in custody are treated by
LASD staff, and the detrimental effects that this can have on individual reentry outcomes.
Many interviewees reported a negative view of their treatment in the jails including
comments that ―deputies here treat us like dirt,‖ and like ―animals.‖ People noted that this
treatment contributes to recidivism and a lack of engagement with programming.

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―…there's a lack of sensitivity. If they want to see men go back out with a
non-criminal attitude, then there has to be less dehumanization… If they
commit a crime, they do the time, but don't desensitize the process.‖
Not surprisingly, a number of interviewees expressed mistrust of any services provided by
the jail, stating ―It's coming from the jail, so I wouldn't trust it,‖ and that they would not
want any help from anyone or anything associated with the jail. When asked if there‘s
anything the jail could do to prepare a person in jail for reentry, one interviewee explained
that there are things that the jail could help with, but he is afraid to ask the staff for anything
for fear of retaliation.
A number of interviewees—both stakeholders and people in custody—mentioned that this
lack of trust for the Sheriff‘s Department staff created a barrier to engagement with CTU
staff. Because they wear the same uniforms as other correctional officers, many people
assume that CTU staff are guards and therefore avoid any contact with them. In contrast,
most individuals who actually came in contact with the CTU gave very positive feedback
about specific CTU staff members, noting that they ―worry about your well-being,‖
suggesting that CTU and other reentry staff working in the jail can address trust issues if they
can overcome the initial hurdle of being viewed as general correctional staff.


Gang culture. Another aspect of the jail environment that impedes service engagement is
the gang culture and racial ―politics‖ that exist within the dorms. As one person explains,
―Anything in here is hard because it depends on who you are, what race,
whether you're in a gang. Too many politics.‖
Inside the jail, the constraints of a strict hierarchy may prevent gang members from
requesting or accessing services. A CTU staff member stated that ―gangs dictate the rules, a
gang leader might tell the inmate not to ask for help.‖ For example, in many housing units,
‗shot callers‘—leaders of the gang structures within each unit—must approve any contact
with service providers. Even when approved, the action of receiving any services is
stigmatized, preventing effective service provision.
Aside from specific gang intervention efforts like Homeboy Industries, most jail and
community reentry services do not effectively tailor services to reach this population.80
Similarly, one person held in the jail explained that, ―They have the school dorm but we
[Latinos] can't do that. Other Latinos think you're trying to hide something [if you are] in a
special dorm.‖ Outside the jail, gang membership may hinder a person‘s ability to travel to
specific neighborhoods for services or may make someone ineligible for services.

80

As described on its website, Homeboy Industries, “Started as a jobs program offering alternatives to gang violence
in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Homeboy assists at-risk, recently released, and formerly gang
involved youth to become contributing members of their communities through a variety of services in response to
their multiple needs.‖ Homeboy provides services in a number of domains, including employment, education,
substance use, mental health, and tattoo removal (see http://homeboy-industries.org/index.php/about-us/).
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 Challenges related to language and cultural responsiveness. There is a perception
among community stakeholders that CTU staff members do not share cultural, language, or
socioeconomic backgrounds with their clients.81 This may be a misperception or may
indicate conflation of CTU staff with general LASD guards. From Vera‘s observations, while
CTU employees may have very different socioeconomic backgrounds from the people they
serve in the jail (and by virtue of employment with LASD do not have personal experience
with the criminal justice system), many staff members are people of color and a number of
them speak Spanish and/or other languages.
Individuals held in the jail and CTU staff noted that most of the forms, announcements, and
programming related to reentry services are not available in Spanish, except by special
request for translation. While feasible to get translation services, many people may be
unaware of this possibility or may be reticent about making any special requests.
This issue presents challenges for community providers as well. The shifting demographics
of South Los Angeles from an African American majority to a Latino majority have not been
reflected in the service orientation of some providers with a history of serving African
American clients. As one stakeholder noted, South Los Angeles organizations were
―historically equipped to serve African Americans, but now things are different and
providers need training and awareness of Latino community issues.‖


Perceived lack of mental health services in the general population. When asked about
their mental health, a number of people held in the jail who were interviewed for this study
expressed a desire to ―let out my problems‖ or ―release things from [my] mind.‖ One
interviewee discussed his concern that the only treatment available was medication:
―I could definitely use some type of therapy, counseling. On the outside
there are places but I don't think it exists in here. I just went through
something extremely traumatic. They just want to put me on meds but I
don't want to be on meds. I don't want to get an addiction to anything.
That's not the type of behavior change I want to engage in.‖

 Positive experiences with peer mentoring services. A number of people held in the jail
referenced the benefits of programs that use peer-mentoring strategies to overcome many of
the barriers to providing services in the jail environment. A common theme in these
comments was the belief that peer mentors or educators are able to ―inspire‖ and motivate
people in the jail in a way that is unique to people who have a shared experience. When
talking about the facilitator of a spiritual growth class, one interviewee explained:

81

Individuals who appear in the CTU database are disproportionately black and white as compared to the general
jail population, and Latinos are comparatively underrepresented; while only 31 percent of the jail population is
black, 43 percent of bookings in the CTU database were associated with people who were recorded as black; on the
other hand, only 29 percent of bookings in the CTU database were associated with people who were recorded at
Latino, but 49 percent of jail bookings were for people who were Latino. While more research needs to be done to
explore this issue, it does suggest a need to consider ways to improve service outreach to the Latino population.
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―This program has changed me… [The facilitator] opened up and shed
tears about her past and how much she's changed. That really spoke to me
because she also has kids and similar life experiences. She pounded it into
me−I'm not coming back.‖
The benefits of peer mentoring programs were underscored by a number of stakeholders,
including CTU staff and community interviewees, who highlighted that peer mentors help
overcome a number of the trust issues associated with providing services in the jail, can
enhance motivation to change, and may address issues related to the cultural responsiveness
of services. One CTU staff person noted that peer mentoring may be the best chance of
connecting with 18 to 25 year olds and gang members—two (often overlapping) groups that
numerous stakeholders named as the most challenging populations to engage in reentry
services. This CTU staff person explained:
―They can talk to the inmate on a level we can’t. If I’m an ex-gang member,
I can tell when another gang member is lying… I think it’s pertinent and
important to continue bringing in people from the outside who have
experience with case management and have experience with the system…
these guys are able to turn them around in a really fast manner. Peer
mentorship, it’s huge.‖

PART E – RECOMMENDATIONS
 Take steps to differentiate CTU staff from other LASD staff. CTU should strongly
consider returning to the polo-shirt uniforms in order to differentiate CTU staff from guards
and to encourage trust and engagement with clients. This idea was supported by CTU staff,
who noted that the difference in uniform provided a clear visual way of differentiating them
from other LASD custody personnel.

 Ensure the privacy of all client interactions with the CTU and other service
providers. Based on the observations of Vera researchers in Men‘s Central Jail, the LASD
should consider creating a private and protected area for interactions between jail reentry
service staff, external service providers and reentry service clients. The structure of certain
facilities like NCCF allows CTU staff working in these locations to issue hall passes to their
clients, enabling them to walk to private offices located in the jail. The physical environment
of some of the older jail facilities−Men‘s Central in particular−is more challenging in this
regard. However, LASD should consider expanding the use of hall passes across the network
of jails, allowing people to walk to private locations and so minimizing concerns about
intimidation by deputies or gang members in the jail. The pending closure of some of MCJ
may provide an opportunity to implement this change, as individuals held in MCJ are
relocated to other facilities that may be more amenable to these strategies.82

82

R. Faturechi, 2012.
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

Enhance the cultural responsiveness of reentry services. A perception that the CTU
lacks cultural responsiveness may be limiting service engagement and damaging community
relations. The CTU should make a concerted effort to make all services more culturally
responsive and to share this information with community stakeholders. On a basic level, all
announcements, services, and request forms should be available in Spanish. As mentioned
above, expanding peer mentorship programs in the jail may also enhance the capacity, reach,
and cultural responsiveness of reentry services. In addition, it may be beneficial to use
specialized approaches for certain populations, like gang members and young people:
o Promote the engagement of shot callers in services. A few stakeholders suggested
that targeting outreach to ―shot callers‖ (the gang leader in each jail housing unit) or
other higher-ups in the gang structure may have a trickle-down effect. If gang leaders
buy-in to services, it may increase the odds that they will allow others within the gang
to take part as well. This approach would require careful implementation and the
support of external organizations experienced in gang-related issues.
o Expand use of peer mentors and peer educators. Given the positive response from
people held in the jail, as well as community-based and jail-based service providers,
the CTU and other service providers should consider expanding peer mentor
programs in order to overcome trust issues that discourage engagement, particularly
among young adults (18 to 25) and gang members. This recommendation is supported
by research, which has found that peer mentoring plays an important role in reentry:
One literature review explains:
―…a critical factor in successful reentry was having similarly
situated staff members who could serve as powerful and
credible role models that the clients could identify and bond
with, learn from, and be inspired by. This effect was particularly
strong if the staff members came from the same neighborhoods
as the clients.‖83
Research has shown that peer mentoring programs are not only beneficial to clients,
but to the mentors and service organizations as well, contributing to the ongoing
rehabilitation of mentors and providing service organizations with employees who are
committed, passionate, and as effective (or more so) than professionally trained
employees.84 LASD should continue its policy of providing security clearance in
select cases to individuals who have previous criminal justice system involvement,
and would normally be denied access.

83

For a detailed summary of the research literature, including descriptions of the benefits to clients, mentors, and
reentry services organizations of peer mentoring programs, see John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY and
The Fortune Society, Employing Your Mission: Building Cultural Competence in Reentry Service Agencies,
http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/TOOL_KIT_2Employing_Your_MissionFINALLoResEmailable110501.pdf.
84
Ibid.
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Promising Practice
Amity Foundation Mentoring Program
The Amity Foundation‘s Mentoring Program is largely based on the Extensions curriculum
created by Naya Arbiter and Fernando Mendez.85 The curriculum encourages a holistic approach
to change−rather than just addressing the symptoms of problems−and covers a wide range of
topics, including: ―Criminal and Addictive Thinking, Anger Management, Aggression and
Violence, Domestic Violence, Relapse Prevention, Parenting, Health Education, and Substance
Abuse Education.‖ One-hour group sessions on these topics are led within the jail by an Amity
Foundation peer mentor who has a history of criminal justice involvement, who provides
experiences from his or her own life in order to spur conversation and foster a sense of trust
among the group. The program is intended to last six months, with a year of follow-up after
release. Participants may also seek placement in one of Amity‘s aftercare residential facilities,
which are based upon the therapeutic community model.

 Evaluate and expand existing promising programs. A number of existing programs
have received positive feedback from a range of people held in the jail, community service
providers and leaders, and jail staff. These include education-based incarceration programs,
like MERIT and SMART, organizations with peer mentoring components, like Homeboy
Industries and the Amity Foundation, and the Just In Reach program. It is important that
these programs are evaluated to demonstrate effectiveness; establishing empirical support for
programs is instrumental in demonstrating their value to key decision makers and enhancing
the ability to fundraise for program expansions. Chapter Three includes a more detailed
discussion of program evaluation.

PART F: TRANSITION INTO THE COMMUNITY
The first few days and weeks immediately following reentry into the community are critical for
the success of people leaving jail. Research shows that people returning home from prison and
jails are at greatest risk of rearrest during the first few months following release. 86 Drug users
who have abstained from use while in jail are at elevated risk of overdose during the first days
and weeks in the community and people who received pharmacotherapy for mental illness while
in custody require uninterrupted access to medication to avoid rapid deterioration of their mental
health.87 In addition, people often need support to reintegrate with their families, find work,

85

Amity Foundation, ―Story of Hope,‖ http://www.amityfdn.org/Continued.php (accessed May 14, 2012); and
Extensions LLC, ―Naya Arbiter Extensions Curriculum for Relapse Prevention and Recidivism Reduction,‖
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:nXrXOt8ZjkAJ:www.extensionsllc.com/+&cd=1&hl=en&
ct=clnk&gl=us (accessed May 2, 2012).
86
P.A. Lanagan and D.J. Levin, Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994 (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of
Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2002).
87
L.C. Merall, A. Kariminia, I.A. Binswanger, M.S. Hobbs, M. Farrell, J. Marsden, S.J. Hutchinson, and S.M. Bird,
―Meta-analysis of drug-related deaths soon after release from prison,‖ Addiction 105, no. 9 (2010): 1545-1554.
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secure housing and avoid the temptation of substance use.88 Without support from community
service providers and access to medical services, any progress made in jail as the result of
contact with reentry services can easily be lost. The key to a successful transition is ensuring that
service plans continue when people return to the community.

PART F – FINDINGS


Unpredictable release times. People may be released from jail at any time of day or night,
either from court or from the jail, presenting significant challenges for successful reentry.
Many discharge plans include a specific plan for transition at the moment of release from jail,
especially for high need clients. These plans cannot be followed if the CTU or other service
providers do not know when someone is about to be released. When asked about the biggest
challenges in reentry service, a CTU staff member answered: ―the release process—knowing
when someone will be released. You see someone one day, discuss a plan, then two days later
they’re gone.‖ This is particularly important for substance users and people with mental
health needs who need to transfer directly into a program to have a chance at success in the
community.

 Debates around the expansion of services in the jail. LASD is currently engaged in a
significant expansion of jail-based services, including jail in-reach, educational
programming, and the new Community Transition Reentry Center. A number of stakeholders
and some people interviewed in custody felt that, given the lack of resources for community
services, funding should not be directed towards the jail. One person in custody emphasized
that he doesn‘t need services in the jail, he needs them in the community. Others talked about
not trusting the jail and the idea that jail is for punishment, not rehabilitation.
Similarly, the majority of providers in the study do not believe that the LASD should be in
the business of providing services at all, and that there should definitely not be an expansion
of LASD reentry services. One of the specific issues raised is that uniformed CTU staff−who
started as guards and typically lack social work or case management experience and
training−are not able to establish the level of trust or quality of service provision needed to
truly help people in jail. One provider working in the jail stated that: ―a lot of the guys are
interested until they see the CTU officer in the uniform. They don’t want to talk to someone
who works for the Sheriff’s Department.‖ Additionally, a number of CBO interviewees
expressed serious doubts about people choosing to access services at the CTRC after release
or returning to the jail for services.

 Jail in-reach services. The CTU is engaged in a large expansion of ―jail in-reach‖ through
Just In Reach and the CTRC. Following the jail in-reach model, both initiatives allow for
community service organizations and agencies to provide services within the jail in order to
foster relationships with clients before they are released. Despite the reticence expressed by
88

A.L. Solomon, J. Osborne, S. LoBuglio, J. Mellow, and D. Mukamal, Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from
the Jail to the Community (Washington, DC: Urban Institute, 2008).
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community stakeholders, this approach is supported by the comments of many people held in
the jail who were interviewed by Vera. These interviewees emphasized the importance of
inviting community organizations to come into the jail to provide services, like peer
mentoring, and the benefit of beginning the reentry process while still in the jail, by
reinstating benefits, obtaining identification, and applying for jobs.
For many community stakeholders, their skepticism about jail services generally also applied
to these specific efforts to expand jail in-reach. Some CTU staff saw this as a key reason to
expand in-reach services, however, suggesting that it is essential to bring more community
service providers into the jail to do what LASD and the CTU cannot.
One community stakeholder echoed this idea, stating that, ―Any services provided only by
LASD will not be well received. [We] need to provide non-profits the access to reach
inmates, then work with CTU for screening.‖ However, this person also cautioned against
―[providing] too high a level of service while people are in there – [they] do not trust it.‖

 Tension between social supports and negative influences in the community. Some
community stakeholders highlighted a tension that exists for many people leaving jail who
need support from family and friends during the reentry process, yet also need to resist
family, peer, and environmental pressures to engage in criminal activity. Interviews with
people held in the jail supported this notion. For example, 51 people interviewed for the
study while they were held in the jail noted that either ―drinking and/or smoking buddies‖ or
gang members were one of their sources of social support, meaning they could talk to them if
they were upset, ask them for financial support, or relax and spend time with them. At the
same time, some of these individuals also noted a need to remove themselves from the
negative influence of the neighborhood in order to stay out of trouble.

PART F – RECOMMENDATIONS
 Address community concerns regarding the expansion of jail-based services. As
LASD carries out planned expansions to jail-based services, it is essential that it address the
community concerns identified in this study. In particular, it will be important to include
community providers and other stakeholders in the design and implementation of new
programs in order to build support and consensus. LASD should continue to use a
competitive process to select in-reach providers. In order to maximize the volume of
applicants, LASD should ensure that requests for proposals are publicized to a wide range of
community providers and that the application process is straight-forward and feasible for
service providers with limited resources. Such steps may encourage CBO buy-in and
improve the overall level of service. In addition, increasing transparency about funding
sources and the restrictions on use of Inmate Welfare Funds may help address some of the
issues raised by community stakeholders. Additional recommendations about improving
coordination with community-based stakeholders may be found in Chapter Four, Part B.

 Expand jail in-reach services. Best practices dictate that people with high levels of need be
released directly to a community-based program. One way of maximizing continuity of
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service provision is to use the jail in-reach to link people in the jail with community service
providers before release.89 Vera supports CTU‘s plans to expand these services. In order to
be successful, however, this effort must be conducted in tandem with general initiatives to
improve relationships with community services providers, as described above.
Promising Practice
Just In Reach
A partnership between Volunteers of America, Amity Foundation, and the LASD with funding
from the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Just In Reach aims to help individuals obtain
permanent housing through comprehensive case management, job development services, and
mentoring. The underlying principle of the in-reach model is that, by forging relationships
between reentry service clients and community based providers while people are still held in the
jail, the likelihood that they will engage with services upon release is increased. The target
population for the Just In Reach program includes people who have been in jail three times in the
last three years and who have been homeless three times in the last five years.


