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Getting Out and Staying Out: Improving Offender ReEntry Outcomes

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Presentation on theme: "Getting Out and Staying Out: Improving Offender ReEntry Outcomes"— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting Out and Staying Out: Improving Offender ReEntry Outcomes
S. Doug Lemon, Psy.D.

2 The views expressed in this presentation do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. government, the U.S. Department of Justice, or the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

3 overview Next, let’s get acquainted

4 Why focus on reentry?

5 Benefits of reentry programming
Save time and money information sharing collaboration reduced duplication of effort Reduce the likelihood that a released inmate will commit a new crime Reduced recidivism increases public safety Addresses community issues such as homelessness, addiction, public health, and mental illness

2 million people incarcerated in the U.S. One out of every 100 Americans 1 of every 31 Americans is incarcerated, on probation, or on parole Source: The Pew Center


Local governments spent $109 million on criminal justice in 2006 (U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics) States spend $52 billion annually, mostly on prisons (The PEW Center) 2011 budget request for federal prisons, probation, detention, and courthouse security was $9 billion (U.S. Department of Justice)

9 The scope of the problem
600,000 released from prison each year (Hughes and Wilson, 2003) After 3 years, 43% return (The PEW center, 2011) 95% return to our communities.


11 Reentry and reducing recidivism
We need to be focusing on doing what works to reduce recidivism and to prepare offenders for a successful reentry into society.

12 The current situation “ those who violate the law and victimize others must be held accountable…for the long-term protection of the community, sentencing and corrections should be using the lessons of research to shape practices that reduce offenders’ likelihood of committing crimes and victimizing their fellow citizens in the future…in light of the harsh fiscal realities of the day, both goals must be pursued through the wise use of public resources.” (Nat’l Institute of Corrections)

13 What research tells us about offenders
68 percent abusing or dependent on alcohol or drugs 44 percent without high school diploma or GED 30 percent unemployed prior to arrest 16 percent suffer from serious mental health problems 44 percent homeless in year prior to arrest 72 percent of mentally ill inmates have a substance abuse problem (Bureau of Justice Statistics) 18% of gen. pop don’t have GED/diploma

14 exercise Take a look at the last sheet of your handouts. Look at it for 10 seconds, then turn it over.

15 If 10 sec. can impact how we see things, how much can a lifetime of experience affect us? We take in the same info, but we interpret them differently.


17 The offender’s worldview
Cognitive Map

18 If I’m an inmate, and based on my experience in Chicago I have this map, it won’t work well here in Orlando


20 The offender’s worldview
Changing behavior won’t work Changing attitude won’t work Must change the map!


22 Exercise FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF MANY EXPERTS. Read the card. Count how many F’s you see. Who saw 1, 2, 3, etc. F’s represent lost opportunities.



25 Change is threatening Resistance Denial

26 D on’t E ven N otice I A m L ying
denial D on’t E ven N otice I A m L ying

27 Feel worthless World is Hostile Becomes Hostile Hopeless

28 comfort zones

29 Our worldview What do we really think about the offenders we work with? What do we believe about their ability to change? What do we believe about our ability to help them change? “I’ve heard it all before” We fall into ruts, we get burned out.

30 Our worldview If we believe inmates are just a bunch of losers who can’t change, are we really going to work to reach out to them? Why don’t we quit, if we don’t believe anything works?

31 Our typical interventions
We can only control our part of the equation We stoke offender resistance with our negative attitudes Their comfort zone includes arguing about their belief systems

32 Effective communication with offenders
Listen Show RESPECT Firm, Fair, Consistent Hold them accountable Own what you teach Crawl into their minds Create environment where offender can be real with you, and you with him/her

33 Effective communication with offenders
In short, be more of an Andy Griffith than a Barney Fife

34 Effective communication with offenders
Offender isn’t challenged this way in his usual social network. You may be the only person challenging his/her belief system in a nonthreatening way.

