2013 - Cuff Key to Door Key: A Systems Approach to Reentry

June 6, 2013

Reduce, Reuse, Reenter: Preparing Offenders for Green Jobs
Stephanie Davison

Everyone has heard the hype about green jobs, but what is a green job? Do they really exist? And could an ex-offender ever get one? During this session, we will define green jobs, describe desirable knowledge and skills for green jobs, and provide strategies to prepare exiting offenders and ex- offenders for these jobs. The presentation will place a particular focus on how to understand local labor market demands and identify pathways to green jobs in the local economy. The presentation will also address low-cost ways to incorporate green principles and practices into existing training and education programs.


Developing Strategic Partnerships
Jim Chastain

With limited resources the development strategic partnerships around the topic of offender workforce development in Kansas was necessary and logical. Some partnerships exist with informal agreements while other required the formality of official MOU/MOA(s). The maintenance of these partnerships requires good communication, finding common ground and setting the expectation that if we work together we can accomplish great things.

Following an initial Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) Certification Training Kansas became a Partner State with the National Institute of Corrections and the National Career Development Association and agreed to offer OWDS training to a variety of partners throughout the state. This training helped agencies throughout Kansas to speak a common language and to develop some common goals to help offenders improve their outcomes through the prospect of employment.

This presentation will discuss how partnerships have been developed using OWDS certification training


The Victim Role in Offender Reentry
Anne Seymour

Ms. Seymour’s session will describe the core victim’s rights that are relevant to reentry, Identify victims’ and survivor’s most important needs that can be addressed through reentry programs, and look at how to build partnerships between victims’ service providers, justice officials, and community members.


Starting Over Corps: An Offender-Led National Service Initiative Changing the Culture of Reentry in Indianapolis
Steven McCloud, Lionel Muse, Julie Smitson and Bonnie Zito

In September 2012, an innovative reentry initiative was launched in Indianapolis. A team of 15 formerly-incarcerated men and women was selected to serve for 12 months as AmeriCorps members. The focus of Starting Over Corps is on assisting those leaving prison and returning to Indianapolis communities. Our reentry coordinators are also involved in assisting build the capacity of reentry service providers. In this dynamic session, four Starting Over Corps members will share their stories about how they came to be at this point and what they are accomplishing through their national service.


Educational Pathways to Success
Vivian Nixon

This session will offer an overview of the current state of education within the criminal justice system and in reentry across programs ranging from ABE to college, with an emphasis on emerging opportunities to increase pathways to postsecondary education. It will highlight the need for increase access to education and suggest ways to bring about such an increase through policy, practice and research.


Breaking Down the Walls: Creating a Robust Continuum of Mental Health Care Through Cross-Systems Collaboration
Attila Denes and Barbara Becker

This presentation will present practical, solutions-oriented information on (1) breaking down institutional silos to create cross-systems collaborations that effectively share information and resources to produce mutually-beneficial outcomes; and (2) capitalizing on such an environment to create a continuum of care for justice-involved people with mental illnesses that spans the entire course of engagement with the justice system, including initial police contact, criminal investigation, pretrial detention, pretrial release, corrections, and community re-entry. 


Improving Reentry Efforts: What Works and What Doesn’t in Reducing Recidivism
Edward J. Latessa

Edward J. Latessa, Ph.D., the interim dean and professor at College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services at the University of Cincinnati will deliver the keynote address. This session will serve as an introduction to the empirical evidence concerning what works and what doesn't in reducing recidivism. Included will be a review of the major predictors of criminal behavior, effective models used to support offender change, and the matching dosage of effective treatment to risk level.

Understanding and applying the principles of effective intervention is essential if we are going to reduce recidivism for those offenders leaving our prisons and jails. This session will serve as an introduction to the empirical evidence concerning what works and what doesn't in reducing recidivism. Included will be a review of the major predictors of criminal behavior, some of the more effective models used to support offender change, and discussion on dosage of intervention based on risk.


Mentoring as a Critical Component of Juvenile Reentry Initiatives
C. Roger Jarjoura

This session considers the role that mentoring can play in the reentry process for juvenile offenders returning home after a period of incarceration. We will consider the unique contribution that mentoring can play as part of a comprehensive reentry initiative and discuss how mentoring is thought to make a difference in reducing the likelihood of recidivism and reincarceration. When it is implemented well, mentoring is an evidenced-based program for juvenile offenders in reentry. To be most effective in this context, mentoring programs must be structured deliberately to facilitate the transformation that is possible through mentoring. We will examine a successful juvenile reentry mentoring program that has operated in Indiana since 1996.


Sentencing as If Reentry Matters
Michael Connelly

Corrections professionals understand that reentry for most offenders begins when they first enter our custody and supervision. However, much of our effort toward reentry is in fact fixed at sentencing by the terms and conditions placed by the judge on the offender. Therefore, reentry actually begins at sentencing. This session will examine the factors that judges can and should take in to account in their sentencing to maximize reentry efforts, obstacles to inserting greater consideration of reentry into those sentences, and means to determine what sentences are best at minimizing recidivism and how they can be implemented.


Reentry and Employment: Challenges, Successes and More
Felix Mata

Case managers, Probation/Parole officers, and others who assist individuals with criminal backgrounds will ask, "How can I help you?" The first response that most will receive is, "I need a job." Not everyone is employment ready and sometimes a disservice is provided when individuals are referred to available opportunities. This presentation will focus on employment programming for individuals with criminal backgrounds and what has been done to overcome their reentry barriers.