Expand and enhance initiatives to provide support to reentry clients at the moment
of release. The moment of release is critical to successful reentry. If individuals are released
directly to the streets with no resources and nowhere to go, they will be even more vulnerable
during a period of heightened risk of reoffending and relapse. Immediately upon release,
individuals have several basic needs, including: identification and benefits, clothing, housing,
appropriate medication, and transportation to a safe place.
There are a number of interventions which can ease the transition by addressing these needs,
including the provision of necessary materials, providing transportation to treatment
programs, and management of the release decision itself.90 The CTRC aims to provide
support in many of these realms (see following description for further details). As noted
previously, however, competing priorities and a desire to leave the jail premises as quickly as
possible may mean that many people will not take advantage of these services immediately
upon release from jail. Service engagement may be bolstered by advertising these services in
the jail or engaging people in CTRC-provided services in the days preceding their release.

Promising Practice
Community Transition Reentry Center (CTRC)
The CTU is in the process of developing a new reentry clinic. Immediately upon release, access
will be available to the CTRC, located in the lobby of the IRC. The CTRC will provide medical
treatment, pharmacy services, and support to obtain identification cards, copies of birth
certificates, re-instatement of government benefits, disability services, referrals to community
services, taxi vouchers, bus tokens, and transportation to treatment facilities via shuttle vehicles.

89

A. Crayton, L. Ressler, D.A. Mukamal, J. Jannetta, and K. Warwick, Partnering with Jails to Improve Reentry: A
Guidebook for Community-Based Organizations, Urban Institute, August 2010.
90
Solomon et al., 2008.
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 Provide incentives to CBOs to stay in touch with clients in the community. Once
people are linked to service providers in the community, it is important to maximize postrelease service retention. Strategies to maximize engagement may include providing
transportation to service provider locations, proactive outreach to contact clients who miss
appointments and the use of peer outreach, and ‗sponsorship‘ and other types of mentor
support to maximize engagement. Because these strategies for maintaining contact with
formerly incarcerated clients are resource intensive, LASD and other funders should consider
providing payments based on the number of clients that reach key service-contact milestones
following release. These payments should be based on the level of client need. For example,
maintaining contact with homeless clients who have co-occurring mental health and
substance abuse disorders requires a significant investment of resources compared to other
client groups, and this difference should be reflected in the level of reimbursement.


Build on the support offered by families and friends by involving them in reentry
planning. Families are an essential source of support for many people leaving jail. Relatives
can help find employment, financial support and accommodation.91 For example, of the 80
people who were interviewed for this study while they were in LASD custody, the majority
(n=44) expected to live with a family member or partner upon release from jail. Reuniting
families can also yield benefits for partners and children of people returning from jail, such
as increased family stability, enhanced emotional and financial supports, and improved
educational outcomes for children.92
Promising Approaches
Engaging Families in the Jail Reentry Process93

During incarceration
Ask about family relationships and pro-social supports as part of jail intake assessments
Incorporate family and peer supports into reentry case plan
Create strengths-based reentry goals that build on existing family and peer supports
Encourage inmates to maintain contact with family members by calling or writing
Provide an opportunity to discuss concerns about parenting and/or custody issues
Adopt policies that encourage family visitation, like providing transportation for family
members and family-friendly visiting rooms
Preparing for the transition to the community
Notify families of expected release dates (when known)
Offer pamphlets, classes and other resources to help family members prepare for the
return of their formerly incarcerated relative
Provide parenting classes and other resources to support reunification with children
Work with probation agencies to incorporate an awareness of the importance of family
into community supervision practices
91

diZerega, 2010.
T.R. Clear et al, 2001; C.W. Nord and J. West, 2001; and J. Fields, 2003.
93
Adapted from diZerega, 2010.
92

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Chapter Three
Operations & Efficiency
While the CTU requires a significant investment of additional resources in order to meet the
potential level of need for reentry services, it is equally important to ensure that current resources
are used as efficiently as possible. The way that reentry services are managed and organized
inside the jail has a major bearing on the impact and reach of those services. In particular, the
current study highlighted issues related to standardization of procedures, staff training, and data
management. The findings and recommendations in this chapter are organized under the
following headings:
A. the recruitment, training, and management of CTU staff;
B. data entry, management, and use; and
C. the evaluation of reentry services.
These areas are particularly important to consider as LASD implements the Community
Transition Resource Center and temporary housing program, and manages the new COMPAS
assessment system.
As noted previously, capacity constraints are a key challenge facing the CTU and reentry
services in the jail more generally. The CTU currently employs 23 staff people to provide
services to a jail population of more than 16,000, with plans to add 18 custody assistants, three
deputies, and one sergeant. While this report outlines a number of ways to maximize the efficient
use of resources, these strategies will not be sufficient to address the severe understaffing of the
CTU. It is essential that the CTU staff and reentry services scale up to meet the demands of the
jail population, particularly in light of the increasing burdens on the jail as a result of
realignment.

PART A: RECRUITMENT, TRAINING, & MANAGEMENT OF CTU STAFF
CTU activities would benefit from standardized protocols, particularly in the areas of staff
recruitment and training, intake and data entry, and case management. Developing shared
approaches and service standards in these areas would serve the dual purpose of: a) improving
the efficiency, impact, and reach of reentry services; and b) enhancing the validity of outcome
evaluations by ensuring that program implementation is consistent and that the requisite outcome
data are available for analysis.

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PART A – FINDINGS
 CTU staff eligibility. CTU staff seem genuinely committed to their work and to the belief
that people in custody can change their lives; however, the lack of standardized hiring and
training requirements may impede the unit‘s efficiency. Vera was told that the CTU does not
have formal hiring criteria (e.g., minimum number of years with LASD, educational
qualifications) and that new staff are selected based on attendance records, expressed interest,
and an interview with the CTU director. CTU custody assistants described the key skills a
staff person should possess as compassion, patience (for dealing with people in custody and
outside agencies), and interpersonal skills.

 CTU staff training. Most CTU staff do not have experience in social work, case
management, counseling, or other social service disciplines, so all training in this realm is
conducted on the job. Training for newly recruited CTU employees is provided by more
experienced CTU staff members. The only mandatory training component involves a brief
period where new recruits ‗shadow‘ existing staff, observing interactions with CTU clients.
The training period officially ends when new staff complete a check-off form with an
experienced officer, certifying that they are familiar with the unit‘s policies and procedures
on: case management; data entry and information systems; officer safety; client identification
and assessment; engagement; release planning; and client monitoring and tracking. The form
appears to be out dated (e.g., references use of the homeless list), however, and does not
provide more detailed guidance on how staff should be trained on each topic. CTU staff
would benefit from a more structured training protocol. While potentially effective, the
shadowing method is not easily replicable; training varies significantly depending on the
person conducting it and the facility where it takes place. One staff member paraphrased his
training experience, saying he was essentially told, ―This is the goal, there are the resources,
there are the inmates, work with it.‖ The training was described more as a ―familiarization‖
than a formal training, a ―learn as you go‖ approach. Vera was told that a staff member who
often conducts the training provides new staff with a packet containing samples of the
resource guide, inmate request form, and an intake form and arranges for new recruits to
observe CTU custody assistants during their daily activities. Vera did not learn about any
formal orientation regarding the CTU core mission or any standardized training on intake,
data entry, or service provision.


CTU mission and role. At a macro level, CTU staff and managers have a shared
understanding of a core mission to improve reentry outcomes for individuals leaving the jail;
however, there are a variety of interpretations of what a successful reentry outcome means
and how the CTU works towards that end goal. When asked about the CTU‘s main goal,
three staff members gave overlapping but different answers—some focused on the very
short-term and others on the long-term: ―To transition inmates back to the community,‖ ―To
lower the rate of recidivism,‖ and ―To successfully transition someone from custody into a
program.‖ In regard to how the CTU should accomplish these goals, managers tended to talk
about providing comprehensive wraparound services for reentry clients while several CTU
custody assistants described more short-term goals of connecting clients to basic benefits like
General Relief and social security. Vera also heard conflicting responses about the role of
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custody assistants, with some describing themselves as case managers and others describing
themselves as ―liaisons‖ whose primary role is to make referrals.


CTU service provision. Individual CTU staff members have designed their own methods
and procedures for providing services. According to a number of CTU staff interviewed as
part of this study, these procedures are based on the culture of the specific jail facility where
they work and the level of access (to people in custody, resources, and other staff) available
to CTU custody assistants working in a variety of settings. Other procedures are linked to
personal preference; for instance, some staff created their own intake questionnaires, others
informally track service referrals after release, and others focus their outreach efforts on
certain dorms.

 Lack of formalized supervision processes. While CTU staff noted that they can seek
support from CTU management as necessary, there are no standard procedures in place for
oversight of case management and Vera researchers did not observe or learn about any form
of clinical supervision. For instance, the CTU does not currently hold case conferences or
regular staff meetings for CTU custody assistants to report back on their caseloads, address
issues, or request input from CTU management or other staff members—a standard practice
in most case management programs. CTU staff noted that they engage in this process in an
informal way, reaching out to other staff members or management if an issue arises.

PART A – RECOMMENDATIONS
CTU can build upon the dedication and experience of its staff members to increase the number of
people it is able to reach and the effectiveness of its services by considering the following
recommendations:


Increase standardization of CTU procedures. While some flexibility may be
appropriate—and even desirable based on the difference in culture across facilities and the
varying needs of different client groups—some overall standardization would help improve
outreach efforts and the effectiveness of reentry services. Specifically, the CTU could
significantly increase staff efficiency and client outcomes by formalizing standard operating
procedures for a range of activities, including training, intake procedures, data entry,
supervision, and tracking clients in the community, among others. Standardizing practices
will help ensure that CTU staff act consistently across facilities.94 Because people in custody
are moved so often within the jail, they are more likely to stay engaged in services if they can
expect the same type and manner of service from all CTU custody assistants. In addition,
standardizing procedures will increase the capacity of the CTU to conduct meaningful
evaluation of the performance of both individual custody assistants and the program overall.
Two key ways to enhance standardization include the creation of a detailed staff manual
(which would put these standard procedures in writing) and developing a more extensive
training curriculum (which would ensure that all new CTU staff are trained in the same way).

94

For example, the CTU protocol could require all CTU staff to make daily announcements offering services and to
follow up with clients within two days of receiving a referral.
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

Create a step-by-step staff manual. While any documents created to guide the provision
of reentry services in the jail should allow for flexibility, a CTU staff manual would serve as
an important tool for training and an ongoing reference guide for staff, providing service
standards and clarifying any discrepancies about CTU mission, role, and service provision.
The guide would also support staff in making decisions when unexpected situations arise in
the course of their work. This manual could include:
The mission statement and description of the CTU‘s role;
Clear guidelines on target population, assessments, triage system, and service model;
A checklist to guide staff-client interactions;
An ―FAQ‖ section; sample scenarios (―what ifs‖);
A description of other jail service providers and the CTU staff‘s role in relation to
those entities, such as DMH and CBOs; and,
o Information on recognizing mental illness, suicidality, substance use, etc.
o
o
o
o
o



Develop more intensive training activities. Although custody assistants who care about
reentry services already seem to gravitate toward the CTU, expanding training activities
would help ensure that new staff understand CTU procedures (improving consistency across
facilities) and that they acquire the skills needed to perform the specialized duties of a CTU
custody assistant. Additional trainings for current staff would bolster capacity to serve clients
as effectively as possible. Specifically, LASD may want to consider implementing the
following training activities:
o Involve new staff in mock client interviews;
o Explore the possibility of providing specialized training to certain CTU staff in areas
like motivational interviewing and mental health;
o Require a longer period of shadowing current employees and instituting follow-up
with the trainer who would observe the new employee in a service setting;
As discussed in Chapter Four: Coordination, LASD and CBOs may want to consider joint
trainings as a cost effective means to raise the overall level of reentry service and to
encourage collaboration and trust among jail and community based providers.

 Develop routine supervision activities. Regularizing supervision of custody assistants
would allow management to ensure that staff are following the standard procedures (intake
procedures, data entry, etc.) and provide ongoing support for staff—thus improving the
capacity and impact of the CTU. LASD may want to consider implementing the following
supervision activities:
o Implement regular case management meetings to provide a forum for a) discussing
emergent client needs, b) sharing information on effective practices, and c) advising
and troubleshooting with management and staff when problems arise;
o Develop individual performance measures for CTU staff (e.g. number of clients
contacted, referrals to community providers or average time from receiving a referral
to first client contact); and
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o Conduct annual or semi-annual reviews of custody assistants‘ work, including a
review of individual performance measures, discussion of training needs, and
feedback on performance and professional goals.


Create mid-level clinical supervisory positions to provide additional support and
clinical oversight for CTU custody assistants. The CTU may want to consider having 2-3
people with clinical training on staff (e.g., an individual with a Masters in Social Work or
Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor qualification). These individuals
would not be responsible for CTU strategy or policy, but could provide both clinical
oversight and mentorship for the other custody assistants and case management services for
CTU clients who require more intensive supports. While these individuals could be hired
externally, Vera recognizes the value of experiences gained from working in a custodial
environment, and the CTU may want to consider providing additional training for existing
CTU staff. For instance, the CTU could provide incentives for CTU custody assistants to
pursue additional education, such as opportunities for promotion, tuition credits, or salary
increases.

PART B: DATA ENTRY, MANAGEMENT, & USE
There are a number of ways that data can be used to improve reentry planning, including
identifying individuals to target for reentry services, facilitating case management and staff
accountability, and providing ongoing performance measurement metrics for assessing service
engagement and recidivism. In 2007, Vera reviewed the CTU‘s FAST database and provided a
number of recommendations on how it could be improved for these purposes. CTU is currently
implementing a COMPAS assessment and case management system developed by Northpointe
(as previously noted). LASD plans to use the results of the COMPAS assessment to determine
eligibility for release into CBAC programs in order to reduce the jail population, and the CTU
plans to use the system to replace FAST for case management purposes.95

PART B - FINDINGS


LASD multiple data systems do not easily interface. LASD uses many data systems for
jail management purposes, including the Automated Justice Information System (AJIS), the
Jail Inmate Classification System (JICS), the Jail Health Information System (JHIS), the
DMH Information System (IS), and CTU‘s FAST data system (soon to be replaced by the
Northpointe database). These systems do not communicate sufficiently to support CTU
reentry services. For example, IS is completely separate from other jail databases and DMH
data on client needs cannot easily be shared with the CTU when someone returns to the

95

Vera was not able to conduct a review of the CTU‘s new Northpointe data system at the time of writing and a
number of these recommendations may be incorporated into these systems.
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general population from Twin Towers.96 Furthermore, the lack of interface between FAST
and other jail databases presents a lost opportunity to improve the efficiency of reentry
services.97 Specifically, if CTU‘s system interfaced with other databases it could help:
o inform decisions about which groups to target based on administrative data records;
o minimize duplicate data entry; and
o quickly locate individuals when they are moved between various LASD facilities.

 Data are not collected or used in ways that facilitate case management and
program oversight. CTU collects a significant amount of helpful information about many
people in the jail and there are general guidelines for the types of information on CTU
requests, referrals, and contacts that should be recorded using the FAST database. However,
the CTU does not follow a standard protocol for how custody assistants enter data and
provides little oversight of data entry for CTU staff members. Vera researchers were told that
individual staff members often decide how to enter information about client requests and
contacts, leading staff members to record data in FAST in a variety of ways. For instance,
cases that appear as ―closed‖ in the request status field include both successfully completed
referrals to services and requests that are disposed of because the client left LASD custody.
Furthermore, as CTU acknowledges, FAST‘s structure limits its usefulness as a tool for case
management or program oversight. One example is that a lot of information is entered in
narrative format, rather than using ―drop-down‖ menus with standard responses. This setup
makes it difficult to quickly review the status of a given case or to use aggregate data on all
CTU contacts to inform program management decisions. In addition, some of the fields in the
FAST data system have a character limit, restricting CTU staff from writing longer notes and
in some cases forcing staff to delete previous notes in order to enter new information.
In the absence of an effective case management system, some staff members have created
their own data collection systems as ‗work-arounds‘ to support their individual case
management activities. For instance, one staff member uses his own intake questionnaire to
record information about client needs that is not effectively captured by FAST; others record
general case management notes in narrative form in personal notebooks.

 LASD reentry services have no way of identifying repeat entrants. There is no system
in place to flag CTU clients when they reenter the jail. This inability to flag former clients
may result in lost opportunities to quickly reconnect returning clients with their existing CTU
case managers, duplication of activities (e.g., if screenings are re-administered and service
plans are rewritten), and inefficient use of resources.

96

Local and federal regulations govern the release of identifiable data on individuals‘ diagnosis and treatment but
there may still be opportunities to share limited information to improve coordination between DMH and LASD.
97
LASD plans to populate much of the COMPAS database with data from the Consolidated Criminal History
Reporting System (CCHRS).
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PART B – RECOMMENDATIONS
 Monitor the implementation of the COMPAS. Vera provided a list of recommendations
for improving data systems following the 2007 review of the FAST database. As the CTU
tests the new COMPAS database, it should ensure that the system addresses these
recommendations and meets all of the CTU‘s and LASD‘s data needs, such as recording the
results of intake assessments, documenting release plans, and using information about a
person‘s service contacts from previous jail stays to inform current service plans. (The main
findings from the 2007 report are summarized below.)












