Presentation on theme: "National Best Practices for Prisoner Reentry Effective Transition Planning: Reducing Reentry Barriers and Establishing System and Returning Citizen Accountability."— Presentation transcript:
National Best Practices for Prisoner Reentry Effective Transition Planning: Reducing Reentry Barriers and Establishing System and Returning Citizen Accountability Dennis Schrantz The Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency, Center for Justice Innovation The Carolina Justice Policy Center Conference Chapel Hill, NC - December 16, 2013 December 17, 2014
1. Effective Transition Planning for Local Reentry Councils (LRCs): Where Does the Research Lead Us? Evidence Based Practices – What works. 2. Application of Best Practices on the Ground: The Reentry Process
Transition Plans are concise guides for returning citizens and justice agency staff that integrate returning citizens' plans for returning to their communities by spanning the four steps in the transition process as well as agency boundaries. The Transition Plan reduces uncertainty in terms of actions and activities - and their timing - that need to be taken by returning citizens, prison staff, the releasing authority, community supervision staff, and partnering agencies. Increased certainty will motivate returning citizens to participate in the transition process and to become engaged in fulfilling their responsibilities and will ensure that all parties are held accountable for timely performance of their respective responsibilities
Effective Transition Plans : 1. Center on the returning citizen’s success in every interaction, with the Transition manager as a COACH, guiding skill development and pro-social activities. 2. Are driven by assessed risk – how best to manage it; and assessed criminogenic needs – how to address them and when. 3. Are collaborative with prison officials, returning citizens, their families, supervision authorities and human service providers.
Effective Transition Plans: 3. Prioritize returning citizen’s goals and include attainable milestones and are built for success. 4. Include post-release supervision requirements. 5. Are responsive and flexible to adjust to accomplishments and set backs.
Prison-based assessments of risks, needs, strengths, and environment. Transition Planning starts in prison with a comprehensive risk/need assessment that drives the Transition Planning Process. The goal is to understand personal, situational, and historical/contextual factors behind each returning citizen’s criminal justice involvement, their risks, needs and strengths in order to mediate and manage risk and become successful in the community. The assessment should be validated and measure risk and criminogenic need but should also include multiple screenings and further assessment, as indicated, for a full range of personal history and needs.
Prison-based assessments of risks, needs, strengths, and environment. The Transition Plan is built in prison to manage risk and begin to address the returning citizen’s needs for community success, including but not limited to health, mental health, family relationships, employment, and housing stability. The best Transition Plans are highly specific and include the schedule for activities. Reassessment is needed throughout the entire reentry process. Reassessment allows the team to uncover new or evolving needs and to track changes in dynamic criminogenic needs following delivery of treatment, programming, and other interventions.
Form, participate in, and lead Transition Management Teams that work collaboratively. Throughout all three phases of reentry, transition planning and management activities are conducted by an interdisciplinary team called a Transition Management Team. The composition of the success team and the respective roles of its members will change over time, as the returning citizen completes goals, identifies new needs, and transitions through the three phases.
Form, participate in, and lead Transition management teams that work collaboratively. Generally, the team should include the returning citizen, prison staff, community supervision staff, facility and community-based service providers, and family members and/or pro-social supports. During the institutional phase prison staff may lead the team. During the reentry and community supervision phase parole officers may lead the team. During the reintegration phase human services agencies or community services providers may lead the team.
Develop and implement with returning citizens, human service agencies and justice officials a Transition plan directed specifically to the level of risk and criminogenic needs. Provide or facilitate access to programs and interventions to address risk and needs. In addition to the role members of the success team will play in delivering direct services, including assessment, treatment, and motivational enhancement, at various points, the success team will also fill a referral and brokerage role. The two complimentary roles ensure that returning citizens have access to treatment, programming, and interventions that will effectively address risk and needs. Interventions should be consistent with the principles of evidence-based practice.
Review progress and adapt plans accordingly over time, including monitoring conditions of supervision and responding appropriately to technical and criminal violations. When indications of sliding back toward old problematic behavior patterns, a swift response to identify the problem and adjust the plan accordingly is needed. Conversely, faster than expected progress, compliance with expectations and other achievements should be acknowledged and rewarded to enhance motivation. The Transition Management Team’s focus on monitoring and adjusting the transition plan is especially important in the period immediately following return to the community when anxiety and stress require an adjustment period.
Review progress and adapt plans accordingly over time, including monitoring conditions of supervision and responding appropriately to both technical and criminal violations. It is important that community supervision officers have the skills to distinguish between the behaviors that are affiliated with a risk of future transgression and behaviors that are more likely associated with the adjustment. The success team should be equipped with a full range of responses, including graduated levels of sanctions, that can be used to facilitate compliance and encourage success.
