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Transitioning From Prison to Community Offender Reentry - Policy


									      Solutions to Poverty Summit:
Reducing Neighborhood Crime Through Positive Interventions

                     Rochelle Perry
                     Policy Field Educator & Organizer
                     Safer Foundation
                     Monroe, LA
                     December 7, 2004
                      The Big Picture
    The recent United States Census Bureau American Community
    Survey statistics on Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance
    Coverage in the United States shows the number of Louisiana
    residents in 2003 living in poverty increased by 42,419.

                     Contributing Factors
         Educational Opportunities
         Employment Opportunities
         Economic Development
         Community Assets
         Family Assets

                         Crime and Incarceration

       2003, U.S. residents age 12 or older experienced approximately
     In
     24 million crimes, according to findings from the National Crime
     Victimization Survey.
        – -- 77% (18.6 million) were property crimes

           –   -- 22% (5.4 million) were crimes of violence

           – -- 1% were personal thefts.
     In 2003, 6.9 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on
      parole at yearend 2003 -- 3.2% of all U.S. adult residents or 1 in
      every 32 adults.
     State and Federal prison authorities had under their jurisdiction
      1,470,045 inmates at yearend 2003: 1,296,986 under State
      jurisdiction and 173,059 under Federal jurisdiction.
     Local jails held or supervised 762,672 persons awaiting trial or
      serving a sentence at midyear 2003. About 71,400 of these were
      persons serving their sentence in the community.

              Louisiana Crime and Incarceration

    Significant Finding:

    • In 1991, the total population of state inmates was just over 20,000.
      The year-end total of 35,823 inmates in 2001 represents a 79.0
      percent increase over the 1991 figure.
    • From 2000 to 2001, the Louisiana state inmate population grew by
      869 offenders (2.5 percent). The growth in 2001 was the smallest
      one-year change in the past ten years.
    • From 1991 to 2001, the population of state offenders in state
      facilities grew by approximately 5,000, while the state offenders in
      local facilities grew by more than 10,000.
    • According to the monthly statistics for adult Probation and Parole
      the total number of offenders under supervision was 61, 718.

    Source: Louisiana Dept of Public Safety and Corrections

        Reducing Neighborhood Crime Through Positive Interventions:
                Addressing Re-entry of people with criminal records

    Re-entry Issues:

       High density reentry communities are also high poverty
        communities, often lacking capacity to meet the needs of returnees.
        Levels of support for returnees are inconsistent statewide.

       The staples (treatment, housing, employment services, family
        reintegration) are not available to all who need them, and the dollars
        that are available are not allocated to ensure successful reentry.
        Legislative and administrative barriers create real issues,
        particularly in terms of housing, as well as employment.

       Statewide system is not in place to allow for reentry planning
        (individual and community) during pre-release. Point of release
        planning and support are very limited.

                   Safer’s Mission and History

        The mission of the Safer Foundation is to reduce recidivism by supporting, through
        a full spectrum of services, the efforts of former offenders to become productive,
        law-abiding members of the community.
         501(c)3 in operation over 30 years, focused exclusively on the criminal justice population

         $19 million annual budget, 300 employees

         Operates in two states with 15 sites and provides technical assistance in several other states

         Diverse Governing Board of Directors (business, research/urban planning, legal, media) Five Advisory
          Boards, including CARRE (Council of Advisors on Reduction of Recidivism through Employment)

         30 Separate Funding Streams/Funding Accountabilities: currently operate programs funded by the
          Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois Department of Human Services, Illinois Department of Public
          Aid, Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic
          Opportunity, Chicago Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, Chicago Department of Human
          Services, Illinois Secretary of State, U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Labor,
          U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Illinois Community College Board

         Provide direct service, as well as public policy and advocacy services. Safer’s competencies include
          employment, residential services, linkages, contract management, technical assistance and research
          based model development and implementation

         Represented by Safer’s President on local and national boards, including the National Institute of
          Corrections, the H.I.R.E. Network, Urban Institute’s Reentry Roundtable, Chicago Communities in
          Schools, Chicago Alliance For Collaborative Effort, Council of State Governments Reentry Policy
          Council, National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, Salvation Army Advisory Council
              Safer: Demand Growth

                           Safer Client Intakes

    9000                                                     8382

              4073        3894




           FY 2000     FY 2001     FY 2002     FY 2003    FY 2004
                        <4.4%       47.9%       20.4%      20.9%

7                    Clients Doubled 2000 - 2004
          Overview of Safer Activities

                        • Post-Release Community Services.
                        • Secured Institution Services.
    Direct Services     • Secured Community Based Services.