Data System Recommendations from the 2007 Report
Replace FAST with a database better suited to the CTU‘s case management and evaluation
needs. It should interface with other jail databases, automatically populating the database
with jail intakes, current client location, and release dates in order to:
o Minimize duplicate data entry and streamline client identification,
o Provide a measure of the overall denominator of potential clients,
o Reduce time wasted tracking individual transfers between different housing units, and
o Plan services and contacts around projected release dates.
Use common jail identifiers (CII and booking number) to track CTU clients.
Make it easier to view an individual‘s full CTU history across multiple bookings.
Distinguish clearly between requests for services and CTU contacts.
Improve the categorization of referral sources, request types, and case statuses to ensure that
they are relevant and unambiguous.
Enhance capacity to monitor post-release outcomes (e.g., service contact, length of contact).
Explore the possibility of sharing data electronically with community service providers to
track outcomes and ease the transition between the jail and the community.
Build upon existing data existing data to improve identification and targeting of new
clients.98 The jail‘s data systems can be a powerful tool for identifying people who are
cycling through the jail without conducting resource-intensive screening and assessment
interviews. Information included in the jail‘s data systems such as a person‘s current age,
their age at first arrest, and history of prior incarcerations can all be used to automatically
predict risk of recidivism (see ‗using administrative data to predict recidivism‘ below). This
functionality requires a data system that can identify the same clients during recurrent jail
stays using a unique identifier; e.g. the Criminal Investigation and Identification number
(CII).99

98

Chapter Two‘s section on Targeting and Recruitment contains findings and recommendations specifically related
to the use of administrative data to improve targeting of reentry services.
99
Each individual should have a unique CII that is attached to all records of contact with the L.A. County Jail.
Theoretically, this number can be used to find an individual‘s full history of jail admissions (each of which has a
unique booking number), allowing the jail to determine an individual‘s prior jail admissions or rates of recidivism,
an important outcome measure for any reentry program.
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Promising Practices
Using Administrative Data to Predict Recidivism
Vera researchers working with the New York City Department of Correction (DOC) developed
a proxy for recidivism risk using data routinely recorded in the jail‘s database. To create the
Service Priority Indicator (SPI), Vera tracked rates of recidivism for all men who entered the
jail during March 2008. A variety of factors in the DOC data were found to significantly predict
readmission within one year (age, charge type, number of prior jail admissions, recent prior
admission). These factors allow DOC to quickly classify someone entering jail for risk of
recidivism. For example, someone older with no prior admissions may be classified as ‗low
risk‘ of readmission, versus someone facing a drug charge with a long history of priors, may be
classified as ‗high risk.‘ The SPI correlates with actual rates of recidivism; 24 percent of the
‗low risk‘ group were readmitted to DOC custody within one year of release compared to 84
percent of the ‗very high‘ risk group.100


Use data to facilitate case management. The CTU should ensure that the new data
system allows for the easy identification of people who have previously received CTU
services, at the point of admission to the jail. Including an automatic ‗flag‘ in the data system
to identify prior reentry service clients will provide an opportunity to reconnect returning
inmates with providers who have served them during prior stays, reducing wasted resources
on repeated assessments and building on pre-existing client/service-provider relationships.
Similarly, a data system should automatically update information on housing assignments.
CTU custody assistants mentioned that they often waste time looking for clients, when
people held in the jail are moved without warning to different housing areas in a facility or to
a different jail entirely. At a minimum, CTU staff and other reentry providers should be able
to query the jail information system to confirm client location before making a service visit.
The CTU and other agencies (e.g., DMH, CBOs) working in the jail or serving people after
release could share limited assessment and service information, while still maintaining client
confidentiality. Information sharing initiatives would allow service providers to capitalize on
previously collected data, making services more efficient (avoiding duplicate assessment and
intake procedures) and improving the capacity to evaluate service outcomes. For instance,
DMH and the CTU could seek client waivers for release of information, which would enable
the agencies to share release plans for individuals moving from TTCF to general population.
This would help ensure that these clients do not ―fall through the cracks‖ during transfer and
that the CTU is aware of the full scope of the individual‘s needs.
However, this kind of information sharing is dependent on having adequate data in all
systems involved. For example, the CTU database identifies ―DMH service users‖, but this
designation covers a range of contact types, ranging from a referral for a DMH evaluation to
the provision of intensive therapeutic services. Detailed information on service provision is
unavailable owing to the contact narrative structure of the DMH database: DMH staff enter
information about client contacts and services in a text field, making it very difficult to
search or compile outside of a client‘s individual record.

100

Q. Wei (Vera Institute of Justice), May 1, 2012, personal communication.
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 Standardize CTU data-entry procedures. A formal process for recording basic
information on CTU clients would provide valuable information for designing case
management plans, tracking outcomes, creating a triage system, and conducting longer term
CTU evaluations. A reliable core data set describing CTU clients, the referral source and the
services that they received from the CTU would provide a powerful tool for determining the
types of people towards whom the CTU and CBOs should focus their outreach efforts—i.e.,
the characteristics of those people who are likely to benefit the most from reentry services.
Standardizing data entry processes would also allow CTU service managers to produce
regular performance reports as a tool for providing feedback to staff, ongoing monitoring of
the program, and improving service provision. The CTU should also conduct regular reviews
of custody assistants‘ data entry to ensure quality and consistency.
Before rolling out the new assessment system to the full population, LASD should verify that
COMPAS meets all of the CTU‘s case management needs, such as recording the results of
intake assessments, documenting release plans, and linking information from an individual‘s
service contacts from previous stays to inform current service plans.

PART C: EVALUATION OF REENTRY SERVICES
Few agencies working inside or outside the jail have a sense of the return on their investment in
reentry services. Money is spent and assumptions are made about the effects—both financial and
substantive—of policy and program choices, without empirical information on the real costs
incurred or benefits realized. Yet, this information is essential for policy and budget decisionmaking, particularly in the current fiscal climate. Outcome data are also increasingly required by
funders. Most importantly, evaluation is critical in determining the specific needs of the local
reentry population and in measuring the impact of services on reentry outcomes.

PART C – FINDINGS
 Jail and community reentry service providers lack sufficient outcome data and
performance measurement systems. The jail- and community-based reentry providers
interviewed for this study do not have the appropriate data or data systems needed to identify
the specific reentry needs of the inmate population and to measure the effectiveness of
services provided. LASD and CBO reentry service providers discussed their beliefs and
opinions about the services needed by the reentry population but do not, for the most part,
track any measurable data on this. Similarly, the CTU and many CBOs involved in this study
did not discuss any formal efforts to evaluate the success of their programs, or even to define
what success would mean—from a client showing up after a referral for services, to securing
employment, to preventing recidivism. Notably, a few organizations have previously
conducted large-scale program evaluations or are currently working with program evaluators
(e.g., Amity Foundation, Homeboy Industries).

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One specific issue is that there is currently no comprehensive attempt to track people as they
leave the jail, making it difficult to determine the extent to which the CTU and other LASD
reentry service providers are linking their clients with community-based services. Vera
researchers were told that a 60-day client follow-up was required at one point, to see if
clients made contact with service providers, but that any tracking is now at the discretion of
individual staff members. Certain CTU staff members check informally with service
providers or directly with clients after release, but these efforts may not be captured in any
data systems.

 CBOs have limited institutional support for data collection and evaluation. CBOs are
well aware of the increasing importance of evaluation to funders. But a number of smaller
organizations expressed frustration because funds are not typically available to support data
collection or analysis. While several community stakeholders mentioned the onerous
administrative burdens required by grantors, they did not talk about evaluation as a way to
improve and tailor their own programs. Organizations such as the Community Coalition have
tried to fill this gap by providing capacity-building services, but these organizations struggle
with securing funding for this type of work.

PART C – RECOMMENDATIONS


Track reentry outcomes by requiring service providers to record a core data set on
client contact with post-release services. As previously stated, reentry services are most
effective if they continue into the community. While there is currently no system to monitor
contact with providers after their clients are released, the CTU is working to address this
issue (see Promising Practice: Tracking Reentry Outcomes, below). Vera supports this plan
as a way of collating data on engagement for case management and evaluation purposes.

Promising Practice
Tracking Reentry Outcomes
As part of the CTRC, the CTU plans to use a COMPAS case management database to allow the
LASD and its partners to collect and track service referrals, arrest patterns, length of stay, and
mental health needs. CTU also plans to use the database to increase collaboration with the
Probation Department and DMH. Furthermore, the CTU intends to use a web-based system that
complements the COMPAS to improve its capacity to track reentry outcomes; the CTU aims to
have CBOs enter information on mutual reentry clients into this system, thereby providing the
CTU with valuable data for tracking purposes.

 Identify cost-effective ways to collect outcome data for all reentry programs. Vera
recommends that the CTU and all community-based organizations build evaluation activities
into the design of their reentry programs. Large scale, in-depth program evaluations are
important and provide detailed information, but they typically require significant investments
of time and funding. Many agencies and community-based organizations are not in a position
to conduct comprehensive evaluations, but they can design and administer performance
management plans that regularly collect quantitative information that can be used to
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demonstrate outcomes and modify programs. Organizations would also gain the flexibility of
being able to use these data on an ongoing basis to test and adjust new models before largescale implementation. Recognizing this need, The California Endowment is addressing this
issue for its grantees (and others) through its Evaluation Department, which provides a
variety of resources to help grantees and their communities increase their capacity to evaluate
programs. Similarly, the Center for Effective Public Policy has created a coaching packet for
agencies to design systems to measure the impact of reentry efforts.101


Consider opportunities to design multi-agency evaluation activities. With little time
and money for evaluation, community-based organizations should consider collaborating on
creating or updating performance measurement systems. For example, a number of agencies
could contract a software company to create a single case management system that would
meet the needs of all of the agencies involved, both reducing the costs for any single agency
and standardizing the measures agencies collect to monitor performance. A multi-agency
group like the Community Coalition, the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership, or the
Reentry Roundtable may be appropriate forums for this effort. Organizations could consider
joint funding requests to support this work. The CTU should also develop a method to
regularly measure its services and make sure that all programs include an evaluation piece.
In designing an evaluation component for reentry services, it is important to consider all of
the relevant data elements that are required to understand the provision and impact of
services. For example, to assess the impact of services it is important to collect information
on all clients prior to service provision to allow for a baseline measurement. This may be
achieved by entering information from initial assessments into a case management database.
Similarly, to assess the impact of different intervention types, it is important that any case
management system records the nature of service contact and service ―dosage‖, including the
type, frequency, and period of treatment. Organizations also need to consider what outcomes
to measure. Recidivism is one key indicator, but there are a number of factors that can
provide useful information, including service engagement, employment, education and
housing rates, involvement in mentoring programs, average earnings, and substance use.
The following is a list of important tasks that organizations could approach collectively:
o Collecting baseline information
o Developing shared data systems to track service delivery and outcomes
o Creating a central resource for evaluation advice and technical support
o Developing joint funding applications

Promising Practice
Homeboy Industries Evaluation
Homeboy Industries is currently engaged in a five-year program evaluation conducted by
researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles. The evaluation is measuring client
outcomes and re-involvement in the criminal justice system. One major challenge of the
evaluation was the organization‘s lack of electronic to track client contacts and services.
101

S.B. Rossman and L. Winterfield, Coaching Packet: Measuring the Impact of Reentry Efforts (Silver Spring,
MD: Center for Effective Public Policy, 2009).
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Chapter Four
Coordination
Strong collaboration among jail- and community-based service providers is critical for successful
reentry. Coordinated services can support a true continuum of care from jail into the community,
avoid overlapping or duplicative services, capitalize on the strengths and capacities of different
service providers, generate the ability to track client outcomes to evaluate services, and create an
opportunity to leverage resources. Many agencies compete for limited funding and jail access,
which may inhibit their ability to work together. When asked about collaboration, stakeholders
used the following phrases: ―fragmentation of services,‖ ―nothing encourages collaboration
among agencies,‖ ―turf wars,‖ and ―no one knows what other agencies in the jail are doing.‖ A
number of Vera‘s findings suggest room for improved collaboration between agencies involved
in reentry work, including the LASD, CBOs, DMH, Probation, and private funders, among
others. Such collaboration will enable agencies with limited funding to pool resources and
increase their collective capacity.
This chapter is divided into the following sections:
A. Coordination within and between LASD and other government agencies, and
B. Coordination between LASD and community-based organizations.

PART A: COORDINATION WITHIN & BETWEEN LASD
AND OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
There are a number of ways in which the various departments and agencies working with people
who are held in the jail could enhance coordination to reduce duplication of activities and
streamline service provision, improving individual outcomes and saving resources.

PART A – FINDINGS
 CTU-DMH collaboration. Insufficient communication among agencies negatively impacts
the transition of people with mental health needs from the jail into the community. One
interviewee described ―parallel processes‖ for the CTU and DMH for the release of people
with mental health needs. The two departments seem to work with minimal collaboration to
plan the transition of those vulnerable clients from the jail into the community. At times it is
unclear which agency is responsible for transition planning; as a result, some people who
require treatment and other supportive services upon release may be overlooked by both
agencies. A DMH clinician explained that a release evaluation is conducted for all inmates
who are referred for DMH assessment and treatment, and that this information becomes part
of the comprehensive release plan that DMH creates for all of their mental health clients. The
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release planning process aims to address transportation, housing, mental health care, and
medications. However, conversations with psychiatrists who have worked in the jail suggest
that DMH release plans vary widely—some are comprehensive and have services in place
prior to release, while others are limited to a list of referrals.
Even when a comprehensive release plan is in place, it may be impossible to implement if
DMH clients are released at very short notice or in the middle of the night. If a DMH case
worker has sufficient notice of a release date, he/she may be able to connect an inmate to a
Full Service Partnership (FSP) which provides intensive wraparound services and provides
transportation at the time of release. However, DMH clients are often released with
insufficient notice to implement the comprehensive release plan. In some cases, the DMH
case worker may be able to help inmates activate benefits like Supplemental Security Income
(SSI) to pay for the necessary services. If the DMH plan is not shared with the CTU or
LASD staff handling the release, however, it may never be executed. To address these issues,
Vera researchers were told that there has been some discussion about cross trainings between
DMH and CTU staff to improve collaboration and information-sharing, but these trainings
have not yet been scheduled.
In addition, there is no standard mechanism for sharing information from DMH assessments
and reentry service plans when individuals are transferred from TTCF to other facilities.
While some DMH clinicians may refer individuals to the CTU, there is no formal referral
mechanism in place for such transfers. Furthermore, once the individual returns to the
general population, DMH discontinues working on the release plan. This lack of coordination
may cause people to ―fall through the cracks‖ as they move back into the general population.
It may also result in duplication of screening activities if the CTU does make contact with an
individual who already has a DMH release plan.

 LASD and CBOs / Los Angeles County Probation Department. Several interviewees
discussed the potential role of the Probation Department in reentry. Certain reentry services,
such as drug treatment or employment training, are common conditions of probation for
many people when they are released from jail. CBO representatives stated that they have
very little communication with the Probation Department, except when they are called in ―at
the last minute for services‖ to meet probation conditions, but that there is ―not enough time
to meet the demands.‖ There was little discussion about the relationship between the CTU
and Probation Department. Strong LASD and Probation coordination is especially important
with realignment because Probation will be supervising many more people released from jail
custody.

PART A - RECOMMENDATIONS
 Improve CTU involvement with DMH client release plans. Although CTU and DMH
resources are strained, involving the CTU with DMH client discharge planning may resolve a
number of issues. The CTU may be able to coordinate the logistics of releases directly to
service providers and could help provide DMH clients with support for important reentry
needs, such as reactivation of benefits and identification. Joint clients of these two agencies
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may benefit from a coordinated approach to service provision and release planning. In
particular, when DMH clients are transferred from TTCF to general population facilities, any
pre-existing release plans should be provided to the CTU, with the consent of the client.

 Continue and expand efforts to coordinate DMH and LASD release activities. The
CTU and LASD should continue their efforts to make sure that people with mental health
needs are only released once they are connected with DMH or the CTU, regardless of
whether the releases are from court or directly from jail. Vera was told that there has been
discussion about CTU clients wearing special wristbands to alert LASD staff to involve CTU
before release, and this could potentially include DMH clients as well. Discharge plans for all
clients with mental health needs, including all DMH and CTU clients (including all
assessments, services, medication and special needs), should be shared with community
providers before release, with client permission. Vera supports the plan to convene ―cross
trainings‖ for CTU and DMH staff.


Consider potential CTU-Probation collaborations. There may be potential for the CTU,
CBOs and Probation to work together to help newly released people meet their probation
conditions. However, these initiatives should target those people who are at high risk of
recidivism; research has shown that providing intensive service to those who are low risk
may actually increase rates of recidivism.102 This issue underscores the need for an accurate
risk and needs assessment and corresponding service plan that is shared with community
providers before release, to ensure that individuals receive the appropriate levels of
supervision and services in the community.

PART B: COORDINATION BETWEEN LASD
& COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS
As noted previously, the risk of re-offending or relapse is highest in the period immediately
following release from jail, making it is essential that there is a smooth transition from services
in the jail to services in the community. This transition requires meaningful communication and
coordination between LASD and community services providers. Furthermore, with the recent
push towards jail in-reach services, it is imperative that LASD and community stakeholders are
able to work together to coordinate services within the jail to ensure successful reentry outcomes.

PART B - FINDINGS
 Jail access for CBOs. Many CBO interviewees stated that it is very difficult to gain access
to the jail and several people mentioned the belief that special influence or contacts with
102

C.T. Lowenkamp and E.J. Latessa, ―Understanding the Risk Principle: How and Why Correctional Interventions
Can Harm Low-Risk Offenders,‖ Topics in Community Corrections (2004): 3-8.
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high-ranking LASD officials is required to have a chance at providing services there.
Interviewees also mentioned the importance of developing relationships with individual
LASD personnel to facilitate day-to-day access and movement within the jail, with the caveat
that these relationships must be re-established when staff changes. There are also significant
administrative burdens associated with jail access including extensive paperwork and
criminal background checks. This delays new programs or personnel changes, and prevents
the participation of some people with criminal records who are affiliated with CBOs from
providing services, despite the high-demand for peer mentoring services identified by
community stakeholders, CTU staff, and people held in the jail.

 Coordination among CBOs. A number of CBOs and funders expressed frustration that
service providers in the target communities do not collaborate enough, thus missing
opportunities to leverage resources and strengthen the continuum of local reentry services.
They cited a culture of delivering services in Los Angeles County that encourages
competition, not collaboration, and cited the number of different reentry groups as
evidence.103 Services are often fragmented, so that employment training may be available at
one agency, for example, but benefits or housing support is provided elsewhere. Also, similar
services are offered by many different agencies which encourages ―turf wars‖ among
agencies as they compete for funding, whether from the LASD, other government agencies,
or private foundations.
There is also little or no coordination among service providers inside the jail. Several
organizations working inside the jail stated that they were not aware which other
organizations were working there, the services provided, or those organizations‘ missions.
There is no forum for coordination among jail providers organized by LASD or others. This
may change if the new CTRC program engages all the agencies working in the jail and
provides an opportunity for regular, coordinated communication.