35 Effective communication with offenders
Every man is my superior, in that I may learn from him. -Thomas Carlyle Offenders can teach you a lot about offenders, if you let them.

36 Effective communication with offenders
“I gave it my best” Our best should be better a year from now.

37 What works? Evidence-based practice Best practices

38 What works Principles of evidence-based correctional practice:
Objectively assess criminogenic needs/risks Enhance intrinsic motivation Target higher-risk offenders Address greatest criminogenic needs Use cognitive-behavioral interventions Determine dosage/intensity of services

39 What works Target behaviors that reduce crime
Be responsive to the offender’s style Not a one size fits all program

Instruments may include: LSI-R LS-RNR LSCMI COMPAS Specialized instruments

41 Lsi-r Identifies problem areas Predicts recidivism risk 54 items
Completed by trained assessors Interview offenders Attempt to verify information with records

42 Criminogenic risk/needs factors
History of antisocial behavior/thinking Antisocial associates/family Lack of contact with prosocial others Substance abuse Weak socialization Egocentric/lack of empathy Impulsivity Poor problem-solving and coping skills

43 Criminogenic risk/needs factors
Lack of achievement in “legit” society Not involved in prosocial leisure activities

44 What works Amount of CBT intervention required: High-risk offenders: 300+ hrs. Moderate-risk: 200+ hrs. Low-risk: 100 hrs.

45 What works During the first few months post-release:
40-70% of offenders’ time should be structured (Bourgon and Armstrong, 2006; Latessa, 2004; Gendreau and Goggin, 1995)

46 Programs that work (Latessa, university of cincinnati)
Are based on research & sound theory Have leadership Assess offenders using risk &need assessment instruments Target crime producing behaviors Use effective treatment models Vary treatment & services based on risk, needs, & responsivity factors Disrupt criminal networks Have qualified, experienced, dedicated & educated staff Provide aftercare Evaluate what they do Are stable & have sufficient resources &support

47 What works A recent meta-analysis found: CBT reduced recidivism by 25%
Some programs reduced it by 50%

48 What works Best results : 2+ sessions/week Staff trained in CBT
Implementation monitored Higher risk offenders CBT combined with other services *Landenberger, N, and M. Lispey (2005). The Positive Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Programs for Offenders: A Meta Analysis of Factors Associated with Effective Treatment. Journal of Experimental Criminology.

49 What works? Reach in-reach out
Community involvement Assist with training offenders Serve as mentors Invite successful ex-felons to speak/serve as mentors/role models/AA or NA sponsors Conduct a job fair for newly released offenders Identify community service opportunities to assist with establishing real work experience

50 What works? Community involvement: Establish a clothes closet
Organize a Health Fair, Dress for Success Fair Provide tutoring Sponsor one newly released offender for a year Organize transportation to critical appointments Write letters to or visit inmates


52 Drug abuse treatment Residential Inmates live in a program unit
Incentives such as money or reduced sentence Employ therapeutic community model Treatment continues in the community

53 Drug courts Divert nonviolent substance abusers from prison/jail to treatment Usually last 18 months Involve a team approach Team meets with offender biweekly for first several months Random UA’s at least twice/week for first several months

54 Drug courts Provide progressive sanctions and contingent rewards
Involve expedited case processing Reduce recidivism by 8-26% Can greatly reduce juvenile substance abuse

55 Community supervision services
Case plans stem from risk/need assessments Use graduated responses Structured, swift, incremental responses Staff receive training in effective offender management techniques Focus on improving relationship between PO and offender

56 2-year recidivism results-canadian study
Bonta, et al, (2010) The Strategic Training Initiative in Community Supervision: Risk-Need-Responsivity in the Real World. Public Safety Canada. 2-year recidivism results-canadian study

57 What doesn’t work (Latessa, university of cincinnati)
Drug prevention focused on fear/emotional appeals Shaming Drug education Non-directive approaches Bibliotherapy Psychoanalytic approaches Self-Help programs Vague unstructured rehabilitation programs Medical model Improving self-esteem “Punishing smarter” (boot camps, scared straight, etc.)