                        •   Facilitate the C.A.R.R.E. Network.
                        •   Support Legislative Change.
    Advocacy & Policy   •   Publish Policy Papers.
    Leadership          •   Government Collaborations.
                        •   Policy Think Tank Partnerships.
                        •   State Model Development Contractor

                        • Faith-based and Community-based
                          Organizations in Chicago, via Ready4Work.
    Technical           • Local and Statewide Organizations via
                          emerging Statewide Initiatives.
    Assistance          • National Advisement to Policymakers and

                      Safer’s Direct Services
       Employment – Job Preparedness, Placement, Retention
        Models/Program Designs:
        Job Preparedness Training
        Sheridan (Sheridan Correctional Center; statewide)
        Job Placement, Retention for 180 days

       Education - Literacy, GED and Adult Basic Education
        Models/Program Designs:
        PACE (Cook County Jail)
        Youth Empowerment Program (Chicago)
        ABE/GED Classes – ATCs, Harvey, Rock Island, Davenport

       Supportive Services – Case Management, Linkages, Specialty Programs
        Life Skills
        Linkages with many providers, examples include Adler School of Psychology, Access
        Health Care and Clinic, and Cook County Hospital

       Residential
        Crossroads and North Lawndale ATCs, 550 capacity, including housing, minimum
        security, work release, substance abuse treatment, and education
       Safer: Employer Relationship Building

     Strengthen Current Employer   • Employment specialists are at the forefront of employer
     Relationships                   relationships.
                                   • They provide support, resolve issues, build partnerships.

     Build New Employer            • Employment specialist have individualized marketing
     Relationships                   plans.
                                   • Safer partner with Illinois Department of Commerce and
                                     Economic Opportunity to create an employer brochure on
                                     the benefits of hiring formerly incarcerated people.

     Learn from Employers          • Safer has an Employer Advisory Council that consists of
                                     13 active Safer employers.
                                   • Council participants provide input on how to improve
                                     Safer services and recruit more employers.
                                   • Council is instrumental in continuous improvement
                                     activities like the employer brochure and new job
                                     readiness course.

     Acknowledge Employers         • Safer hosts an Annual Employer Recognition Event.
                                   • Employers and clients participant and share their

             Safer’s Demonstration Initiatives
        Sheridan:
         Begins upon entrance in prison with reentry planning, career development and
         job training and continues to the community with two years of job placement,
         retention, and career advancement; integrated service delivery with Gateway,
         TASC, Parole, vocational and educational providers. Statewide focus.

        Ready4Work:
         Prerelease case management planning and job training, continuing to the
         community with 12 months of faith-based mentoring, employment, and case
         management supports. Focus on Chicago: faith-based capacity building and
         community-based program provision.

        Halfway Back (under design):
         Community-based placement and programming for technical parole violators
         (rather than returning to prison), provides counseling, education, job placement
         and substance abuse treatment while housed in the community, with intensive
         case management support while transitioning out of the center.

        Housing (under design):
         Transitional, independent housing with case management supports and long-
         term housing planning, including financial literacy, credit repair, and job/career
       Safer Foundation: Local Advocate &
              Policy Thought Leader
                        Safer organizes and facilitates a community wide Council for
                        the Reduction of Recidivism through Employment
                        composed of over 50 members, senior executives from
     Safer C.A.R.R.E.   community organizations, business, politics, and academia.
         Network        Efforts include: Expungement, Sealing, Certificate of
                        Rehabilitation and Cook County Ordinance.