“Us versus Them” mentality. While a number of CBOs have worked inside the jail for a
long time and have strong relationships with both LASD and the CTU, there is
miscommunication and a general lack of trust between LASD and organizations working in
the community. Several community-based stakeholders described an ―us versus them‖
mentality. A number of providers interviewed for this study did not believe that the LASD
should be in the business of providing reentry services at all and others, while generally
supportive of the idea of in-jail services, expressed some reservation about LASD playing
this role. Interviewees mentioned that uniformed staff who started as guards and, for the most
part, lack social work or case management experience and training, are not able to establish a
level of trust and service provision to really help people in jail. One person stated:
―Any services provided only by the Sheriff’s Department will not be well
received. They need to provide non-profits the access to reach inmates, then
work with CTU for screening. They should not provide too high a level of
service while people are in there because they do not trust it.‖

103

Los Angeles area reentry councils include the Los Angles Reentry Roundtable, the Los Angeles Regional
Reentry Partnership, and the ACLU/SC Reentry Task Force.
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Similarly, another stakeholder expressed their skepticism saying: ―What are they doing
having sworn people in a capacity where they need to have trusting relationship with
inmates, people who become case managers after three hours of training?‖ Interviewees also
noted that the CTU cannot continue services after release. CBOs expressed significant
reservations about the CTRC, believing that the services will fail to engage individuals in jail
custody and will favor the few organizations that already have relationships with the LASD.
It is also evident that miscommunication or misinformation about funding further divides
CBOs and the CTU. CBOs expressed the belief that the CTU has unrestricted, unlimited
Inmate Welfare Funds and makes arbitrary decisions about awarding funds to community
groups. The CTU, however, discussed restricted funds and a strong interest in working to
collaborate with CBOs proposing specific projects to find potential funding sources.

 Restrictions on community-based reentry services. Several community stakeholders
and CTU and DMH staff discussed the lack of sufficient inpatient and outpatient communitybased services for people with mental health needs who are released from the jail. Many
providers have eligibility restrictions or give priority to people who are not involved in the
criminal justice system. A psychiatrist who formerly worked in the jail told Vera that
outpatient clinics often have a two to six week wait for appointments and may refuse a
reentry client because they are too seriously ill or because they do not want to take on
patients with open legal cases. Another interviewee mentioned that some providers offer
substance abuse services but not mental health services, so those with co-occurring disorders
cannot receive all of the services they need in one place.

PART B - RECOMMENDATIONS
 Continue examining how to coordinate release times between the LASD and other
providers. People are released from the jail at all times of day and night. An ongoing
challenge for reentry service providers in the jail is making sure that the CTU and other
service providers have advance notice of release for people with discharge plans. Many
organizations are only available during business hours so cannot arrange transportation
during other times. The LASD has not typically communicated adequately with the CTU or
CBOs about releases for CTU clients to ensure that they are either picked up immediately or
held until transportation can be provided.
Promising Practice
Coordinating Jail Releases
The CTU plans to change procedures for all releases from the jail to CTRC programs, which will
only occur Monday to Friday during business hours. The CTU also plans to purchase three
shuttle vehicles to transport clients directly to community programs. The new CTRC will be
staffed 24 hours per day 7 days a week.104

104

The CTU will need to monitor these changes to make sure that individuals do not perceive that participation in
services will lead to a delayed release, as this may be seen as a disincentive for service engagement.
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 Increase collaboration and communication between the CTU and community
providers. Vera recommends strengthening and formalizing the relationships between CTU
and CBOs working in and outside the jail through regular meetings, joint trainings, program
evaluation, and information sharing. Trainings on reentry assessment, service provision and
evaluation are relevant for both CTU and CBO staff and would facilitate relationships and
trust among the groups and should improve the overall level of service. It would also be
helpful to provide training to CBOs on CTU intake and case management procedures. A
collaborative approach might help dispel misperceptions about CTU funding and jail access.
It might be possible to submit a joint funding request to support this type of collaboration and
evaluation. For groups working inside the jail or those interested in doing so, the CTU may
want to consider creating a mechanism for providing regular briefings. These briefings
should explain the process for accessing the jail, identify and describe the groups currently
working with the jail, and explore areas for collaboration and/or improvements.
In addition, CTU representatives often attend local reentry group meetings. As one
stakeholder noted, CTU visits and presentations to community groups are an effective way to
improve coordination. The CTU could consider expanding these efforts into regular visits to
community organizations to discuss jail reentry services and to explain opportunities for
collaboration. More intensive community outreach by the CTU may help develop trust and
stronger relationships that will help the jail and community providers as they work to address
the reentry needs of a larger and longer-term jail population because of realignment.


Move to a team case-management approach to reentry. A reentry team approach
involving all organizations working inside the jail would improve case management by
bringing together the CTU, CBOs, DMH, and others to create comprehensive reentry plans
that address all needs, including medical care, mental health needs, substance use, housing,
employment, etc. The group could provide regular case management and review. Team
meetings would build relationships among partners and facilitate the discussion of any new
issues or concerns. The following description of case management teams provides a useful
example of this coordinated approach.

Promising Practice
Case Management Teams105
In Alexandria, Virginia, case management teams comprised of community providers and jail
staff are used to support in-jail treatment and link inmates with community treatment and
services. There are regular case reviews by a behavior management team, which includes
security personnel, classification personnel, and clinicians (both mental health and medical) who
develop a treatment plan integrating the needs of the individual in custody and the institution.


Unify the various Los Angeles County reentry groups into one council. Los Angeles
County boasts several active and engaged reentry groups doing important work, including the
Los Angeles Reentry Roundtable and the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership.

105

K. Healey, Case Management in the Criminal Justice System, Research in Action (Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 1999, NCJ 173409).
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However, a unified council speaking with one voice is particularly important as local
communities deal with the impact of realignment. Financial and administrative support is
necessary to make a group like this as useful as possible. The council could identify gaps in
reentry services in particular communities and address them jointly. A council could also
spearhead an advocacy campaign to engage grassroots and elected officials‘ support around
reentry issues. To address community-specific issues, a county-wide council could break
down into working groups by geography or issue.
Promising Practice
Reentry Council of the City & County of San Francisco
The Reentry Council coordinates local efforts to support adults exiting out of San Francisco
County Jail, San Francisco juvenile justice out-of-home placements, the California Department
of Corrections and Rehabilitation facilities, and the United States Federal Bureau of Prison
facilities. The 23 members include representatives from all relevant government agencies—the
Mayor, the Board of Supervisors, criminal justice agencies, social service agencies, health and
mental health agencies, three Mayoral appointees, and four individuals appointed by the Board
of Supervisors who must be former inmates of the San Francisco County Jail, and/or a state or
federal prison facility. In addition to the 23 council members, dozens of individuals serve on
three subcommittees, representing a range of individual and organizational stakeholders.


Address systemic barriers to accessing community service for people leaving the
jail. A council also creates the opportunity to address barriers to reentry services in the
community. Stakeholders identified two areas of particularly high need in both South Los
Angeles and Boyle Heights—employment and housing. A reentry council could use and
leverage realignment or other funds to build community provider capacity in these areas. A
single entity group could also speak with a unified voice to lobby on behalf of individuals
returning from jail around common barriers to successful reentry, such as open criminal cases
preventing access to DMH outpatient clinics, difficulties accessing the jail for peer mentors
with criminal records, or service fees required by certain providers (i.e. fees for counseling or
anger management courses).

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Conclusion
This is a critical moment for reentry in Los Angeles County. In the face of shrinking budgets, jail
and community-based reentry service providers are under tremendous pressure to respond to the
needs of approximately 17,000 people held in the overcrowded L.A. County Jail. The recent
state-sponsored realignment is adding to that pressure, with many individuals formerly bound for
state prison now being sentenced to terms in the county jail, many longer than one year.
Furthermore, as more people are sentenced to local community supervision, there may also be
increasing numbers of people spending time in the jail after violating probation and parole
conditions.
At the same time, LASD is in the process of significantly revising its approach to reentry
services with, most notably, a new focus on assessment and case management, Education-Based
Incarceration, and the planned Community Transition Reentry Center. LASD plans to use new
tools to assess individuals‘ risk and needs, move eligible individuals into community-based
alternatives to incarceration, and design and evaluate service plans to address the needs of those
who remain in jail custody. The Department is also implementing the EBI initiative throughout
the jail to identify and provide appropriate programming for eligible individuals in custody—
including academic, vocational, and life skills. The Community Transition Reentry Center aims
to meet the immediate needs of people at the time of release and to increase access to
community-based organizations. In addition, the jail has reinstated the Just In Reach program,
based on local research findings and national best practices that suggest that this approach is an
effective model for providing reentry services. The CTU is also in the process of implementing
a new data-system to address longstanding problems with the previous FAST database.
This combination of innovative programming and investment in reentry services present an
important opportunity for stakeholders in the jail, in communities and in funding agencies to reevaluate the best use of the county‘s costly jail beds and to focus resources on reducing
recidivism. This report is intended to help the LASD and its community partners step back and
rethink reentry services in the jail and during the critical transition from jail to home. This is the
time to examine what works, what does not, and why. With a growing jail population, it is of
paramount importance that the LASD and its community partners coordinate the use of their
limited resources to provide services that will help people succeed in the community upon
release from jail, thus reducing the likelihood of rearrest.
Although many promising programs are in place or planned, significant barriers threaten to
undermine LASD‘s new efforts to reinvigorate reentry services. An underlying theme throughout
Vera‘s findings was a significant lack of trust and coordination between LASD and community
stakeholders. All stakeholders must keep this in mind while planning or implementing any
reentry services; a supported transition between the jail and community is critical and the events
of the immediate hours or days after release often dictate whether an individual returns to jail or
succeeds in the community. A number of recommendations in the report are aimed at
strengthening the collaboration between jail and community-based providers in order to support
the transition home and to make sure that reentry resources are used in the most effective way
possible.
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Vera‘s recommendations can be distilled into several major themes—(1) maximizing the use of
existing resources, (2) ensuring the integrity of the reentry expansion that is currently underway;
and (3) building capacity by making the case that services work and lead to cost-savings.

MAXMIZE THE USE OF EXISTING RESOURCES
First, the report describes several ways to enhance LASD‘s existing reentry resources to make
them as effective as possible. Target reentry clients: Ideally, everyone in custody should have
access to reentry services, but if that is not possible, LASD needs a data-supported system to
identify the clients who would benefit the most from reentry services. This system should be
used to proactively conduct outreach to those high-need groups and to design tailored service
plans taking into account risk and needs and length of stay. Maintain contact with clients: LASD
should maintain contact with their clients by identifying those people that are motivated to
engage with services and providing interventions that address their self-defined priorities, with a
particular focus on the critical period immediately prior to release. Standardize CTU activities:
In order to improve the effectiveness of its services and to reach more people in jail custody, the
CTU should adopt standardized procedures for identifying potential clients, conducting
assessments and developing service plans. Improve linkages to the community: Immediate and
long-term supports for the community transition should be strengthened by expanding jail inreach, improving connections to CBOs, and incorporating family involvement in reentry
activities. Further, data should facilitate and inform all jail-based and post-release services. By
using data already available in the jail‘s administrative systems, the CTU can: reactivate service
plans upon client readmission to jail, identify appropriate CTU clients, inform customized
reentry service plans, and monitor and evaluate reentry client outcomes in the jail and after
release.

ENSURE THE INTEGRITY OF IMPLEMENTATION
LASD‘s new reentry plans offer real promise, but it essential that those plans maintain integrity
as they are put into practice. Vera enthusiastically supports plans to: implement a risk and needs
assessment; move eligible individuals in the realignment population out of jail and into
community-based programs; and use a case management database that will allow the jail and
community service providers to share information and track outcomes for mutual clients. Vera
also supports the expansion of jail in-reach programs that will establish essential relationships
between individuals in custody and community-based providers that will continue after release.
However, some of the challenges identified in this report (such as the lack of awareness and
engagement with services of many people in jail custody, distrust of jail staff, the small reentry
staff in the jail, and CTU‘s lack of standardized procedures) may undermine the implementation
of these new programs. The plans are ambitious and raise many additional questions: will the
COMPAS assess risk and needs accurately and will the associated database function
appropriately as a case management system? Will this database also allow CBOs to input data, as

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planned? Is it realistic for the CTU to assess everyone in the jail? Will Just In Reach be taken to
scale? Will people leaving the jail stop in the IRC lobby to utilize the services at the CTRC?
Several of Vera‘s recommendations may help LASD respond to these challenges and ensure that
the programs are implemented effectively: Expand and tailor CTU outreach: Expanded and
tailored outreach efforts, especially towards harder to reach populations, should increase
awareness and engagement in reentry services throughout the jail. Improving cultural
responsiveness by, for example, offering announcements and services in Spanish, should also
help build CTU trust and participation in services. Standardize CTU procedures: This
recommendation is particularly important for developing and implementing new programs.
Standard staff training, procedures, and supervision (for service provision and data entry) should
improve the overall level of CTU services. It will also enhance the validity of outcome
evaluations by ensuring that program implementation is consistent and that the requisite data are
available for analysis. Community-based organizations that provide services in the jail and serve
clients into the community should also be required to collect data to allow for program
evaluation.

BUILD CAPACITY
While there is much to be gained from improving the efficiency and reach of existing services, a
significant investment in both jail and community reentry services is required to meet the level of
demand. This may seem unfeasible, given the current fiscal climate. However, because jail is so
costly and incarceration so damaging to individuals and their families, even modest reductions in
recidivism can yield huge savings that can be reinvested in reentry programming. In order to
make this case, Vera developed recommendations to help LASD and CBOs increase their
capacity to demonstrate that their reentry services work. The report stresses the importance of
evaluation, as a tool to allow reentry service providers to demonstrate the value of what they are
doing. Data on the impact of services on a range of outcomes, such as recidivism, can then be
used to demonstrate cost savings and build community and government support for reentry.
The main recommendation about building capacity is to develop evaluation components for all
reentry services. Incorporate data: Because evaluation relies heavily on accurate data, all of
Vera‘s recommendations around incorporating data into jail-based and post-release services are
relevant here. Data systems should be used to identify, triage and track clients in jail and after
release; to reactivate returning clients and assessments; and inform and maintain case
management. Agencies working in the jail and in the community should commit to collecting
basic information on the needs, demographics and services provided to their clients. This
information can provide a basis for better understanding the combinations of interventions that
are most effective with different client groups. Increase collaboration: Enhanced collaboration
among CTU, DMH, Probation, and between and among jail and community-based providers is
essential in supporting a true continuum of care from jail into the community, reducing
duplicative services, capitalizing on diverse skills and capacities, enhancing evaluation, and
creating an opportunity to better leverage resources. The CTU should also consider moving
toward a team case-management approach that involves representatives from DMH, Probation,
community service providers or other relevant agencies.
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Realignment and Reentry
As discussed throughout the report, the challenges and opportunity of realignment have recently
placed a spotlight on local reentry services. This issue cuts across many of the recommendations
identified in the report and highlights the need for services that help reduce recidivism as the jail
and community struggle to respond to the growing numbers and needs of people in local custody.
Many people in the realignment cohort will have significant needs and most will be held for a
sufficient period of time to benefit from intensive services. Risk and need assessments are
particularly important for this population to determine the services that they require and to help
determine those clients that may be eligible for community-based programs.
Additional recommendations with particular import for the realignment population include:








Expand and tailor CTU outreach and services, with a particular focus on encouraging
engagement with services.
Create client targeting and triage systems based on level of need and opportunity to serve;
prioritize individuals who are motivated to engage in services.
Incorporate risk and needs assessments into reentry services.
Individualize reentry service plans for maximum impact that address criminogenic and selfidentified needs.
Strengthen immediate and long-term supports for transitioning into the community,
including expanding jail in-reach, maintaining client contact in the community, and involving
families in reentry activities.
Enhance collaboration between CTU and Probation, which is particularly important for the
realignment clients who have been previously or will be supervised by Probation after
release.

FURTHER RESEARCH
There were a number of areas identified in the study that Vera was not able to explore fully but
deserve greater attention. These include:

 The reentry needs of women in the L.A. County Jail. Given the extent of the differences
between male and female jail populations (see Appendix C for detail), this study did not
examine the specific needs of women and their access to reentry services. While some of the
findings may also be relevant for reentry services provided to women in the jail, it is
important that a separate study is conducted to look into women‘s unique needs and
experiences.

 Reentry services for individuals with mental health problems. This report was only
able to touch briefly on the specific reentry issues facing individuals with mental health
problems. It is important that more in-depth research is conducted on people with severe and
persistent mental illnesses, as well as the DMH mechanisms for providing reentry services,
and the way those mechanisms interface with LASD reentry services more generally.
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 Culturally responsive reentry services. This study had limited success in exploring model
practices for culturally responsive reentry services. Most of the stakeholder interviewees
were neither able to point to specific programs as examples of promising practices, nor able
to articulate what culturally responsive services should look like. In addition, the interview
tool used with individuals held in the jail included questions about the cultural fit of jailbased reentry services, adapted from an existing questionnaire that was developed and
validated for use in community mental health settings. During the study fieldwork period it
became clear that these questions were not able to address sufficiently issues of cultural
responsiveness and a significant proportion of interviewees found the questions to be
irrelevant to their experience within the jail. More research is needed to identify best
practices in this realm using more flexible, unstructured research methods that are better able
to explore the cultural fit of existing services.

 Service effectiveness and impact. As data collection and outcome tracking for reentry
services improve, it will be essential for the CTU and other reentry services providers to
conduct evaluations of their programs. Evaluation will enable providers to: monitor their own
programs and adjust them as necessary; make a case for increased funding for impactful
programs; and ensure that reentry services are leading to improved outcomes for individuals
leaving the jail.

