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Ex-Offenders and Housing Donna Harrison Community Placement Coordinator Virginia Department of Corrections 2010 South Hampton Roads Regional Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "Ex-Offenders and Housing Donna Harrison Community Placement Coordinator Virginia Department of Corrections 2010 South Hampton Roads Regional Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ex-Offenders and Housing Donna Harrison Community Placement Coordinator Virginia Department of Corrections 2010 South Hampton Roads Regional Conference on Ending Homelessness March 16, 2010

2 Community Release Unit *Types of Releases *More than 14,000 offenders were released last year (2009). *Growing number of GTRD/no parole law cases being released *Increase in number of homeless offenders being released *Increased need for specialized caseloads

3 Who are the homeless ex- offenders? Females/males Females/males Young adults/elderly Young adults/elderly Healthy/physically disabled Healthy/physically disabled Substance Abusers Substance Abusers Mentally ill Mentally ill Developmentally Disabled Developmentally Disabled Non-violent/violent Non-violent/violent Sex offenders Sex offenders

4 Why are ex-offenders homeless? No family support No family support Financial burden for family Financial burden for family Lack of housing for ex-offenders directly from incarceration Lack of housing for ex-offenders directly from incarceration Lack of alternative housing for violent/sex offenders Lack of alternative housing for violent/sex offenders

5 Why are ex-offenders homeless? Limited financial resources to help pay for cost of housing Limited financial resources to help pay for cost of housing Offenders do not qualify for many housing assistance programs or low income housing Offenders do not qualify for many housing assistance programs or low income housing Limited housing resources for medically and/or mentally disabled offenders Limited housing resources for medically and/or mentally disabled offenders

6 Additional Barriers for medically and/or mentally disabled offenders Decrease in assisted living facilities Decrease in assisted living facilities Shrinking number of Medicaid/AG beds in assisted living facilities Shrinking number of Medicaid/AG beds in assisted living facilities Nursing homes moving towards rehab care from hospital to home; lack of long term beds or long waiting lists Nursing homes moving towards rehab care from hospital to home; lack of long term beds or long waiting lists Criminal history Criminal history

7 Community Placement Coordinators Our goal: To assist institutional and community corrections staff with transition planning for homeless medically and/or mentally disabled offenders. Our primary focus is addressing the unmet needs of disabled offenders who qualify for ALF or nursing home placement.

8 Community Placement Coordinators Ensure identification documents have been requested Ensure durable medical equipment is available at release and special transportation is arranged Monitor and provide technical assistance for pre-release benefit application process (SSI & Medicaid) Make arrangements for screenings (UAI) to be conducted to determine the level of care needed for ALF or NH placement Work with medical and mental health staff, and counselors at the DOC facility to ensure medical/mental health information is relayed, follow-up appointments are made, and release medications provided Secure placement of disabled offenders into ALF or nursing homes

9 What is DOC doing? DOC Reentry Planning policy DOC Reentry Planning policy Institutional Counselor-primary coordinator for reentry planning; other transitional staff assist with planning Institutional Counselor-primary coordinator for reentry planning; other transitional staff assist with planning Release planning begins at reception Release planning begins at reception Pre-release benefit application process Pre-release benefit application process Identity and employment documents process Identity and employment documents process Medical and mental health release preparation Medical and mental health release preparation

10 What is DOC doing? Education/vocational training Treatment programs Special transition housing units Transition planning programs Developing programs that focus on reintegrating families

11 What is DOC doing? ► Separated units in DOC facilities based on special needs populations ► Agreements with other state agencies to apply for identity documents and state and federal benefits pre-release ► Jail re-entry programs ► Specialized caseloads in CRU ► Developing relationships with ALF’s & NH’s for future referrals and collaboration

12 Community Collaboration *Shelter Plus program *Partnering with DSS, CSB, shelters, and private mental health providers *Private housing providers partnerships with Probation & Parole Districts

13 With supportive housing in place….. Communities are safer Communities are safer Decrease in recidivism Decrease in recidivism Better coordination of medical and/or mental health care Better coordination of medical and/or mental health care Decrease in use of emergency services- hospital/ER visits Decrease in use of emergency services- hospital/ER visits

14 Successes/Positives Serve as mentors or leaders in re-entry and transitional housing programs, and substance abuse treatment programs Network with employers Utilize job skills Apply education Give back to the community by being successful, active citizens and maintaining a healthy lifestyle


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