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Section 1: Identifying Your Present Interventions

This section will help you first identify the current jail and community transition intervention programs currently in place and then determine gaps in service. This is a starting point in any intervention process and is useful for the following reasons:

  • Helps you to understand service availability and accessibility
  • Helps you identify gaps in services
  • Assists in evaluation of new resources and/or approaches
  • Improves responsiveness
  • Improves system continuity
  • Helps jails and service providers coordinate their interventions
  • Gives you information to develop resource guides

Intervention examples

  1. Resource information and referrals
  2. Courses
  3. Training sessions
  4. Formal services, treatment, and training
  5. Case management
  6. Mentoring
  7. Supervision

You will want to briefly describe the type of interventions available, the client and staff type, and when and where the intervention takes place.

Next, use other sources to add to your inventory. These can include the following:

  • Health and human service resource guides are available in most cities and counties. The United Way or government agencies publish these guides, which often focus on a particular need, such as homelessness, HIV/AIDS, or job training.
  • Partnering agencies and stakeholders, discussed in the Collaborative Structure and Joint Ownership module, have a wealth of knowledge on available services.
  • The presently and formerly incarcerated are often willing to assist in understanding system efficiencies and gaps in service. Consider convening several focus groups of recently released individuals and others released some time ago, and ask them directly which resources were helpful and which were not.

Do not assume that all the information you receive is accurate and current.

  • All services must be contacted before being listed in your final inventory and should be contacted every six months to verify the information.
  • Some service providers will tell you they provide multiple programs, when the reality is they mainly refer clients to other services.
  • Make sure to question providers on the specific programs they offer and the eligibility requirements.
  • Services not meeting the needs of the inmates or not consistent with known best practices should be deleted from the database and alternative agencies sought.

The following are categories that might be included in a community inventory:

Service Provider Database Categories

Agency name Appointment required
Program name Referral required
Services provided Language(s) spoken
Address Eligibility requirements
Contact person Program exclusions
City, state, zip code Space availability
Neighborhood or geographic zone Documents required
Phone number Fee structure
E-mail address Other information
Web site address Date agency first contacted
Fax number Date agency information last updated
Hours and days of operation Comments
Weekend days and hours  

Finally, develop a database that inventories programs in the jail and the community to better manage available services and help you identify any gaps or lack of continuation of services from the jail to the community.

Provided here is a template of a jail- (J) and community-based (CB) service and treatment inventory table. You will want to revise the template based on the service availability in your community. However, the 29 interventions listed are the most common services offered and found useful by those transitioning from jail to the community.

Conducting a case flow analysis

Many communities conduct a case flow analysis to take an inventory of the resources available and evaluate the resource gaps in their community. Such an analysis involves community agencies; corrections, pretrial services, probation, the courts, parole; social work agencies; and the incarcerated themselves in the cataloging of available information and data and asks them to identify and fill in any community resource gaps. Allow all participants to include what information, data, and/or community resource they would find valuable to help transition people from jail to the community that does not presently exist.

The process of conducting a case flow analysis is as follows:

  • Identify who will be responsible for developing the case flow analysis.
  • Develop a standardized template for all partners to fill out.
  • Make it available electronically to facilitate dissemination and easy updating.
  • Solicit partner input during the meeting and/or through a survey.
  • Emphasize the importance of partners being open about what resources they do and do not have.
  • Develop the case flow report.
  • Use the information to identify gaps in service and/or resources and make recommendations.

The following questions and TJC Pre-Implementation Case Flow Process templates attached to them are designed to help you start this process. We include four blank Case Flow Process templates for your own analysis. No two jail systems are alike, so make sure to modify the questions and templates to fit your needs.

Under each template, we also provide an example from one county to help you understand how the tables might be completed. Remember that these examples are pre-TJC implementation, so the goal here is to observe how one county filled in its information and the resource gaps this particular county is facing.

We hope this promotes more discussion in your own county. For example, in the Case Flow Process In-Jail Services and Treatment Programs County Example, the county acknowledges that no anger management programs are offered because of a lack of volunteers. This is the type of detail you will want to include in your own analysis to help the reentry implementation committee understand the present process, how individuals are presently flowing through the system, and ways to improve the process.

1. Screening and Assessment Key Questions

  • What screens and assessment instruments are used?
  • What type of individuals are screened and assessed?
  • What percentage of the total population is screened and assessed?
  • At what point in the process is this done?
  • How will screening and assessment help to determine interventions?
  • Is treatment based on the risk and needs level identified from assessment instruments?
  • Who is responsible for completing the assessments?
  • Is assessment information shared with staff in the facility?
  • Is assessment information shared with community agencies and other system stakeholders?
  • How are assessment data stored?
  • Are assessment data analyzed?
  • Who makes decisions based upon data analysis?
  • What gaps do you see in the present system?
  • What are the strengths of the current system?

