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Module 7: Transition Plan Development

This visual indicates where Transition Plan Development fits in the Transition from Jail to Community model.

Targeted Intervention Strategies

Welcome to Transition Plan Development. This module explores the use of individualized written transition plans that lay out the intervention, treatment, and services for a person in jail and after release, based on prior assessment of his or her risk and needs.

Transition plans are essential in preparing individuals for release and enhancing long-term reintegration, particularly for those who are assessed as moderate or high risk/need. Transition plans also serve as a means by which offenders can open a dialogue with their counselors, case managers, and program or supervision officers and plan for their return to the community.  

The most vital piece of successful reentry is a comprehensive reentry plan. This plan should begin as early as possible, and entail having the inmate active in the development and completion of the plan. Community agencies need to build a relationship with the offender and schedule appointments. The plan should be given to community agencies, the offender and facility programs. The comprehensive reentry plan is a road map to success for offenders trying to negotiate the struggles of a new lifestyle.

—Paul Mulloy, Director of Programs, Offender Reentry Center
Davidson County, Tennessee, Sheriff's Office

Before we begin, take some time to think about what transition plans, if any, your jail presently uses. Ask yourself the following three questions:

1. Does your jail facility use transition plans?
2. Do your jail facility's transition plans include in-custody, discharge, and postrelease components?
3. Do risk and needs assessments actively inform the individual's transition plan?

Did you answer “Yes” to each of the questions? If not, this module is meant to help you develop transition plans that identify the appropriate range of in-jail and community-based interventions for your incarcerated population, given the range of needs identified.

This module has five sections and will take between 15 and 20 minutes to complete.

Recommended audience for this module

  • Sheriffs
  • Jail administrators
  • Correction staff involved in transition efforts
  • Jail treatment staff
  • Pretrial services staff
  • Community corrections staff
  • Reentry coordinators
  • Community providers
  • Probation officers
  • Pretrial services
  • County board members
  • Criminal justice council members
  • Judges and officers of the court

Module Objectives

In Module 5: Targeted Intervention Strategies, you learned about the 11 tasks outlined in the Targeted Intervention Strategies section of the TJC Implementation Roadmap and the importance of using the risk-need-responsivity model to determine the appropriate strategies to address an individual's criminogenic factors pre- and post-release.

In this module we guide you through task 4 of the Targeted Intervention section of the Roadmap. This task highlights the importance of developing transition plans for selected individuals during their jail stay, based on objective assessment of risks and needs.

Task 4. Produce transition plans for selected jail entrants.

This module has five sections:

  1. The Role of Transition Plans
  2. Transition Plan Content
  3. Selecting the Targeted Population
  4. Case Management and the Transition Plan Process
  5. Terms Used in the Field

By the end of this module, you will be able to

  • Explain why transition plans are important.
  • Identify the essential elements of a transition plan.
  • Determine who receives transition plans.
  • Develop transition plans for your population.

Let's revisit what we have learned so far in the Transition Plan Development module. Please select the phrase that correctly completes the following sentence.

The main goal of a transition plan should be


In this section, you learned that a transition plan specifies the types of interventions an individual needs, when and where the interventions should occur, and by whom. A transition plan has three components: (1) an in-custody (prerelease) section, (2) a discharge planning section, and (3) a post-release planning section.

Download Module 7 in PDF format