58 What doesn’t work Providing high-intensity services to low-risk offenders increases their risk of recidivism More contact with high-risk offenders Disrupts their prosocial networks


60 How not to communicate with offenders
Some adopt an abrasive style to make it clear they won’t be taken advantage of. Who are they trying to convince? This is the offender’s comfort zone-they will just become further entrenched.

61 How not to communicate with offenders
Some believe confrontation is the only thing offenders understand.

62 How not to communicate with offenders
Some believe offenders need to know how serious their offenses are, thus justifying disrespect on the part of the officer. I’ve tried all these ineffective styles. They usually don’t work.

63 Motivational interviewing
Goal: To increase client’s intrinsic motivation to change through the exploration and resolution of ambivalence. Goal: Strengthen commitment to change.

64 Motivational interviewing
Four Parts: Expressing empathy Developing discrepancy Rolling with resistance Supporting self-efficacy

65 Motivational interviewing
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is well-researched. Scores of studies with substance abuse and health problems A few with offenders: Harper & Hardy, 2000 Clark et al, 2006 Walters et al, 2007 Scott, 2008 McMurran, 2009

66 Motivational interviewing
Assess offender’s readiness for change. Readiness is not all-or-none Where is he/she on the continuum?

67 Motivational interviewing
“If you decided to do this, how could it make things better for you?”

68 Motivational interviewing
For more details, see : Motivating Offenders to Change, NIC (2007) There are some examples of MI questions and statements at the end of your handouts.



71 During incarceration

72 During incarceration The time doesn’t change people
It can have a motivating effect, though Incentives increase program participation

73 During incarceration Inside Out, a SMART Recovery program
Thinking for a Change (FREE!) Residential drug programs Residential change programs

74 During incarceration Community involvement is key

75 During incarceration Job Fairs Reach Out to community
Precede by courses in resume writing, job interviewing, mock interviews Involve probation List of companies who hire former inmates

76 During incarceration Can gain work experience Apprenticeship programs
College courses Computer skills

77 THE FRANKLIN REALITY MODEL -Hyrum Smith, Franklin Covey

78 The reality model Will the results of my behavior meet my needs over time?

79 The reality model Seven Natural Laws
If the results of your behavior do not meet your needs, there is an incorrect belief on your belief window. If your self-worth is dependent on anything external, you are in big trouble. Results take time to measure. When the results of your behavior do meet your needs over time, you experience inner peace. Growth is the process of changing beliefs on your belief window. The mind naturally seeks harmony when presented with two opposing beliefs. Addiction is the result of deep and unmet needs.

80 The reality model There are “Six Steps to Follow” in the Franklin Reality Model: Identify the behavior pattern. Identify alternative beliefs. Identify possible beliefs driving the behavior. Predict future behavior based on the new beliefs (principles). Predict future behavior based on those beliefs. Compare steps 3 and 5.

81 Community supervision

82 Community supervision
Much less expensive and more effective.

83 Comm based programs have a bigger impact on reducing recidivism-and they are cost-effective
Community Based versus Institutional Programs: Results from Meta-Analyses Source: Gendreau, P., French, S.A., and A. Taylor (2002). What Works (What Doesn’t Work) Revised 2002.

84 Community supervision
“Swift and Certain” consequences Immediate Brief Certain Graduated, progressive consequences

85 Community supervision
Encourage employers to use the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. Tax credit for employers New hire must be felon convicted by federal or any state court. New hire must be within a year of conviction or release. Targets low-income new hires

86 Community supervision
Encourage employers to utilize the Federal Bonding Program Indemnifies employers for lost money or property due to dishonest acts of employees Free of charge No deductible 1% of bonds issued ever resulted in a claim

87 Community supervision
“I wasn’t realizing that my goal was to keep people out of prison, not to make sure that they were model citizens.”