                        • The Need for Public Policy Advocacy to Reduce Barriers to
                          Employment for Ex-Offenders.
                        • Reducing Barriers to Employment for Women Ex-Offenders.
      Safer Policy      • Government Personnel Policies Impacting the Hiring of Ex-
      Publications        Offenders.
                        • A Review of the State of Illinois Professional and
                          Occupational Licensure Policies as related to Employment
                          for Ex-Offenders.

                        •   NIC Community Corrections.
                        •   Urban Institute Reentry Roundtable.
         National       •   Council of State Governments Reentry Advisory Team.
                        •   National Hire Network Board.
                        •   Ready4Work Demonstration Site.

    Six New Policies to Promote Ex-Offender
            Employment in Illinois
State of Illinois
•   Public Act 93-0210-Criminal Identification- Expungement
    Allows for the obliteration or destruction of the arrest record,
    fingerprints and “mug shot” of the individual. Expunged cases are
    deleted from the court data bases. Any inquires into the case that
    has been expunged will appear as if the individual has never been
    arrested. Each law enforcement agency expunges or destroys their
    records, therefore, it will appear as if the crime never occurred.
•   Public Act 93-0211-Sealing of Misdemeanor Conviction Records
    To provide for the automatic sealing of arrests and convictions
    records for persons convicted or placed on supervision for a
    misdemeanor or who have been without a conviction after 3 or
    4years in case of a conviction or supervision.
•   Public Act 93-0207-Certificates of Relief from Disabilities and Good
    To reduce restrictions to state professional/ occupational licenses
    and employment for former offenders. For the State to certify
    rehabilitation of former offenders to reduce barriers to employment.

         New Policies to Promote Ex-Offender
         Employment in Illinois
     •   Public Act 93-0208-Transitional Jobs for Ex- Offenders
         Temporary publicly subsidized jobs that combine real work, skill
         development and support services to help participants overcome
         substantial barriers of employment.
     City of Chicago
     •   Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development Transitional Jobs
         Program Servicing Ex-Offenders
         Establish a transitional jobs program for former offenders with felony
         convictions through a grant provided by the City of Chicago to eligible
         city certified contracting agencies. Program is to provide paid work
         experience, on-the-job mentoring, case management ,job seeking skills
         training, job placement assistance, post employment follow-up,
         professional development, and supportive services.
     County of Cook
     • The Cook County Re-Entry Employment Project
         To provide access to employment for former first time offenders with a
         misdemeanor or felony conviction in county government and/or with
         private companies that have contracts with the county.

                    Safer: Outcomes
     In FY04, over 7,300 were served beyond intake by the
     Safer Foundation. During FY04:
     • Safer saw 8.4% of the State’s total population of formerly
       incarcerated and probationers.
     • Over 1,000 individuals benefited from the services available
       at Safer’s two Adult Transition Centers.
     • Over 1,700 clients were placed in employment.
     • 47% were retained at 180 days.
     • 900 served in new program models.
     • 56% of our Basic Skills clients earned their GED, for a total
       of 277 GED acquisitions.

                               Safer’s Success

       Success may be measured by the lives Safer has touched, the families
       that have benefited, the communities that were impacted. One
       objective measure is the recidivism rate of Safer Clients.
                       3 Year Recidivism Comparison (1999)

     IDOC releases                                        48%

     Safer clients receiving
     supportive services                       28%

     Safer clients achieving
     employment                              21%

     Safer clients achieving           19%                       60%
     30 days of employment                                    reduction

                       Closing Thoughts

     There are no quick, cheap, or easy solutions to the complex issues of
     poverty and successful reentry. However, key factors that must be
     addressed include:

     • Living Wage Employment – To meet this prerequisite an offender must
       be drug-free, reside in safe affordable housing, and have appropriate
       employment skills.
     • Stable Social Support – Strong family support and involvement, along
       with positive community engagement is needed for long term stability.
     • Collaboration – It’s crucial that the Department of Corrections, other
       Public Agencies, Private Service Providers, Community
       Organizations, Faith Groups, and Families work and plan together.


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