 Capacity of services in the community. This study focused largely on the reentry services
provided by the jail. It is important that communities offer the services that individuals need
when they return home. More research should be conducted to gauge the extent to which
community providers are able to meet the demands of this population. This information will
also provide a persuasive tool for increasing funding to under-resourced communities.

NEXT STEPS
This report identifies many promising jail-based reentry practices implemented by LASD and its
community partners, but also highlights several areas LASD should examine and improve. The
report contains many recommendations, some requiring new resources, others suggesting small
changes to existing policies and procedures. They are all feasible with the support and
commitment of local stakeholders. To assist the stakeholders with next steps, Vera analyzed and
ranked the implementation feasibility of each recommendation. It bears repeating that this report
is intended as a starting point for conversations among LASD, community stakeholders, funders,
other government agencies, and non-profit organizations about how to prioritize and implement
initiatives to improve reentry services in Los Angeles County.

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Appendix	
  A	
  

Implementation	
  and	
  Feasibility	
  Analysis	
  
	
  	
  

Key: = low, = medium, = high

Recommendations	
  
Ease	
  of	
  
implementation	
  

Magnitude	
  
of	
  impact	
  

Immediate	
  
impact	
  

Likely	
  	
  
level	
  of	
  
community	
  
support	
  

Requires	
  
few	
  
additional	
  
resources	
  

Potential	
  
for	
  cost-­
savings?	
  

	
  

Chapter	
  Two:	
  Reentry	
  Service	
  Delivery	
  &	
  Engagement	
  Recommendations	
  
Replace inmate request forms with service request
forms that are completely distinct from “complaint
forms,” easy to understand, and widely available.



	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

Provide CTU flyers via mail call and pass out flyers
in dorms.

	
  



	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

Place televisions playing CTU informational videos
in other areas in addition to the IRC

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

Expand the use of staff presentations about services
to all dorms.

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

Distribute a condensed reentry guide widely
throughout jail.

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

Provide training on reentry services for certain
deputies and people in custody throughout the jail.







	
  

	
  

	
  

Conduct outreach to defense lawyers about available
services.

	
  



	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

Ensure that materials (service request forms, signs,
videos) are available in Spanish and provide
translation in other languages as needed.

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

99	
   	
  	
  	
  Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  
	
  

Appendix	
  A	
  

Implementation	
  and	
  Feasibility	
  Analysis	
  
	
  	
  

Key: = low, = medium, = high

Recommendations	
  
Ease	
  of	
  
implementation	
  

Magnitude	
  
of	
  impact	
  

Immediate	
  
impact	
  

Likely	
  	
  
level	
  of	
  
community	
  
support	
  

Requires	
  
few	
  
additional	
  
resources	
  

Potential	
  
for	
  cost-­
savings?	
  

	
  

Chapter	
  Two:	
  Reentry	
  Service	
  Delivery	
  &	
  Engagement	
  Recommendations,	
  continued	
  
Triage clients based on level of need and opportunity
to serve.

	
  









 	
  

Ensure that CTU staff use the homeless list solely for
homelessness-related programs, such as Just In
Reach.











	
  

Prioritize individuals who are motivated to engage
with services.

	
  









 	
  











	
  

Consider using markers of recidivism risk from the
LASD’s administrative data systems to flag people
who are in need of the lengthy COMPAS assessment.













Pull previous assessments at the time of jail
readmission and update them as necessary.













Target in-person assessments toward those who have
a high opportunity to receive reentry services.











 	
  

Consider a variety of assessment techniques
depending on the type of information needed.











Use validated risk and needs assessment tools.

100	
  	
  	
  	
  Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  
	
  

Appendix	
  A	
  

Implementation	
  and	
  Feasibility	
  Analysis	
  
	
  	
  

Key: = low, = medium, = high

Recommendations	
  
Ease	
  of	
  
implementation	
  

Magnitude	
  
of	
  impact	
  

Immediate	
  
impact	
  

Likely	
  	
  
level	
  of	
  
community	
  
support	
  

Requires	
  
few	
  
additional	
  
resources	
  

Potential	
  
for	
  cost-­
savings?	
  

	
  

Chapter	
  Two:	
  Reentry	
  Service	
  Delivery	
  &	
  Engagement	
  Recommendations,	
  continued	
  
Provide an opportunity for everyone to receive
basic support in reestablishing benefits and getting
government identification.











Ensure that intensive services address criminogenic
needs.











	
  

Differentiate between long and short stayers to
design brief interventions and more intensive
service plans.











 	
  

Engage people in services by addressing the issues
they view as personal priorities, such as
employment, housing, and family unification.











 	
  

Take steps to differentiate CTU staff from other
LASD staff.











	
  

Ensure the privacy of all client interactions with
CTU and other service providers.





	
  

	
  



	
  

Enhance the cultural responsiveness of reentry
services.



	
  

	
  

	
  



	
  



	
  







 	
  

Evaluate and expand existing promising programs.
101	
  	
  	
  	
  Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  
	
  

Appendix	
  A	
  

Implementation	
  and	
  Feasibility	
  Analysis	
  
	
  	
  

Key: = low, = medium, = high

Recommendations	
  
Ease	
  of	
  
implementation	
  

Magnitude	
  
of	
  impact	
  

Immediate	
  
impact	
  

Likely	
  	
  
level	
  of	
  
community	
  
support	
  

Requires	
  
few	
  
additional	
  
resources	
  

Potential	
  
for	
  cost-­
savings?	
  

	
  

Chapter	
  Two:	
  Reentry	
  Service	
  Delivery	
  &	
  Engagement	
  Recommendations,	
  continued	
  
Address community concerns regarding expansion of
jail-based services.







	
  

	
  

	
  



	
  



	
  



	
  

Expand and enhance initiatives to provide support to
reentry clients at the moment of release.



	
  



	
  

	
  

	
  

Provide incentives to CBOs to stay in touch with
clients in the community.













Build on the support offered by families and friends
by involving them in reentry planning.







	
  



	
  

Expand jail in-reach services.

	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
102	
  	
  	
  	
  Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  
	
  

Appendix	
  A	
  

Implementation	
  and	
  Feasibility	
  Analysis	
  
	
  	
  

Key: = low, = medium, = high

Recommendations	
  
Ease	
  of	
  
implementation	
  

Magnitude	
  
of	
  impact	
  

Immediate	
  
impact	
  

Likely	
  	
  
level	
  of	
  
community	
  
support	
  

Requires	
  
few	
  
additional	
  
resources	
  

Potential	
  
for	
  cost-­
savings?	
  

	
  

Chapter	
  Three:	
  Operations	
  &	
  Efficiency	
  Recommendations	
  
Increase standardization of CTU procedures.



	
  



	
  







	
  







	
  











Create mid-level clinical supervisory positions to
provide additional support to CTU custody assistants.













Build upon existing data to improve identification
and targeting of new clients.



	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

 	
  



	
  







 	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  



	
  

 	
  

Track reentry outcomes by requiring service
providers to record a core data set on client contact
with post-release services.



	
  







	
  

Identify cost-effective ways to collect outcome data
for all reentry programs.











Consider opportunities to design multi-agency
evaluation activities.



	
  







	
  

	
  

	
  

Create a step-by-step staff manual.
Develop set training and supervision activities.

Use data to facilitate case management.
Standardize CTU data entry procedures.

	
  

103	
  	
  	
  	
  Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  
	
  

 	
  

Appendix	
  A	
  

Implementation	
  and	
  Feasibility	
  Analysis	
  
	
  	
  

Key: = low, = medium, = high

Recommendations	
  
Ease	
  of	
  
implementation	
  

Magnitude	
  
of	
  impact	
  

Immediate	
  
impact	
  

Likely	
  	
  
level	
  of	
  
community	
  
support	
  

Requires	
  
few	
  
additional	
  
resources	
  

Potential	
  
for	
  cost-­
savings?	
  

	
  

Chapter	
  Four:	
  Coordination	
  Recommendations	
  
Improve CTU involvement with DMH client release
plans.











Continue and expand efforts to coordinate DMH and
LASD release activities.















	
  







 	
  



	
  

	
  

	
  



	
  

Consider potential CTU-Probation collaborations.
Continue examining how to coordinate release times
between the LASD and other providers.

	
  

	
  

Increase collaboration and communication between
the CTU and CBOs.



	
  



	
  



 	
  

Move to a team case-management approach to
reentry.



	
  







	
  

Unify the various Los Angeles County reentry
groups into one council.











	
  

Address systemic barriers to community services for
people leaving jail.



	
  







	
  

	
  
104	
  	
  	
  	
  Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  
	
  

Appendix	
  B	
  

	
  
	
  

LASD	
  Master	
  Program	
  List	
  

	
  

EDUCATION	
  BASED	
  INCARCERATION	
  	
  
INMATE	
  PROGRAMS	
  UNIT	
  	
  

Religious	
  &	
  Volunteer	
  Services	
  Unit	
  
Multi-Denominational Services
12 Steps
Celebrate Recovery
Friends Outside
Interacting with the Real World
Malachi Men
A Purpose Driven Life

Life	
  Skills	
  Programs	
  
GED Preparation (LA Works)
Adults Bonding With Children (ABC)
Alcohol Anonymous
Anger Management
Chemical Dependency
Domestic Violence Prevention
Drug Education
Hollywood Impact Studios
Job Preparation
Narcotics Anonymous
Parenting
Personal Relations
Planned Parenthood
Project Direct (Mental Health)
RSAT (Substance Abuse)
Share Tolerance

Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  105	
  

	
  
	
  

Appendix	
  B	
  

LASD	
  Master	
  Program	
  List	
  

Multidisciplinary	
  Treatment	
  Modules	
  

	
  

	
  

Maximizing Education, Reaching Individual Transformation (MERIT)
Creative Writing
Government
Project Fatherhood
World History
Bridges to Recovery Program (Domestic Violence)
Veterans Program
Impact Program
Social Mentoring Academic and Rehabilitative Training (SMART)
Chemical of the Brain
Wii Therapy
Movie Therapy
Art Therapy
MP3 Player Therapy
Blanket Therapy

Vocational	
  and	
  Technical	
  Training	
  Programs	
  (LA	
  Works)	
  
Animal Pet Grooming/Animal Caretaker
Autobody Service and Repair
Bicycle Repairer
Combination Welder
Commercial Construction and Masonry
Commercial Embroidery (Pending Staff Training)
Commercial Nursery Operations /Landscaping and Groundskeeping
Computer Operator/Office Occupations
Commercial Painting
Commercial Sewing
Culinary Arts and Hospitality
Custodial Building Maintenance
Eyeglass Refurbishing (Lyons Club)
Graphic Arts/Sign Fabrication
Printing Occupations
Telecommunications - Directory Assistance Operator
Woodworking

Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  106	
  

Appendix	
  B	
  

	
  

LASD	
  Master	
  Program	
  List	
  

	
  

	
  

Public	
  Health	
  Programs	
  and	
  Services	
  
Counseling and Testing
Transitional Case Management
Educational Programs
Take Charge – Stay Safe
Pre-release Health Preparedness
Women Moving Ahead
Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Education
Health Education and Risk Reduction (Harm Reduction in English & Spanish)
Hepatitis C Education Peer Education Training Program
Health First Condom Distribution Program
HIV/Substance Abuse

Contracted	
  Programs	
  
AMER-I-CAN(Pending Contract Renewal)
Children of Incarcerated Parents
Harriet Buhai (Pending Contract Renewal) Legal Assistance Program
Esperanza Project (Immigrant Rights Project)

Behavior	
  Modification	
  Programs	
  
Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)
Women in Transition Support (WITS)

Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  107	
  

I

Appendix	
  C	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  and	
  South	
  Los	
  Angeles	
  Neighborhood	
  Definition	
  Maps	
  
Boyle Heights

4<."'" '''h,&

Folsom 8t
Floral Dr

IC/,I{9E)1]

l; 7Sf St

Hammel8t

l; J/"'dS

t

l

108	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice

I

Appendix	
  C	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  and	
  South	
  Los	
  Angeles	
  Neighborhood	
  Definition	
  Maps	
  

~

w 29th

W30th St

W Jefferson Blvd

~

W 36th SI
exPosition Bitd

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W30th SI

W35th PI

if

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W31stSt

W36th St

W3 ~

"

W37th St

W 37th PI

ROdeo Rd

Exposition Blvd
Middleton PI

til

~I

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Brownin 9 Blvd

W41st PI
W42nd PI

v

~ ~ I~I l~I

W52nd St

W 54th 8t

~ i i§

W48th SI

a:
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t-W 53rd SI

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E 50th SI

.;:

W 59th SI

w

"~

f:;:! ~

c

.;:

W67th SI

W68thSt~

W 70th TSt

W-70th St

W Florence Ave

.--

W78th PI
W81stSt

~

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v

z

c

:'!'
(j)

CA-42

W65th PI
W 69th St
W71stSt

W74th St

W75th St
W77th St

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109	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Vera	
  Institute	
  
of	
  Jtustice
Endowmen

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w

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E 66th SI

E 81stSt

W89th St

~~

E 76th St

~x

E 82nd St

"1

Map Created by Healthy City 11/09
Geographic data from NAVTEQ.

E 87th PI

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E 88th PI

---t
E

St

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E 78th St

"

E 83rd St

E 90th St

Saturn Ave

Florence Ave

..

_ Nadeau St

Zoe Ave

E 69th St

t:::l ~w

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in

Randolph Sf

E 62nd SI

E 68th St

E 75th St

."

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E 60th SI

E 85th St

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E 84th PI

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W89th St

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E 74th St

W74th St

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E 71stSt

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E "61stSt

E 62nd SI

E 69th SI

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E 59th PI

E 60th SI

E 67th SI

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E 57th SI

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E 65th SI
w

W76th St

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E 54th SI

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W61stSt

W 62nd SI

W 7~ SI

E 57th St

.-rW59thPI

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W58th SI

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W51stPI

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E 55th SI

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.;:

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W49th SI

W56th St

W Slauson Ave

.
" "
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W43rd PI

WVernon Ave
W46th St

w

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I

Appendix	
  D	
  

Methodology	
  Details
PROCEDURES	
  AND	
  INSTRUMENTS	
  FOR	
  INTERVIEWS	
  
WITH	
  PEOPLE	
  HELD	
  IN	
  THE	
  JAIL	
  
	
  	
  	
  

The Vera researcher conducted interviews in semi-private spaces within the jail, out of
earshot of deputies and custody assistants, in order to balance issues of confidentiality
and safety. Interviews were conducted using a semi-structured questionnaire which
includes a combination of validated scales, close-ended questions, and open-ended
questions, yielding both quantitative and rich qualitative information. Vera incorporated
feedback from a number of community stakeholders into the design of the questionnaire
in order to ensure that the interviews covered topics important to community members.
Interviews were conducted in Spanish or English, as per the preference of the
interviewee. The interview tool included questions on:








reentry needs and/or strengths, including:
o self-identified needs
o mental health
o substance use
o housing status
o employment history
o family history of incarceration and gang involvement
o supports and social networks
those needs which are most important or pressing
perceptions of CTU and other jail-based services
barriers to accessing services, both in the jail and community
the cultural fit of reentry services and screening
motivations for signing up with CTU providers and other service providers or reasons
for declining the offer of services

In addition, three validated scales were used. These included:


The	
  Correctional	
  Mental	
  Health	
  Screen	
  for	
  Men	
  (CMHS-­‐M). This 12-item screen is
typically used during jail intake to indicate need for a full mental health assessment,
with items that detect possible symptoms of various psychiatric disorders. It takes less
than five minutes to complete and has been validated with correctional populations.1
We were unable to find a suitable tool that is validated in both English and Spanish,
so this tool was translated into Spanish and reviewed by a Spanish/English bilingual
clinical psychologist with experience conducting mental health assessments.



The	
   Texas	
   Christian	
   University	
   Drug	
   Screen	
   II	
   (TCUDS	
   II). This 15-item scale was
designed to identify individuals with a history of heavy or dependent patterns of drug
use (based on the DSM and the NIMH Diagnostic Interview Schedule) in criminal
justice-settings. It takes about 5 minutes to administer and is available in English and
in Spanish. It has been validated with correctional populations.2

1
2

J. Ford and R.L. Trestman, 2005.
K. Knight et al., 2002.
Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  110	
  

Appendix	
  D	
  

Methodology	
  Details


Survey	
  of	
  Cultural	
  Competency	
  of	
  Adult	
  Services. A modified version of this 52-item
scale was used. This scale was originally designed to measure consumer views of the
cultural competency of mental health services. The scale was validated with a
culturally diverse population of mental health service consumers in Maryland.3 It
takes about 5 minutes to administer. This scale was adapted for use in this study by
making it briefer (15 items) and altering the language to make the questions more
directly address services received within the jail. No scales were found (validated or
otherwise) that measured consumer opinions of cultural competence for correctional
populations and it is the only validated scale that was found during an extensive
literature review that measured client perceptions of cultural competence of the
services and providers they interact with. We included select items from this scale
that are relevant to the study population and altered some items to correspond with
jail populations and services provided in jails.


Note:	
   Issues	
   with	
   the	
   Survey	
   of	
   Cultural	
   Competency	
   of	
   Adult	
   Services:
Responses to these questions are not included in the analysis presented in this
report as they presented a number of issues during administration. Several
individuals found the questions to be irrelevant to their experience within the
jail context and chose not to answer a number of the items, particularly those
that spoke about the extent to which service providers explicitly considered an
individual’s culture. This highlights a need to create new tools and approaches
to evaluate these concepts.