88 Community supervision
Quality steady employment is a strong protective factor (Shover 1996; Sampson and Laub 1993; Uggen 2000) Barriers to Employment: Unemployment rate 10%+ Rate for blacks is 19% (Economic Policy Institute, 2011)

89 Community supervision
2003 Study by Deva Pager of Northwestern U. Criminal record decreases chance of callback by 50% Race itself was a significant factor (34 vs.14) Criminal record was a stronger negative factor for blacks (17 vs. 5)

90 Community supervision

91 What do you see here?

92 Sex offenders 93% of child sexual abuse victims knew their perpetrator (35% perps are family members) 64% adult female victims knew their perpetrator intimately Represent 10-30% of prison population 10-20 thousand are released annually 5% arrested for another sex crime in 3 years Recidivism rate lower than rate for all offenders combined Family/relationship element is huge. Recidivism represents only KNOWN sex crimes

93 Sex offenders Face a number of barriers: Public stigma
S.O.-specific laws Problems with housing Problems with employment Often serve longer sentences

94 Sex offenders Assessment Instruments: RRASOR STATIC-99 SORAG MnSOST-R
VASOR ABEL Visual Reaction Time (VRT)-newly approved plethysmograph

95 Sex offenders Demand exceeds capacity in prison treatment programs
Are not all the same It is our duty to protect them from abuse PREA

96 Sex offenders in prison
High-risk offenders get first priority Tailor programs to level of risk Offer treatment closer to release All staff should be trained Should be subject to enhanced monitoring and restricting access to provocative materials Discretionary release dates provide incentive to program Eg-mailroom staff, officers performing shakedowns, watch for congregating

97 Sex offenders on supervision
Link releasing offenders with treatment providers for continuity of care Continue assessments begun in prison Develop and train community volunteers for community support Determine if there is a need for family therapy Anticipate likely housing/employment problems

98 Mentally ill offenders
Intake screening is vitally important Medical/psychiatric involvement crucial Track med compliance and communicate Staff should be trained Have clear suicide prevention policies Ensure prison mental health staff have autonomy with suicidal offenders Not enough hospital beds for those in need

99 Mentally ill offenders
Coping skills training Co-occurring disorders See mentally ill in chronic care clinics Utilize advanced students when possible Decisions about CCC/RRC, parole, camp status DBT

100 Mentally ill offenders
Ongoing collaboration with probation a must Look for specialized CCC Ensure continuity of community-based MH tx More frequent meetings with P.O. Eg of MH RRC in South Dakota

101 Young offenders Focus on education
Family is a huge part of the equation Substance abuse High degree of victimization

102 Young offenders Youth versions of commonly used risk assessment tools have been shown to predict criminal behavior. (Olver, 2009)

103 Young offenders Suggested programs: Seeds of Success On Solid Ground
Thinking for a Change DBT Cage Your Rage (youth version)

104 Young offenders Connecticut DOC-Manson Youth Institution
Youth approved for early release were targeted by peers Started 4-6 week re-entry unit Incidents sabotaging youth early release are almost non-existent now Community partners assist with seminars Pre-scheduled services for releasing youth

105 Reentry Resources Second Chance Act National Reentry Resource Center ( TJC project website ( Life After Lockup: Improving Reentry from Jail to the Community The Jail Administrator’s Toolkit for Reentry TJC Implementation Toolkit (web-based,

106 Reentry resources Jail Reentry Roundtable ( The National GAINS Center ( Community Oriented Correctional Health Services ( Alabama CPR Network (

107 Reentry resources U.S. Dept. of Justice ( Federal Bonding Program ( Work Opportunity Tax Credit ( National Institute of Corrections ( National Institute of Justice ( Harvard University Government Innovator’s Network ( National HIRE Network ( Office of Justice Programs (


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