Click here for Case Flow Process: Screening and Assessment Template and County Example

2. Case Management Services Key Questions

  • How does an inmate “enter” the case management system?
  • Does screening and/or assessment contribute to case management?
  • What are the key intervention decision points as the inmate moves through your jail-to-community system?
  • How is an inmate's movement in and through the system (case flow) monitored or tracked? Is this information entered into a database?
  • How do court-ordered services match with practices associated with needs-driven targeted case planning?
  • How is an inmate's movement/compliance with court-ordered services tracked?
  • What information are providers expected to report? How often?
  • How are referrals and utilization captured in the system?
  • How is this process coordinated with community providers?
  • Have interventions assigned routinely by the courts, community corrections, or the jail as part of a routine case management practice or policy been determined to be evidence-based?
  • What are the gaps in the present system?
  • What are the strengths of the current system?

Click here for Case Flow Process Case Management Services Template and County Example

3.  In-Jail Treatment and Transitional Programs Key Questions

  • How is movement into programs determined?
  • Is there good coordination between the jail and community provider staff?
  • Do in-jail programs match community-based programs on approach or curriculum?
  • Have in-jail and community programs been evaluated rigorously and deemed as evidence-based?
  • What is the referral process?
  • Are inmates linked to the same providers they worked within the jail as they reenter the community?
  • Is there a central classification system that considers reentry case flow?
  • Is risk to re-offend information used in concert with objective jail classification information? 
  • Does jail classification prevent groups of inmates from utilizing transition services? 
  • How are inmates solicited to participate in programs?
  • How is movement into programs determined?
  • Does screening and/or assessment drive the program/intervention assignment?
  • Is a standardized means or method utilized to identify or solicit offenders equally, regardless of sanction, placement, or any other factor?
  • What is the primary focus and goal of transition programs?
  • Is programmatic information provided to community providers? How?
  • How are data collected on this process?
  • What are the major gaps in this system at present?
  • What are the strengths of the current system?
  • How is success measured?

Click here for Case Flow Process In-Jail Services and Treatment Programs Template and County Example

4. Community-Based Treatment Key Questions

  • When inmates transition to the community, are they linked to the same providers they saw in the jail?
  • For individuals needing multiple services, who coordinates services across providers?
  • Do programmatic initiatives within the community match similar initiatives offered within the jail?
  • Is there good coordination between jail and community management and staff?
  • Does jail treatment or transition staff remain engaged in the process and “reach out” to community providers to assist community programs and enhance program continuity?
  • What is the referral process from jail to the community provider?
  • Does programmatic information flow to and from community providers?
  • Are universal case plans available and/or shared?  
  • How are data collected on this process?
  • What are the major gaps in providing transitional service from the jail to the community at present?
  • What are the strengths of the current interagency collaborations?

Click here for the Case Flow Process Community-Based Treatment Template

Once the case flow process is completed, have the reentry council review the case-flow tables to discuss how individuals are presently flowing through the system and ways to improve the process.

Key considerations when evaluating the information obtained from the case-flow analyses:

  • What are the characteristics of the high-risk clients you are trying to serve?
  • What are the goals of each program and how will goal attainment be measured and evaluated?
  • How do the goals of individual programs or stakeholders fit with the goals of the system at large?
  • How long will clients be in jail?
  • What services can be provided at the facility based on length of stay?
  • Does the program dosage and intensity compare to that of similar evidence-based programs?
  • What is the proper program dosage needed?
  • How will in-jail interventions be linked to community-based interventions?
  • Will there be a coordinated plan and curriculum?
  • Does the curriculum have to be delivered in sequential order (e.g., do you have to start at lesson 1, or can you come in at lesson 10)?

The case flow tables should also help you understand the following issues:

  • The pre-initiative process by which the jail population interacts with each partnering agency
  • How the community serves the jail population
  • Resources needed to fill identified gaps and/or change existing practice

For more information and examples from the field

1. Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Cover Letter. A template of a cover letter and a self-report questionnaire you can send to agencies requesting information about their services. The questionnaire was adapted from a survey developed by Department of Human Services, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

2. Davidson County, TN Sheriff’s Office. Davidson County In-Jail Program Target Populations.

3. Kent County, MI. TJC Pre-Implementation Case Flow Maps.

4. Urban Institute. Jail Transition in “Your” County. A questionnaire that you can send to different stakeholders in your community, including the formerly incarcerated, to better understand their perceptions of the barriers that impede individuals from receiving services.

5. Urban Institute. In Custody Client Flow Chart.

Let's Review

Let's revisit what we have learned so far in the Targeted Transition Interventions module. Please answer the following questions

1. An inventory of interventions helps to identify the programs in place and determine gaps in services.
2. Services that do not meet the needs of inmates should be


In this section, you learned that by making a detailed inventory of all jail-based, transitional, and community interventions, you can clearly identify the programs that are currently in place and determine any gaps in service delivery. Templates were provided, including a self-report questionnaire for agencies, a survey of stakeholders' perceptions of transitional barriers, and a completed intervention inventory.