	
  

SAMPLE	
  FOR	
  INTERVIEWS	
  
WITH	
  PEOPLE	
  HELD	
  IN	
  THE	
  JAIL	
  
	
  

Criteria for participation in the study included: being an adult male (18 or older); being
housed in LASD’s Men’s Central Jail (MCJ) facility located in downtown Los Angeles;
having an affiliation with one of the study’s target neighborhoods, Boyle Heights or
South LA. Neighborhood affiliation was determined via: a) a list of individuals with zip
codes corresponding with Boyle Heights and the segment of South LA relevant to this
study, generated from the jail’s data management system; or, b) an in-person screen
conducted by a Vera researcher.
There are a number of potential sampling biases in the individuals responding to the incustody interview that must be taken into account when reviewing the findings and
recommendations in this report. Specifically:


The	
   exclusion	
   of	
   women. The study does not include interviews with any women
held in the jail. Women held in jail differ greatly from men in jail. Studies have
found that female jail inmates are significantly more likely than their male

3

L.J. Cornelius, N.C. Booker, T.E. Arthur, I. Reeves and O. Morgan, “The Validity and Reliability Testing
of a Consumer-Based Cultural Competency Inventory,” Research on Social Work Practice 14, no. 3
(2004): 201-209.
Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  111	
  

Appendix	
  D	
  

Methodology	
  Details
counterparts to have a range of chronic medical problems (cancer, diabetes,
asthma, arthritis, etc.), psychiatric disorders (depressive, bipolar, PTSD, etc.), and
drug dependence.4 Furthermore, guidelines for treatment of female inmates with
substance use disorders call for gender-specific treatment as women respond
differently to certain programs and have different success rates than men.5 As
these differences may impact the experiences of women both while incarcerated
and upon release, the reentry needs of women held in jails should be studied
independently.


Other	
  sampling	
  biases. In addition, the sampling protocol may have also resulted in
underrepresentation of the following groups:
o Short-­‐stayers. People held in the jail for short periods of time had fewer
opportunities to be recruited for the study; in some cases, individuals on the zipcode list (generated at the beginning of the week) had already been released from
the jail when the interviewer attempted to contact them.	
  
o Individuals	
   housed	
   in	
   high-­‐security	
   areas. Participants were recruited from
security levels two through eight, with the majority of interviewees falling
between security level four and eight. Those held in the highest security level
(nine) were excluded from this study as the Vera researcher would require a
custody staff escort at all times, compromising the confidentiality of the
interview, in addition to concerns for researcher safety.
o Individuals	
  who	
  are	
  homeless	
  or	
  lack	
  stable	
  housing.	
  The neighborhood focus of
this study required that all interviewees have a connection to Boyle Heights or
South LA as determined through zip code information held by the jail or through
an informal screening conducted by the interviewer. Individuals who are
homeless are both less likely to appear on the zip-code list used for recruitment
claim such a connection and to claim a connection to specific neighborhoods.
o Individuals	
   housed	
   in	
   the	
   jail	
   mental	
   health	
   treatment	
   facility. LASD and the
DMH conduct screening and assessment interviews to identify people with
serious mental illness during the jail intake process. Those who require intensive
treatment and individuals who pose a threat to the safety of themselves or others
are diverted to Twin Towers (the mental health facility at the jail). As such, the
rates of mental health problems among the sample may be an undercount as we
were not able to interview individuals held in Twin Towers. These individuals
likely have very different needs and experiences with reentry planning and
services.

4

I.A. Binswanger, J.O. Merrill, P.M. Krueger, M.C. White, R.E. Booth and J.G. Elmore, “Gender
Differences in Chronic Medical, Psychiatric, and Substance-Dependence Disorders among Jail Inmates,”
American Journal of Public Health 100, no. 3 (2010): 476-482; and H.J. Steadman et al., 2009.
5
Patricia A. Kassebaum, Substance Abuse Treatment for Women Offenders: Guide to Promising Practices
(Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2002, SMA 99-3303).
Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  112	
  

Appendix	
  E	
  

Additional	
  Figures
	
  
Figure	
  A.	
  Neighborhood	
  affiliation,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
	
  	
  
Neighborhood	
  before	
  arrest	
  
Boyle	
  Heights	
  
South	
  LA	
  
Other	
  -­‐	
  LA	
  
Other	
  -­‐	
  non	
  LA	
  
Neighborhood	
  after	
  arrest	
  
Boyle	
  Heights	
  
South	
  LA	
  
Other	
  -­‐	
  LA	
  
Other	
  -­‐	
  non	
  LA	
  
Don't	
  know	
  

	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  
	
  	
  
75.0%	
  (27)	
  
5.6%	
  (2)	
  
16.7%	
  (6)	
  
2.8%	
  (1)	
  

-­‐-­‐	
  
88.6%	
  (39)	
  
11.4%	
  (5)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

31.3%	
  (25)	
  
36.3%	
  (29)	
  
21.3%	
  (17)	
  
2.5%	
  (2)	
  
8.8%	
  (7)	
  

69.4%	
  (25)	
  
2.8%	
  (1)	
  
19.4%	
  (7)	
  
2.8%	
  (1)	
  
5.6%	
  (2)	
  

-­‐-­‐	
  
63.6%	
  (28)	
  
22.7%	
  (10)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  
11.4%	
  (5)	
  

67.5%	
  (54)	
  
23.8%	
  (19)	
  
8.8%	
  (7)	
  

69.4%	
  (25)	
  
25.0	
  (9)	
  
5.6%	
  (2)	
  

65.9%	
  (29)	
  
22.7%	
  (10	
  
11.4%	
  (5)	
  

Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  
33.8%	
  (27)	
  
51.3%	
  (41)	
  
13.8%	
  (11)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  

	
  

Same	
  neighborhood	
  
Different	
  neighborhood	
  
Don't	
  know	
  

	
  
	
  
	
  

Figure	
  B.	
  Race	
  and	
  ethnicity,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
	
  	
  
Race/Ethnicity	
  

Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  

52.5%	
  (42)	
  
41.3%	
  (33)	
  
2.5%	
  (2)	
  
3.7%	
  (3)	
  

	
  	
  
86.1%	
  (31)	
  
2.8%	
  (1)	
  
2.8%	
  (1)	
  
8.3%	
  (3)	
  

	
  	
  
Latino	
  
Black	
  
White	
  
Other	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  
	
  	
  
25.0%	
  (11)	
  
72.7%	
  (32)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

	
  
	
  
Figure	
  C.	
  Language,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
	
  	
  
Language	
  
Speaks	
  a	
  language	
  other	
  than	
  English	
  at	
  home	
  
Spanish	
  
Other	
  

Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  
	
  	
  
46.3%	
  (37)	
  
34	
  people	
  
3	
  people	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  
75.0%	
  (27)	
  
25	
  people	
  
2	
  people	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  
22.7%	
  (10)	
  
9	
  people	
  
1	
  people	
  

	
  
	
  
	
  
Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  113	
  

Appendix	
  E	
  

Additional	
  Figures
	
  
Figure	
  D.	
  Place	
  of	
  birth	
  for	
  interviewee	
  and	
  parents,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  
	
  	
  
90.0%	
  (72)	
  
10.0%	
  (8)	
  
	
  	
  
63.8%	
  (51)	
  
35.0%	
  (28)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  
	
  	
  
53.8%	
  (43)	
  
43.8%	
  (35)	
  
2.5%	
  (2)	
  

	
  	
  
Born	
  in	
  the	
  US	
  
Yes	
  
No	
  
Mother	
  born	
  in	
  the	
  US	
  
Yes	
  
No	
  
Don't	
  know	
  
Father	
  born	
  in	
  the	
  US	
  
Yes	
  
No	
  
Don't	
  know	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  
	
  	
  
88.9%	
  (32)	
  
11.1%	
  (4)	
  
	
  	
  
44.4%	
  (20)	
  
55.6%	
  (16)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
	
  	
  
30.6%	
  (11)	
  
69.4%	
  (25)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  
	
  	
  
90.9%	
  (40)	
  
9.1%	
  (4)	
  
	
  	
  
79.5%	
  (35)	
  
18.2%	
  (8)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  
	
  	
  
72.7%	
  (32)	
  
22.7%	
  (10)	
  
4.5%	
  (2)	
  

	
  
	
  
Figure	
  E.	
  Relationships	
  and	
  children,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  

	
  	
  
In	
  a	
  relationship?	
  

	
  	
  
Yes	
  
No	
  
Don't	
  know	
  

Children	
  under	
  18?	
  
Yes	
  
No	
  
Don't	
  know	
  
Number	
  of	
  children	
  under	
  18	
  
Median	
  number	
  
Range	
  

62.5%	
  (50)	
  
36.3%	
  (29)	
  
1.3%%	
  (1)	
  
	
  	
  
63.8%	
  (51)	
  
35.0%	
  (28)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  
(n=50)*	
  	
  
2	
  	
  
1	
  -­‐	
  10	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  

	
  	
  

	
  	
  

55.6%	
  (20)	
  
41.7%	
  (15)	
  
2.8%	
  (1)	
  
	
  	
  
61.1%	
  (22)	
  
36.1%	
  (13)	
  
2.8%	
  (1)	
  

68.2%	
  (30)	
  
31.8%	
  (14)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
	
  	
  
65.9%	
  (29)	
  
34.1%	
  (15)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

(n=22)

(n=28)*

2	
  	
  
1	
  -­‐	
  4	
  

2	
  
1	
  -­‐	
  10	
  

*One	
  participant	
  declined	
  to	
  share	
  how	
  many	
  children	
  he	
  has.	
  

	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  114	
  

Appendix	
  E	
  

Additional	
  Figures
	
  
Figure	
  F.	
  Self-­‐reported	
  criminal	
  justice	
  data	
  for	
  current	
  jail	
  stay,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
	
  	
  
Charges	
  
Violent	
  
Property	
  
Drugs	
  
Violations	
  
Public	
  Order	
  
Don't	
  know	
  
Refused	
  
Case	
  status	
  at	
  interview	
  
Sentenced	
  
Pretrial	
  
Sentence	
  length	
  in	
  days	
  
Median	
  sentence	
  
Range	
  

Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

27.5%	
  (22)	
  
17.5%	
  (14)	
  
25.0%	
  (20)	
  
17.5%	
  (14)	
  
8.8%	
  (7)	
  
2.5%	
  (2)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  

16.7%	
  (6)	
  
19.4%	
  (7)	
  
19.4%	
  (7)	
  
30.6%	
  (11)	
  
11.1%	
  (4)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
2.8%	
  (1)	
  

36.4%	
  (16)	
  
15.9%	
  (7)	
  
29.5%	
  13)	
  
6.8%	
  (3)	
  
6.8%	
  (3)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  

50.0%	
  (18)	
  
50.0%	
  (18)	
  
(n=16)*	
  
273.8	
  
75.0	
  –	
  8,7600.0	
  

40.9%	
  (18)	
  
59.1%	
  (26)	
  
(n=17)	
  
311.8	
  
10.5	
  –	
  19.710.0	
  

	
  

45.0%	
  (36)	
  
55.0%	
  (44)	
  
(n=33)	
  
311.8	
  
10.5	
  –	
  19,710.0	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  

*Two	
  people	
  were	
  sentenced	
  to	
  drug	
  treatment	
  programs	
  with	
  an	
  indeterminate	
  length.	
  

	
  
	
  
Figure	
  G.	
  Self-­‐reported	
  criminal	
  justice	
  history,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
	
  	
  
Arrest	
  history	
  
Median	
  number	
  of	
  arrests	
  
Range	
  
History	
  of	
  jail	
  stays	
  
Median	
  number	
  of	
  jail	
  stays	
  
Range	
  
Age	
  at	
  first	
  arrest	
  
Median	
  (years)	
  
Range	
  

Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  

(n=79)	
  
6	
  
1	
  -­‐	
  100	
  
(n=79)	
  
6	
  
1	
  -­‐	
  100	
  

(n=36)	
  
8	
  
2	
  -­‐	
  45	
  
(n=36)	
  
8	
  
1	
  -­‐	
  29	
  

(n=43)	
  
6	
  
1	
  -­‐	
  100	
  
(n=43)	
  
6	
  
1-­‐100	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

18	
  
10	
  -­‐	
  44	
  

18	
  
12	
  -­‐	
  44	
  

18	
  
10	
  -­‐	
  40	
  

Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  115	
  

Appendix	
  E	
  

Additional	
  Figures
Figure	
  H.	
  Self-­‐reported	
  reentry	
  priorities,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  

Employment	
  
Housing	
  
Substance	
  Use	
  

72.5%	
  (n=58)	
  
33.8%	
  (n=27)	
  
32.5%	
  (n=26)	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=36)	
  
	
  	
  
75.0%	
  (n=27)	
  
22.2%	
  (n=8)	
  
38.9%	
  (n=14)	
  

Relationships	
  
Staying	
  out	
  of	
  trouble	
  
Financial	
  Concerns	
  

26.3%	
  (n=21)	
  
22.5%	
  (n=18)	
  
13.8%	
  (n=11)	
  

27.8%	
  (n=10)	
  
30.6%	
  (n=11)	
  
8.3%	
  (n=3)	
  

25.0%	
  (n=11)	
  
15.9%	
  (n=7)	
  
18.2%	
  (n=8)	
  

Spiritual/Personal	
  Development	
  

11.3%	
  (n=9)	
  

13.9%	
  (n=5)	
  

9.1%	
  (n=4)	
  

Education	
  
10.0%	
  (n=8)	
  
Basic	
  Needs*	
  
10.0%	
  (n=8)	
  
General	
  reintegration	
  into	
  society	
  
8.8%	
  (n=7)	
  
Policing	
  
6.3%	
  (n=5)	
  
Peer	
  Influence	
  
6.3%	
  (n=5)	
  
Mental	
  Health	
  
5.0%	
  (n=4)	
  
Health	
  
2.5%	
  (n=2)	
  
Other*	
  
5.0%	
  (n=4)	
  
Number	
  of	
  Needs	
  self-­‐reported	
  
	
  	
  
3	
  needs	
  
72.5%	
  (n=58)	
  
2	
  needs	
  
21.3%	
  (n=17)	
  
1	
  need	
  
6.3%	
  (n=5)	
  

13.9%	
  (n=5)	
  
16.7%	
  (n=6)	
  
11.1%	
  (n=4)	
  
2.8%	
  (n=1)	
  
8.3%	
  (n=3)	
  
8.3%	
  (n=3)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
5.6%	
  (n=2)	
  

6.8%	
  (n=3)	
  
4.5%	
  (n=2)	
  
6.8%	
  (n=3)	
  
9.1%	
  (n=4)	
  
4.5%	
  (n=2)	
  
2.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
4.5%	
  (n=2)	
  
4.5%	
  (n=2)	
  

Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  

	
  	
  
Most	
  Common	
  Needs	
  

	
  	
  

	
  	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  
	
  	
  
70.5%	
  (n=31)	
  
43.2%	
  (n=19)	
  
27.3%	
  (n=12)	
  

	
  	
  
83.3%	
  (n=30)	
  
16.7%	
  (n=6)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

63.6%	
  (28)	
  
25.0%	
  (n=11)	
  
11.4%	
  (n=5)	
  

*“Basic	
   Needs”	
   include	
   transportation,	
   clothing,	
   and	
   identification.	
   “Other”	
   needs	
   include	
   getting	
   assistance	
  
dealing	
  with	
  a	
  DUI	
  charge,	
  gang	
  violence,	
  deportation,	
  and	
  parole	
  restrictions	
  posing	
  a	
  barrier	
  to	
  reintegration.	
  

	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  

Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  116	
  

Appendix	
  E	
  

Additional	
  Figures
	
  
Figure	
  I.	
  Most	
  difficult	
  and	
  most	
  important	
  reentry	
  priorities,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
	
  	
  
Most	
  Important	
  Priority	
  
Employment	
  
Housing	
  
Substance	
  Use	
  
Relationships	
  
Staying	
  out	
  of	
  trouble	
  
Financial	
  Concerns	
  
Spiritual/Personal	
  Development	
  
Education	
  
Basic	
  Needs	
  
General	
  reintegration	
  into	
  society	
  
Policing	
  
Mental	
  Health	
  
Health	
  
Other	
  
Peer	
  Influence	
  
Most	
  Difficult	
  Priority	
  
Employment	
  
Housing	
  
Substance	
  Use	
  
Relationships	
  
Staying	
  out	
  of	
  trouble	
  
Financial	
  Concerns	
  
Spiritual/Personal	
  Development	
  
Education	
  
Basic	
  Needs	
  
General	
  reintegration	
  into	
  society	
  
Policing	
  
Mental	
  Health	
  
Other	
  
Health	
  
Peer	
  Influence	
  

Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  
	
  	
  

30.0%	
  (n=24)	
  
11.3%	
  (n=9)	
  
13.8%	
  (n=11)	
  
13.8%	
  (n=11)	
  
7.5%	
  (n=6)	
  
3.8%	
  (n=3)	
  
5.0%	
  (n=4)	
  
3.8%	
  (n=3)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
5.0%	
  (n=4)	
  
2.5%	
  (n=2)	
  
1.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
1.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
1.3%	
  (n=1)	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=36)	
  
	
  	
  
27.8%	
  (n=10)	
  
8.3%	
  (n=3)	
  
11.1%	
  (n=4)	
  
16.7%	
  (n=6)	
  
11.1%	
  (n=4)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
8.3%	
  (n=3)	
  
5.6%	
  (n=2)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
5.6%	
  (n=2)	
  
2.8%	
  (n=1)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
2.8%	
  (n=1)	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  
	
  	
  
31.8%	
  (n=14)	
  
13.6%	
  (n=6)	
  
15.9%	
  (n=7)	
  
11.4%	
  (n=5)	
  
4.5%	
  (n=2)	
  
6.8%	
  (n=3)	
  
2.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
2.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
4.5%	
  (n=2)	
  
2.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
2.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
2.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

27.5%	
  (n=22)	
  
15.0%	
  (n=12)	
  
18.8%	
  (n=15)	
  
5.0%	
  (n=4)	
  
8.8%	
  (n=7)	
  
5.0%	
  (n=4)	
  
2.5%	
  (n=2)	
  
2.5%	
  (n=2)	
  
1.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
3.8%	
  (n=3)	
  
1.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
2.5%	
  (n=2)	
  
1.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
2.5%	
  (n=2)	
  
2.5%	
  (n=2)	
  

36.1%	
  (n=13)	
  
11.1%	
  (n=4)	
  
19.4%	
  (n=7)	
  
5.6%	
  (n=2)	
  
11.1%	
  (n=4)	
  
2.8%	
  (n=1)	
  
