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Section 5: Terms Used in the Field

This section defined a number of basic terms used in this module. These terms have been highlighted in purple throughout the module, allowing you to rollover on the term to see the definition.

Core components of an intervention:
The most essential concepts (those that contribute significantly to changes in attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors), activities, and ideas included in the intervention.
A practice that has been proven to be effective through scientific research and, once applied locally, is measurable and evaluated consistently for its effectiveness.
A method or action to used to reinforce program participation and/or the exhibit of prosocial skills or behavior.
“The practice of matching up an individual who has a stable educational, professional and personal life with another individual who is in need of guidance in those areas.”1
Post-release interventions:
Interventions designed to aid the individual's transition from jail to the community and to sustain gains made through prerelease interventions. Examples of discharge interventions include resource packets; referrals to community agencies; scheduled appointments in the community; a temporary supply of medication; identification documents; updated transition plans; transportation to a service provider, home, or probation office; and contact information for key individuals who will facilitate the individual's service plan in the community.
Pre-release interventions:
Interventions delivered either by jail staff or community-based providers in the jail. Examples of prerelease interventions include provision of informational resources such as resource packets, information bins in the facility, or a designated resource officer; brief training programs that prepare individuals for reentry; services such as drug and alcohol treatment, educational programs, and job training; access to community-based and informal social supports such as family, mentors, and members of the faith community; and case management to facilitate continuity of care.


Jail-based and community interventions include the distribution of resource packets, working closely with case managers or treatment managers, and participating and completing an evidence-based cognitive-behavioral program. Before delivering interventions, a detailed resource inventory should be drawn up. It is important to keep the inventory updated. Interventions that are provided should have empirical studies that show them to be effective. Such interventions must be targeted to those who have the greatest risks and needs. Carefully considered incentives may promote program participation.

1 Institute on Women & Criminal Justice, Mentoring Women in Reentry: A WPA Practice Brief (2008). Available here.