Fully involve returning citizens in the transition process, help them change, making efforts to enhance their motivation. By engaging returning citizens in the process, transition planning is an intervention on its own, complimenting and enhancing the outcomes of other interventions. The evidence shows that returning citizens are more likely sustain desired behavior changes if the goals and process for achieving the goals are meaningful for them. The returning citizen must thus be a central member of the Transition Management Team. It is not enough just to ask for feedback from time to time. The team should seek to build a trusting relationship with the returning citizen through regular and consistent contact, including both formal meetings and less formal check-ins, such as a conversation during meal time at the facility or a home visit in the community.
Fully involve returning citizens in the transition process, help them change, making efforts to enhance their motivation. Another, more direct means to enhance motivation, is for members of the success team to use communication styles and techniques designed to enhance motivation, such as Motivational Interviewing, in all of their interactions with the returning citizen. Rather than impose goals and demand solutions, these approaches employ empathy and specific communication skills to direct the returning citizen through his or her own exploration of the need for change and identification of goals and solutions.
Every interaction with a returning citizen is an opportunity to advance the change process. The four main goals of returning citizen interaction, and what to expect, include: Engagement To assist the returning citizen in taking ownership for his/her supervision Transition plan. Ownership derives from the: Returning citizen’s understanding of the rules of supervision (criteria for success, rewards, the behaviors that will end in revocation, etc.), Returning citizen’s understanding of what is needed for personal change and how to “flip the script” on his or her cycle of involvement in the justice system. Early Change To assist the returning citizen in addressing dynamic criminogenic factors that is meaningful to both the returning citizen and the criminal justice system. As part of the change process, all individuals have certain interests and needs that can be used to motivate them to commit to a change process.
Sustained Change The goal of supervision is to transfer external controls from the formal government institutions to informal social controls (e.g. parents, peers, employers, etc.). This is best achieved by assisting returning citizens in the change process, to help them stabilize in the community, and to utilize informal social controls to maintain the changes. Part of the supervision process should be to identify those natural support systems that the returning citizen has or to develop these natural support systems to be a guardian for the returning citizen to provide the support mechanisms. Reinforcers As part of each contact, the goal is to reinforce the change process. The transition team should use tools to reward positive gains and to address negative progress. The formal process of swift and certain responses provides the protective process for the returning citizen that shows that the supervision staff recognizes small incremental steps that facilitate change and sustain change.
Expect Relapse and “slippage” Allow for renewed motivation and participation as part of the learning and change process
What are the details of prison-based transition development? What are the results of the assessment process in terms of risk level and the returning citizen’s needs? What elements of the prison based Transition Plan have been completed driven by the assessed risk and need? What were the returning citizen’s achievements in programming and work assignments? What are the returning citizen’s goals in life areas and how were they addressed in prison? What remains to be addressed that is critical for the community- based Transition Plan for release? Is their an opportunity – in person or virtual - prerelease meeting with the returning citizen, prison staff, and the Transition Team?
What is the returning citizen’s home plan? Is there a home plan or does it have to be developed? If it already exists, how sustainable is it? If in public or supported housing, how is it financed and for how long? What weaknesses exist in the home plan, for example, if living with relatives are they justice involved? Alcohol and/or drug involved? Employed? How frequently in the two years prior to incarceration did the returning citizen move? What are the details of those moves – why? To where?
What are the service priorities and timing of those priorities? What are options for housing if a home plan doesn’t exist? Does the returning citizen meet eligibility criteria for supportive or public housing? How will the returning citizen’s transportation be handled? What is the level of need and timing for substance abuse treatment? Mental health treatment? Other services? Which services are in place and which services have not yet been arranged?
What are the details about post-release supervision? Who is managing post-release supervision? What is the timing of the release compared to the first appointment with the supervising agency? What are the supervision conditions and requirements? How can the LRC assist the returning citizen in meeting those conditions and requirements? To what extent has the post-release supervision agency been trained/educated about the role of the LRC and the transition planning process?
What are the details about post-release supervision (cont’d) If post-release supervision is not part of the returning citizen’s release plan, does the returning citizen’s level of risk pose any issues? If the returning citizen has been in prison prior to this term, what is their history of post-release supervision? Progress? Violations? What are the law enforcement resources available to the LRC and the Intermediary if such resources are required?
Community engagement should begin the moment the returning citizen is released from prison. The LRC needs to know: How do we determine what programs to which to refer, based on risk and need ? What are the specific needs of the population of citizens returning? What types of treatment/services should we form relationships with? Are these programs using proven treatment models? Can we assess their use of evidence-based practices? When can post-release contact occur so that it is at the soonest possible time after release. How is risk and needs updated and when? By whom? What needs assessment tool(s) does the intermediary utilize for substance abuse, mental health, job skills,