Benefit 1: Long-Term Public Safety
Communities fail to maximize opportunities to enhance long-term public safety when those discharged from jail with high risk and need are not identified and prepared properly for release, supervised, or supported in the community.
Public safety TJC strategies include:
- Implement transition planning using validated screening, assessment, and evidence-based programming and interventions during incarceration to facilitate successful transition to the community when the person is released.
- Provide law enforcement with information on which releases from the county's correctional facility (jail) are on pretrial release, probation, subject to curfews, or have other conditions for which police officers can hold them accountable.
- Transition substance abusers directly to outpatient or residential substance abuse facilities. Every day addicts are sober is a day they will not resort to illegal activities to support their habits and a day they will manage their thoughts and actions to stay out of trouble.
- Provide regular forums to discuss needs of inmates transitioning from jails to communities.
Benefit 2: Cost Effectiveness
The TJC model allows you to use your dollars and your resources in a more cost-effective way by identifying partners for collaboration and allocating scarce resources wisely to best manage offenders based upon the level of risk they pose to your community. Sharing resources can save time and resources—particularly important in times of budgetary constraints. In the long term, collaborative partnerships that reduce recidivism and public health problems add up to substantial savings.
There are many examples of how the TJC model's focus on collaboration can reduce unnecessary costs:
- Partners can conduct joint training and purchase shared resources.
- Partners can coordinate service provision to target interventions for the most appropriate offenders, address service gaps, and avoid service redundancies.
- Community options can be used to intervene with low-risk, high-need people, rather than incarcerating them.
- Efforts for low-risk, low-need individuals can focus on enhancing prosocial engagement within jobs, communities, and relationships, rather than on incarcerating them and actually increasing their likelihood of reoffending.
- Lower recidivism rates can reduce the need for costly jail beds.
Benefit 3: Improved Individual Outcomes
Many individuals in jails have co-occurring needs, so the TJC model is designed to put an infrastructure in place to motivate individuals to effectively address their risk and needs. Such an infrastructure at the agency level benefits recently released individuals who want to take ownership of their transition and recovery plans1.
List of improved individual outcomes:
- Enhanced public safety
- Decreased victimization
- Decreased criminal justice system costs
- Reduced recidivism
- Reduced drug and alcohol use
- Reduced homeless shelter use
- Increased obtained and sustained employment
- Improved physical health
- Improved behavioral and mental health
- Fewer emergency room visits
- Increased access to benefits
- Improved use of community resources and community involvement
- Increased family and community engagement
- Increased use of treatment and services that change offender behavior
Benefit 4: Resource Expansion
“The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” describes the synergy that can occur when agencies adopt the TJC model. Agencies that operate in “silos” that don't interact with outside partners agencies can't compete with agency collaboration that pools knowledge and resources from across agencies and organizations. Jails can play a key role in this relationship, offering a framework that reinforces, regularizes, and rationalizes the notion of working together for the good of society.
Resource expansion benefits:
- Better coordination and pooling of resources
- Coordinated delivery of services and resources to increase continuity and avoid duplication or conflict
- Increased use of services
- Co-location of staff from multiple agencies in one place prevents offenders from having to travel to multiple places in a short period of time.
- Co-location of staff increases continuity of service, consistency of purpose, and delivery of services.
- Case management connectivity
- A shared data system for tracking individuals and their involvement across multiple agencies and measuring their outcomes
- A shared responsibility for case management allows the system to use all resources fully from jail to the community, thus enhancing or enlarging the transition service net.
Jails can play a key role in this relationship, offering a framework that reinforces, regularizes, and rationalizes the notion of working together for the good of society.
1 Robinson, M., and G. White. 1997. “The Role of Civic Organization in the Provision of Social Service: Towards Synergy.” Research for Action 37. Helsinki, Finland: World Institute for Development Economics Research.