2.8%	
  (n=1)	
  
2.8%	
  (n=1)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
2.8%	
  (n=1)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
2.8%	
  (n=1)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
2.8%	
  (n=1)	
  

20.5%	
  (n=9)	
  
18.2%	
  (n=8)	
  
18.2%	
  (n=8)	
  
4.5%	
  (n=2)	
  
6.8%	
  (n=3)	
  
6.8%	
  (n=3)	
  
2.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
2.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
2.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
4.5%	
  (n=2)	
  
2.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
2.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
2.3%	
  (n=1)	
  
4.5%	
  (n=2)	
  
2.3%	
  (n=1)	
  

Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  117	
  

Appendix	
  E	
  

Additional	
  Figures
Figure	
  J.	
  Employment	
  history,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
	
  
Last	
  had	
  a	
  job…	
  
…at	
  the	
  time	
  of	
  arrest	
  
…in	
  the	
  last	
  year	
  (since	
  2010)	
  
…before	
  2010	
  
…never	
  had	
  a	
  job	
  

Full	
  Cohort	
  
(n=80)	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  

	
  

	
  

	
  

41.3%	
  (33)	
  
15.0%	
  (12)	
  
36.3%	
  (29)	
  
7.5%	
  (6)	
  

38.9%	
  (14)	
  
19.4%	
  (7)	
  
36.1%	
  (13)	
  
5.6%	
  (2)	
  

43.2%	
  (19)	
  
11.4%	
  (5)	
  
36.4%	
  (16)	
  
9.1%	
  (4)	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  

	
  
	
  
Figure	
  K.	
  Educational	
  attainment,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  

	
  	
  
Education	
  

	
  	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  

	
  	
  

	
  	
  

No	
  education	
  
Elementary	
  School	
  
Middle	
  School	
  
Some	
  High	
  School	
  
High	
  School	
  Diploma	
  
GED	
  

1.3%	
  (1)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  
3.8%	
  (3)	
  
36.3%	
  (29)	
  
30.0%	
  (24)	
  
5.0%	
  (4)	
  

-­‐-­‐	
  
2.8%	
  (1)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
50%	
  (18)	
  
25.0%	
  (9)	
  
5.6%	
  (2)	
  

2.3%	
  (1)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
6.8%	
  (3)	
  
25.0%	
  (11)	
  
34.1%	
  (15)	
  
4.5%	
  (2)	
  

Vocational/Trade	
  School	
  
Some	
  College	
  
Bachelor's	
  Degree	
  

3.8%	
  (3)	
  
13.8%	
  (11)	
  
5.0%	
  (4)	
  

2.8%	
  (1)	
  
8.3%	
  (3)	
  
5.6%	
  (2)	
  

4.5%	
  (2)	
  
18.2%	
  (8)	
  
4.5%	
  (2)	
  

	
  
	
  
Figure	
  L.	
  Housing	
  before	
  arrest	
  and	
  post-­‐release	
  housing	
  expectations,	
  by	
  
neighborhood	
  
	
  	
  
Sleep	
  before	
  arrest	
  
Own	
  home/apartment	
  
Family's	
  home	
  
Partner's	
  home	
  
Friend's	
  home	
  
Hotel	
  
Street/public	
  place	
  
Other*	
  
"Unstable"	
  housing*	
  

Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  
	
  	
  
33.8%	
  (27)	
  
25.0%	
  (20)	
  
17.5%	
  (14)	
  
10.0%	
  (8)	
  
6.3%	
  (5)	
  
2.5%	
  (2)	
  
5.0%	
  (4)	
  
18.8%	
  (15)	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  
	
  	
  
33.3%	
  (12)	
  
30.6%	
  (11)	
  
11.1%	
  (4)	
  
11.1%	
  (4)	
  
8.3%	
  (3)	
  
2.8%	
  (1)	
  
2.8%	
  (1)	
  
22.2%	
  (8)	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  
	
  	
  
34.1%	
  (15)	
  
20.5%	
  (9)	
  
22.7%	
  (10)	
  
9.1%	
  (4)	
  
4.5%	
  (2)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  
6.8%	
  (3)	
  
15.9%	
  (7)	
  

Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  118	
  

Appendix	
  E	
  

Additional	
  Figures
(Figure	
  L	
  continued)	
  
Sleep	
  after	
  release	
  
Own	
  home/apartment	
  
Family's	
  home	
  
Partner's	
  home	
  
Friend's	
  home	
  
Hotel	
  
Street/public	
  place	
  
Other*	
  
Don't	
  know	
  
"Unstable"	
  housing*	
  

Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  
	
  	
  
20.0%	
  (16)	
  
38.8%	
  (31)	
  
16.3%	
  (13)	
  
7.5%	
  (6)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
6.3%	
  (5)	
  
10.0%	
  (8)	
  
8.8%	
  (7)	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  
	
  	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  
	
  	
  
13.6%	
  (6)	
  
38.6%	
  (17)	
  
15.9%	
  (7)	
  
9.1%	
  (4)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
9.1%	
  (4)	
  
11.4%	
  (5)	
  
11.4%	
  (5)	
  

27.8%	
  (10)	
  
38.9%	
  (14)	
  
16.7%	
  (4)	
  
5.6%	
  (2)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
2.8%	
  (1)	
  
8.3%	
  (3)	
  
5.6%	
  (2)	
  

*	
  “Other	
  housing”	
  includes	
  includes	
  rehabilitation	
  centers,	
  halfway	
  houses,	
  hospitals,	
  and	
  transitional	
  housing.	
  
“Unstable	
  housing”	
  includes	
  friends’	
  homes,	
  hotels,	
  and	
  streets	
  or	
  public	
  places.	
  

Figure	
  M.	
  Indications	
  of	
  substance	
  use	
  problems,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
	
  

80%	
  
70%	
  
60%	
  
50%	
  

72%	
  

50%	
  
42%	
  

40%	
  

32%	
  

28%	
  

30%	
  

21%	
  

20%	
  
10%	
  
0%	
  
PosiZve	
  screen	
  for	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
substance	
  dependency	
  

Diagnosed	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Extremely	
  
	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
important	
  to	
  get	
  
substance	
  use	
  issue	
  
substance	
  use	
  treatment*	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  (n=36)	
  

South	
  LA	
  (n=44)	
  

*As self-reported by interviewees.

Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  119	
  

Appendix	
  E	
  

Additional	
  Figures
Figure	
  N.	
  Indications	
  of	
  substance	
  use	
  treatment	
  needs,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
	
  	
  
Substance	
  use	
  screen	
  result	
  

Full	
  Cohort	
  
(n=80)	
  

	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  
	
  	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  

60.0%	
  (48)	
  
Positive	
  Screen	
  
72.2%	
  (26)	
  
50.0%	
  (22)	
  
Previous	
  substance	
  abuse/dependence	
  diagnosis	
  from	
  a	
  doctor/medical	
  professional	
  
23.8%	
  (19)	
  
Yes	
  
23	
  
Median	
  age	
  at	
  diagnosis	
  (years)	
  
13-­‐43	
  
Age	
  range	
  (years)	
  
Drug	
  treatment	
  program	
  	
  history	
  (not	
  including	
  AA/NA)	
  
Never	
  
58.8%	
  (47)	
  
1	
  time	
  
18.8%	
  (15)	
  
2	
  times	
  
7.5%	
  (6)	
  
3	
  times	
  
6.3%	
  (5)	
  
4	
  or	
  more	
  times	
  
7.5%	
  (6)	
  
Refused	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  
Self-­‐help	
  drug	
  treatment	
  history	
  (e.g.,	
  AA	
  or	
  NA)	
  

27.8%	
  (10)	
  
21	
  
13-­‐43	
  
	
  	
  
61.1%	
  (22)	
  
22.2%	
  (8)	
  
8.3%	
  (3)	
  
5.6%	
  (2)	
  
2.8%	
  (1)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

20.5%	
  (9)	
  
28	
  
21-­‐40	
  
	
  	
  
56.8%	
  (25)	
  
15.9%	
  (7)	
  
6.8%	
  (3)	
  
6.8%	
  (3)	
  
11.4%	
  (5)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  

Never	
  
45.0%	
  (36)	
  
1	
  time	
  
2.5%	
  (2)	
  
2	
  times	
  
3.8%	
  (3)	
  
3	
  times	
  
5.0%	
  (4)	
  
4	
  or	
  more	
  times	
  
42.5%	
  (34)	
  
Refused	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  
Importance	
  of	
  getting	
  drug	
  treatment	
  while	
  in	
  the	
  jail	
  
Not	
  at	
  all	
  
46.3%	
  (37)	
  
Slightly	
  
8.8%	
  (7)	
  
Moderately	
  
11.3%	
  (9)	
  
Considerably	
  
10.0%	
  (8)	
  
Extremely	
  
22.5%	
  (18)	
  
Refused	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  
Importance	
  of	
  getting	
  drug	
  treatment	
  after	
  leaving	
  jail	
  

36.1%	
  (13)	
  
2.8%	
  (1)	
  
2.8%	
  (1)
2.8%	
  (1)
55.6%	
  (20)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

52.3%	
  (23)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  
4.5%	
  (2)	
  
6.8%	
  (3)	
  
31.8%	
  (14)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  

38.9%	
  (14)	
  
13.9%	
  (5)	
  
8.3%	
  (3)	
  
13.9%	
  (5)	
  
25.0%	
  (9)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

52.3%	
  (23)	
  
4.5%	
  (2)	
  
13.6%	
  (6)	
  
6.8%	
  (3)	
  
20.5%	
  (9)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  

19.4%	
  (7)	
  
19.4%	
  (7)	
  
5.6%	
  (2)	
  
13.9%	
  (5)	
  
41.7%	
  (15)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

45.5%	
  (20)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
6.8%	
  (3)	
  
13.6%	
  (6)	
  
31.8%	
  (14)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  

Not	
  at	
  all	
  
Slightly	
  
Moderately	
  
Considerably	
  
Extremely	
  
Refused	
  

33.8%	
  (27)	
  
8.8%	
  (7)	
  
6.3%	
  (5)	
  
13.8%	
  (11)	
  
36.3%	
  (29)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  

Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  120	
  

Appendix	
  E	
  

Additional	
  Figures
Figure	
  O.	
  Severity	
  of	
  drug	
  problems,	
  by	
  neighborhood
	
  	
  
Severity	
  of	
  drug	
  problems	
  pre-­‐arrest	
  	
  
Not	
  at	
  all	
  
Slightly	
  
Moderately	
  
Considerably	
  
Extremely	
  
Refused	
  

Full	
  Cohort	
  
(N=80)	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  

33.8%	
  (27)	
  
16.3%	
  (13)	
  
20.0%	
  (16)	
  
10.0%	
  (8)	
  
18.8%	
  (15)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  

13.9%	
  (5)	
  
16.7%	
  (6)	
  
33.3%	
  (12)	
  
8.3%	
  (3)	
  
27.8%	
  (10)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  
50.0%	
  (22)	
  
15.9%	
  (7)	
  
9.1%	
  (4)	
  
11.4%	
  (5)	
  
11.4%	
  (5)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  

	
  
Figure	
  P.	
  Substance	
  use	
  type	
  and	
  frequency	
  
Substance	
  Type	
  
Alcohol	
  
Marijuana	
  
Cocaine	
  
Crack	
  
Methamphetamines	
  
Amphetamines	
  
Heroin	
  
Other	
  drugs	
  

Frequency	
  of	
  Use	
  in	
  the	
  Past	
  12	
  Months	
  
Never	
  

Few	
  times	
  

Monthly	
  

Weekly	
  

Daily	
  

16.3%	
  (13)	
  
45.0%	
  (36)	
  
76.3%	
  (61)	
  
81.3%	
  (65)	
  
75.0%	
  (60)	
  
82.5%	
  (66)	
  
90.0%	
  (72)	
  
78.8%	
  (63)	
  

28.8%	
  (23)	
  
13.8%	
  (11)	
  
15.0%	
  (12)	
  
10.0%	
  (8)	
  
2.5%	
  (2)	
  
11.3%	
  (9)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  
13.8%	
  (11)	
  

13.8%	
  (11)	
  
10.0%	
  (8)	
  
5.0%	
  (4)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  
5.0%	
  (4)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  

27.5%	
  (22)	
  
8.8%	
  (7)	
  
2.5%	
  (2)	
  
2.5%	
  (2)	
  
7.5%	
  (6)	
  
3.8%	
  (3)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  
2.5%	
  (2)	
  

12.5%	
  (10)	
  
21.3%	
  (17)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
3.8%	
  (3)	
  
8.8%	
  (7)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  
5.0%	
  (4)	
  
2.5%	
  (2)	
  

Figure	
  Q.	
  Substance	
  type	
  that	
  caused	
  the	
  most	
  serious	
  problems	
  (n=75)
20	
  
18	
  
16	
  

19	
  

18	
  
15	
  

14	
  
12	
  
10	
  
8	
  
6	
  
4	
  

6	
  

6	
  
4	
  

4	
  

3	
  

2	
  
0	
  

Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  121	
  

Appendix	
  E	
  

Additional	
  Figures
Figure	
  R.	
  Indications	
  of	
  mental	
  health	
  needs,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
	
   80%	
  

68%	
  

70%	
  
60%	
  
50%	
  
40%	
  
30%	
  

53%	
  

53%	
  
39%	
  

34%	
  

21%	
  

20%	
  
10%	
  
0%	
  

Screen	
  indicates	
  need	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
for	
  full	
  assessment	
  

Mental	
  health	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   Would	
  benefit	
  from	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
diagnosis	
  
talking	
  to	
  someone	
  about	
  
their	
  mental	
  health*	
  

	
  
Boyle	
  Heights	
  (n=36)	
   South	
  LA	
  (n=44)	
  
	
  
*As self-reported by interviewees.
	
  
Figure	
  S.	
  Mental	
  health	
  history,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
Full	
  Cohort	
  (n=80)	
  

	
  
Mental	
  health	
  screen	
  result	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  

42.5%	
  (34)	
  
Positive	
  Screen	
  
52.8%	
  (19)	
  
Previous	
  mental	
  health	
  diagnosis	
  from	
  a	
  doctor/medical	
  professional	
  
28.8%	
  (23)	
  
Yes	
  
38.9%	
  (14)	
  
Any	
  past	
  mental	
  health	
  treatment?	
  	
  
30.0%	
  (24)	
  
Yes	
  
33.3%	
  (12)	
  
Ever	
  any	
  psychiatric	
  medication?	
  	
  
27.5%	
  (22)	
  
Yes	
  
33.3%	
  (12)	
  
Benefit	
  from	
  talking	
  to	
  someone	
  about	
  mental	
  health?	
  	
  
Yes	
  
No	
  
Don't	
  know	
  

61.3%	
  (49)	
  
33.8%	
  (27)	
  
5.0%	
  (4)	
  

34.1%	
  (15)	
  
20.5%	
  (9)	
  
27.3%	
  (12)	
  
22.7%	
  (10)	
  

52.8%	
  (19)	
  
41.7%	
  (15)	
  
5.6%	
  (2)	
  

68.2%	
  (30)	
  
27.3%	
  (12)	
  
4.5%	
  (2)	
  

	
  
Figure	
  T.	
  Possible	
  co-­‐occurring	
  substance	
  use	
  and	
  mental	
  health	
  disorders	
  
Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  
	
  	
  
Positive	
  mental	
  health	
  and	
  substance	
  use	
  screens?	
  
Yes	
  

33.8%	
  (27)	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  

44.4%	
  (16)	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  

25.0%	
  (11)	
  

Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  122	
  

Appendix	
  E	
  

Additional	
  Figures
Figure	
  U.	
  Expectations	
  of	
  any	
  help	
  with	
  reentry	
  priorities,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  	
  
Full	
  Cohort	
  
(n=80)	
  

	
  	
  
	
  	
  
Self-­‐Reported	
  Reentry	
  Priorities	
  
Employment	
  	
  
Housing	
  
Substance	
  Use	
  
Relationships	
  
Staying	
  out	
  of	
  trouble	
  
Financial	
  Concerns	
  
Spiritual/Personal	
  
Development	
  
Education	
  
Basic	
  Needs	
  
General	
  reintegration	
  
Policing	
  
Peer	
  Influence	
  
Mental	
  Health	
  
Health	
  
Other	
  
Any	
  expected	
  Help	
  with	
  Needs?	
  	
  
Expects	
  some	
  help	
  	
  
Expects	
  no	
  help	
  

123	
  	
  	
  	
  Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  

South	
  LA	
  
(n=44)	
  

Number	
  
Number	
  
Number	
  
Percentage	
  
Percentage	
  
Percentage	
  
Reporting	
  this	
  
Reporting	
  this	
  
Reporting	
  this	
  
Expecting	
  Help	
  
Expecting	
  Help	
  
Expecting	
  Help	
  
Priority	
  
Priority	
  
Priority	
  
58	
  
27	
  
26	
  
21	
  
18	
  
11	
  

70.7%	
  (41)	
  
70.4%	
  (19)	
  
84.6%	
  (22)	
  
81.0%	
  (17)	
  
66.7%	
  (12)	
  
90.9%	
  (10)	
  

27	
  
8	
  
14	
  
10	
  
11	
  
3	
  

77.8%	
  (21)	
  
87.5%	
  (7)	
  
85.7%	
  (12)	
  
100.0%	
  (10)	
  
72.7%	
  (8)	
  
100.0%	
  (3)	
  

31	
  
19	
  
12	
  
11	
  
7	
  
8	
  

64.5%	
  (20)	
  
63.2%	
  (12)	
  
83.3%	
  (10)	
  
63.6%	
  (7)	
  
57.1%	
  (4)	
  
100.0%	
  (7)	
  

9	
  

88.9%	
  (8)	
  

5	
  

100.0%	
  (5)	
  

4	
  

75.0%	
  (3)	
  

8	
  
8	
  
7	
  
5	
  
5	
  
4	
  
2	
  
4	
  

62.5%	
  (5)	
  
50.0%	
  (4)	
  
71.4%	
  (5)	
  
40.0%	
  (2)	
  
60.0%	
  (3)	
  
100.%	
  (4)	
  
100.0%	
  (2)	
  
25.0%	
  (1)	
  

5	
  
6	
  
4	
  
1	
  
3	
  
3	
  
0	
  
2	
  

60.0%	
  (3)	
  
33.3%	
  (2)	
  
75.0%	
  (3)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
66.7%	
  (2)	
  
100.0%	
  (3)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
50.0%	
  (1)	
  

3	
  
2	
  
3	
  
4	
  
2	
  
1	
  
2	
  
2	
  

66.7%	
  (2)	
  
100.0%	
  (2)	
  
	
  66.7%	
  (2)	
  
50.0%	
  (2)	
  
50.0%	
  (1)	
  
100.0%	
  (1)	
  
100.0%	
  (2)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

-­‐-­‐	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

91.3%	
  (73)	
  
8.7%	
  (7)	
  

-­‐-­‐	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

94.4%	
  (34)	
  
5.6%	
  (2)	
  

-­‐-­‐	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

88.6%	
  (39)	
  
11.4%	
  (5)	
  

Appendix	
  E	
  

Additional	
  Figures
	
  
Figure	
  V.	
  Source	
  of	
  expected	
  help	
  with	
  reentry	
  priorities,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
	
  	
  
Expected	
  Help	
  with	
  Needs?	
  

Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  
	
  	
  

	
  	
  
None	
  

Only	
  help	
  from	
  the	
  community	
  
Only	
  help	
  from	
  the	
  jail	
  
Help	
  from	
  the	
  community	
  and	
  jail	
  
Help	
  from	
  other	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  

8.8%	
  (7)	
  

5.6%	
  (2)	
  

11.4%	
  (5)	
  

45.0%	
  (36)	
  

50.0%	
  (18)	
  

40.9%	
  (18)	
  

3.8%	
  (3)	
  
33.8%	
  (27)	
  

2.8%	
  (1)	
  
36.1%	
  (13)	
  

4.5%	
  (2)	
  
31.8%	
  (14)	
  

8.8%	
  (7)	
  

5.6%	
  (2)	
  

5.0%	
  (11.4%)	
  

	
  
	
  
Figure	
  W.	
  Social	
  networks	
  and	
  supports	
  (full	
  cohort,	
  n=80)	
  
Emotional	
  
assistance	
  
	
  	
  
75.0%	
  (60)	
  
63.8%	
  (51)	
  

Material	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
Social	
  
aid	
  
participation	
  
	
  	
  
	
  	
  
70.0%	
  (56)	
  
70.0%	
  (56)	
  
66.3%	
  (53)	
  
75.0%	
  (60)	
  

Other	
  family	
  (aunts/uncles,	
  
cousins,	
  grandparents)	
  
Significant	
  other	
  
Friends	
  

56.3%	
  (45)	
  

63.8%	
  (53)	
  

70.0%	
  (56)	
  

58.8%	
  (47)	
  
72.5%	
  (58)	
  

55.0%	
  (44)	
  
76.3%	
  (61)	
  

65.0%	
  (52)	
  
91.3%	
  (73)	
  

Drinking/Smoking	
  buddies	
  
Gang	
  member	
  
Neighbors	
  

28.8%	
  (23)	
  

17.5%	
  (14)	
  

52.5%	
  (42)	
  

8.8%	
  (7)	
  
33.8%	
  (27)	
  
12.5%	
  (10)	
  
18.8%	
  (15)	
  
31.3%	
  (25)	
  
17.5%	
  (14)	
  

11.3%	
  (9)	
  
32.5%	
  (26)	
  
5.0%	
  (4)	
  
6.3%	
  (5)	
  
20.0%	
  (16)	
  
11.3%	
  (9)	
  

17.5%	
  (14)	
  
48.8%	
  (39)	
  
2.5%	
  (2)	
  
6.3%	
  (5)	
  
17.5%	
  (14)	
  
22.5%	
  (18)	
  

	
  	
  
Support	
  source	
  
Parents/Step-­‐Parents	
  
Siblings	
  

Teacher/guidance	
  counselor	
  
Social	
  worker/therapist/counselor	
  
Religious	
  Leader	
  
Someone	
  else	
  
At	
  least	
  one	
  of	
  these	
  sources?	
  
Yes	
  
Median	
  number	
  of	
  sources	
  
Range	
  

	
  

98.8%	
  (79)	
  
5	
  
0-­‐9	
  

	
  

98.8%	
  (79)	
  
4.5	
  
0-­‐10	
  

	
  

98.8%	
  (79)	
  
5	
  
0-­‐10	
  

	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
	
  
Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  124

Appendix	
  E	
  

Additional	
  Figures
	
  
Figure	
  X.	
  Family	
  history	
  of	
  criminal	
  justice	
  involvement,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  

	
  	
  
Family	
  jail	
  history	
  
No	
  
Yes	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  

	
  	
  

	
  	
  

50.0%	
  (40)	
  
50.0%	
  (40)	
  
18..8%	
  (15)	
  
10.0%	
  (8)	
  
6.3%	
  (5)	
  
10.0%	
  (8)	
  
3.8%	
  (3)	
  
	
  	
  
58.8%	
  (47)	
  
41.3%	
  (33)	
  
13.8%	
  (11)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  
3.8%	
  (3)	
  

50.0%	
  (18)	
  
50.0%	
  (18)	
  
16.7%	
  (6)	
  
8.3%	
  (3)	
  
11.1%	
  (4)	
  
13.9%	
  (5)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

50.0%	
  (22)	
  
50.0%	
  (22)	
  
20.5%	
  (9)	
  
11.4%	
  (5)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  
6.8%	
  (3)	
  
6.8%	
  (3)	
  

58.3%	
  (21)	
  
41.7%	
  (15)	
  
16.7%	
  (6)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  
8.3%	
  (3)	
  

59.1%	
  (26)	
  
40.9%	
  (18)	
  
11.4%	
  (5)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

10.0%	
  (8)	
  
11.3%	
  (9)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  

2.8%	
  (1)	
  
13.9%	
  (5)	
  
-­‐-­‐	
  

15.9%	
  (7)	
  
9.1%	
  (4)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  

	
  	
  

Brother/sister	
  
Mother/father	
  	
  
Uncle/aunt	
  
Other:	
  cousins,	
  mother	
  of	
  kids	
  
Multiple	
  relations	
  
Family	
  gang	
  involvement	
  
No	
  
Yes	
  
Brother/sister	
  
Mother/father	
  	
  
Uncle/aunt	
  
Other:	
  cousins,	
  nephews,	
  grandson,	
  
yes	
  but	
  unsure	
  
Multiple	
  relations	
  
Refused	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  

Figure	
  Y.	
  Gang	
  involvement,	
  by	
  neighborhood	
  
	
  	
  
Gang	
  involvement	
  

Yes	
  
Used	
  to	
  be	
  
Refused	
  

Full	
  Cohort	
  	
  	
  
(n=80)	
  
	
  	
  
21.3%	
  (17)	
  
3.8%	
  (3)	
  
1.3%	
  (1)	
  

Boyle	
  Heights	
  
(n=36)	
  
	
  	
  
30.6%	
  (11)	
  
5.6%	
  (2)	
  
0	
  

South	
  L.A.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
(n=44)	
  
	
  	
  
13.6%	
  (6)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  
2.3%	
  (1)	
  

Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice	
  125

Appendix	
  F	
  

Review	
  of	
  Screening	
  and	
  Assessment	
  Instruments
Assessment	
  

Time	
  to	
  
Administer	
  

Can	
  be	
  Self-­‐	
  
Administered	
  

Multiple	
  
Languages	
  

Computer	
  
or	
  Audio-­‐Based	
  

Men	
  or	
  
Women	
  

Staff	
  Training	
  

Used	
  in	
  
Corrections	
  

Validated	
  

Jurisdictions	
  

Notes	
  

Combined	
  Risk	
  and	
  Needs	
  Assessments	
  
Part of the screening
can be selfadministered, the
interview section is
conducted by
clinician; Wide scope
Separated risk for
violence, recidivism,
failure to appear, and
community failure
BL: False Negative

Addiction Severity
Index (ASI)

60 minutes

No

No – English
Only

No

Both

Clinician
recommended

Yes

Yes

NJ, ND

Correctional Offender
Management Profile
for Alternative
Sanctions (COMPAS)

Varies by
jurisdiction

No

Yes

Yes

Both

Some training
required

Yes

Yes

CA, NY

CJ Comprehensive
Intake

~90 minutes

No

Yes

No

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Global Appraisal of
Individual Needs
(GAIN-I)

Full version:
~120 minutes
Quick version:
15-20 minutes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Both

4 day “trainthe-trainer”

Yes

Validated

CA

Primarily designed
for Juveniles

Level of Service
Inventory-Revised
(LSI-R, LSI-R: SV,
LS/CMI)

LSI-R: SV ~10
LSI-R: ~30-45
LS/CMI: ~45-60

No

Yes

Both

Some training
required

Yes

Yes

WA, MA,
various,
Widely used

BL: False Positive
WH: False Negative

~30-45 minutes

No

No – English
Only

Versions
for men
&
women

Some training
required

Yes

Yes

~10 minutes
(20 items)

No

Offender Profile Index
(OPI)
Psychopath ChecklistRevised (PCL-R)

126	
  	
  	
  	
  	
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Yes

Trained
professional
recommended

Primarily focus on SU

OR

Appendix	
  F	
  

Review	
  of	
  Screening	
  and	
  Assessment	
  Instruments
Assessment	
  

Time	
  to	
  
Administer	
  

Can	
  be	
  Self-­‐	
  
Administered	
  

Multiple	
  
Languages	
  

Computer	
  
or	
  Audio-­‐Based	
  

Men	
  or	
  
Women	
  

Staff	
  Training	
  

both

Trained
professional
recommended

Used	
  in	
  
Corrections	
  

Validated	
  

Jurisdictions	
  

Notes	
  
Reliably predicts the
risk of verbal abuse &
damage to property,
but less reliable for
physical assault

Violent	
  Risk	
  
Historical, Clinical,
Risk Management-20
(HCR-20)

~10 minutes (20
items)

Violence Risk Scale
(VRS)

~10 minutes (26
items)

Violence Risk
Appraisal Guide
(VRAG)
Violent Offender Risk
Scale (VORS)

~10 minutes (12
items)

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

Both

Trained
professional
recommended
Trained
professional
recommended

Yes

Yes

TX, widely
used

Yes

YES

TN

Yes

Mental	
  Health	
  
Millon Clinical
Multiaxial InventoryIII (MCMI-III)

~30-40 minutes

No

Yes, Spanish

Yes, audio

Both

Clinician
recommended

Yes

Yes

CO

Mini International
Neuropsychiatric
Interview (MINI)

~41 minutes

No

Yes

Yes

Both

4 hour
training.
Clinician
recommended

Yes

Yes

LA

~60-90 minutes

No

Yes, Spanish

Yes

Both

Clinician
recommended

Yes

Yes

NC

~1-2 hour

No

Yes, Various

Both

Clinician
recommended

Yes

Yes

MD, NJ

~50-60 minutes

No

Yes, Spanish

No

Both

Clinician
recommended

Yes

Yes

PA

Beck Depression
Inventory (BDI)

~5 minutes

Yes

Yes, Spanish

No

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

NC,WA

Effective in detecting
depression in alcohol
users, limited scope

Brief Jail Based Mental
Health Screen

~5 minutes

Yes

Yes

Not sure

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

Various

Low reliability for
women

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality
Inventory (MMPI-2)
Structured Clinic
Interview for DSM-IV
Personality
Assessment Inventory
(PAI)

Brief	
  mental	
  health	
  

127	
  	
  	
  	
  	
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Appendix	
  F	
  

Review	
  of	
  Screening	
  and	
  Assessment	
  Instruments
Assessment	
  

Time	
  to	
  
Administer	
  

Can	
  be	
  self-­‐	
  
administered	
  

Multiple	
  
Language	
  

Computer	
  
or	
  Audio-­‐Based	
  

Men	
  or	
  
Women	
  

Staff	
  Training	
  

Used	
  in	
  
Corrections	
  

Validated	
  

Jurisdictions	
  

Notes	
  

Brief	
  mental	
  health	
  
Brief Symptom
Inventory (BSI)

~8-10
minutes

Yes

Co-Occurring Disorders
Screening Instrument
for Mental Disorders
(CODSI-MD)

~10 minutes

Yes

Colorado Symptom
Index (CSI)

~5 minutes

Yes

Yes, Spanish

Not sure

No

May react to
defensive responses,
requires 6th grade
reading level

Minimal
training

Yes

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

Not sure

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

Popular in jail
diversion
programs

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

Various

Yes

Yes

Correctional Mental
Health Screen (CMHS)

~5 minutes

Yes

Yes

Not sure

Versions
for men
&
women

Jail Screening
Assessment Tool
(JSAT)

~20-30
minutes

No

Not sure

Not sure

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

K6+ (Kessler-6 plus)
Self-Report Measure
Mental Health

~5 minutes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Both

Minimal
training

~10-15
minutes

Not sure

Yes

Not sure

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

~20-30
minutes

Yes

Yes

Not sure

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

Referral Decision Scale
(RDS)

~5 minutes

Yes

Yes

Not sure

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

Symptom Checklist 90
– Revised (SCL-90-R)

~30 minutes

Yes

Yes, Spanish

Yes, Audio and
Computer

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

Modified MINI
Screening (MMS)
Mental Health
Screening Form III
(MHSF-III)

128	
  	
  	
  	
  	
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Validated for codisorder Separated
version for SMI
Valid for co-disorder

Screen for nonspecific psychiatric
distress; has problems
in detecting SMI
OASAS

Valid for co-disorders
Valid for codisorders, problems
detecting SMI
May not be accurate
for co-disorders; has a
limited scope
Bad track record
identifying depression
in alcoholics
harder to administer

Appendix	
  F	
  

Review	
  of	
  Screening	
  and	
  Assessment	
  Instruments
Time	
  to	
  
Administer	
  

Can	
  be	
  Self-­‐	
  
Administered	
  

Multiple	
  
Languages	
  

Computer	
  
or	
  Audio-­‐Based	
  

Men	
  or	
  
Women	
  

Staff	
  Training	
  

Composite
International
Diagnostic
Interview—Substance
Abuse Module (SAM)

~30-45 minutes

No

Yes,
available in
Spanish

No

Both

Clinician
recommended

Drug Abuse Screening
Test (DAST)

~10 minutes

Yes

Yes,
available in
Spanish

No

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

Drug Use Screening
Inventory- Revised
(DUSI-R)

~20-40 minutes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Both

Some training
required

Yes

Yes

CO

Requires equivalent
of a fifth grade
reading level.

Michigan Alcoholism
Screening Test
(MAST)

~10 minutes

Yes

No

No

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

NC

Focus on Alcohol
addiction

Readiness to Change
Questionnaire (RTCQ)

~10 minutes

Yes

Yes,
available in
Spanish

No

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

Focus on Alcohol
addiction

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

Might generate false
positive; no
examination on SU
history

Assessment	
  

Used	
  in	
  
Corrections	
  

Validated	
  

Jurisdictions	
  

Notes	
  

Substance	
  use	
  

Simple Screening
Instrument for
Substance Abuse (SSISA)
Stages of Change
Readiness and
Treatment Eagerness
Scale (SOCRATES)
Substance Abuse
Subtle Screening
Inventory-2 (SASSI-2)
TCU Drug Screen
(TCUDS)

Yes

Focus on Drug
addiction

~10 minutes

Yes

No

~10 minutes

Yes

Yes,
translated in
Spanish

No

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

VA

~30-45 minutes

Yes

Yes,
available in
Spanish

Yes

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

CO, IN

~10 minutes

Yes

Yes

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

TX,WA,PA

~30 minutes

No

No

Both

Minimal
training

Yes

No

MI

Housing	
  
Individualized
Housing Action Plan

129	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice

No

Administered as an
interview

Appendix	
  F	
  

Review	
  of	
  Screening	
  and	
  Assessment	
  Instruments
Assessment	
  

Time	
  to	
  
Administer	
  

Can	
  be	
  Self-­‐	
  
Administered	
  

Multiple	
  
Languages	
  

Computer	
  
or	
  Audio-­‐Based	
  

Men	
  or	
  
Women	
  

Staff	
  Training	
  

Used	
  in	
  
Corrections	
  

Validated	
  

Jurisdictions	
  

Notes	
  

Education	
  
Comprehensive Adult
Student Assessment
System (CASAS)

30 minutes

BETA III (IQ test)

~ 30 minutes

Cultural Fair Test of
Intelligence (CFTL)
Test of Adult Basic
Education (TABE)
Weschler Adult
Intelligence Scale
(WAIS)
Writing Range
Achievement Test
(WRAT)

KY
Minimal
training

Yes

~ 60 minutes
~ 60-90 minutes

Yes

15-30 minutes

Yes

Yes

WA, PA, NC

IQ test

CO

IQ test

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

CO, NC, PA

Widely used

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

PA, NC

IQ test

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

PA, NC

No

Yes

WI MD

Wide scope

Yes

UK

Including assessment
of education

Employment	
  
Barriers to
Employment Success
Inventory (BESI)
PC Plus Employment
Screening

~20 minutes

Yes

Yes

Both

Minimal
training

~10 minutes

Yes

Yes

Both

Minimal
training

Social	
  Support	
  
Family Adaptability
and Cohesion Scale
(FACES III)
Multidimensional
scale of social support
(MSPSS)
Relational Inquiry
Tool (RIT)
Social Support
Questionnaire (SSQ)

~15 minutes

Yes

~5 minutes

Yes

~20 minutes

Not
Recommended

~20 minutes

Yes

130	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  Vera	
  Institute	
  of	
  Justice

Both
No

Can enter input
in database

Both

Minimal
training

No

Yes

Minimal
training

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

OH, MI,MA

Yes

Yes

Canada

3-4 hours
training
Minimal
training

Widely used in
adolescent
delinquency study
Strength- based,
family-focused

 

 

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