Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Evaluating Adult Offender Reentry Demonstration Projects

Through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, NIJ has made available the following final technical reports (these reports are the result of an NIJ-funded project but were not published by the U.S. Department of Justice): 

These reports are from a series from the Cross-Site Evaluation of the Bureau of Justice Assistance FY 2011 Second Chance Act (SCA) Adult Offender Reentry Demonstration Projects (AORDPs). The purpose of these reports is to describe evidence-based screening and assessment and case management among seven grantees who implemented adult reentry programs using SCA funding.
The Second Chance Act (SCA) was signed into law in 2008 with the goal of increasing reentry programming for individuals released from state prisons and local jails.

A majority of stakeholders reported that their agency prioritized the use of risk/needs assessment results to inform reentry and discharge planning and to guide program referrals and service delivery. Routine risk/needs reassessment to update or modify individual service plans also garnered solid support across AORDP survey respondents.

All seven project sites used risk/needs assessment tools to identify eligible participants, inform reentry/transition planning, and guide service delivery. Five of the seven AORDP sites had criminogenic risk/needs assessment practices in place before receiving SCA funding. 

Each project addressed the challenges facing formerly incarcerated individuals upon their return to the community, including education and literacy programs, job placement, housing services, and mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Additionally, all seven sites provided case management for participants. Three used the same case managers for pre- and post-release case management. The remaining four grantees provide some form of institution-based case management combined with community-based case managers.

The research found that the each site’s case management strategy included some form of reentry/transition plan to guide services and programming and are generally are informed by risks/needs assessment. Most of the AORDP grantees also used a common or shared case plan that follows the client from the facility into the community; none, however, used a universal case plan across providers and partners. Several sites also either developed or leveraged existing automated databases to record client needs and services, measure participants’ and program progress, and share information across partners.

The findings from these studies indicate stakeholder support for the use of risk/needs assessments to guide service delivery and to inform reentry planning, suggesting a strong alignment with EBPs for reentry. The research also supports reentry case planning and regular client-level information sharing, including the exchange of reentry/transition plans among partners.

These reports were authored by Shelli B. Rossman, Janeen Buck Willison, Christine Lindquist, Jennifer Hardison Walters, and Pamela K. Lattimore

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