Prisoner recidivism is a serious issue carrying significant societal cost. Nationwide, more than 10,000 prisoners are released each week from state and federal prisons, totaling more than 650,000 prisoners released each year. Statistics show that two-thirds of released prisoners are rearrested within three years of release. In California, which has the nation’s second highest recidivism rate, nearly three-fourths of released inmates are rearrested within twelve months of release. A 2011 study estimated that reducing recidivism by just ten percent would save the state of California $233 million in its first year. Total projected first year savings for all 41 states included in the study reached $635 million. (State of Recidivism: The Revolving Door of America’s Prisons. Pew Charitable Trust, 2011).
Prisoner reentry programs are critical in helping released inmates obtain the base of support needed to productively integrate back into society. Case management and care coordination are necessary components in ensuring program success, thereby reducing the recidivism rate and overall system cost. Programs that use a continuity of care approach provide intensive case management while the prisoner is incarcerated. They refer him or her to outside service providers prior to release and continue to offer case management and other community services post-release. One meta-study evaluated programs offering a continuity of care approach for behavioral health. In each of the four cases reviewed, a significant reduction in recidivism amongst participants was shown. (Offender Reentry: Correctional Statistics, Reintegration into the Community, and Recidivism. Congressional Research Service, RL34287, 2015.)
Reentry case management and care coordination presents unique challenges due to a complex mix of immediate and long-term needs such as stable housing, food security, employment and skills training, family dynamics, addiction recovery, and physical and behavioral health. The complexity of managing multiple needs across such a large scope of programs and providers demands the utilization of a flexible and robust care coordination, monitoring and reporting platform.
The ClientTrack system for Prisoner Reentry is such a platform. With purpose-built tools case managers and care coordinators need to manage these difficult and complex cases, ClientTrack helps care coordinators:
- Use standardized assessment tools to evaluate needs and determine risks
- Monitor participation in mandated and recommended program offerings
- Generate a customized transition program unique to each individual based on results from assessments
- Track legal requirements of the offender’s release, criminogenic and stability factors such as employment, housing, income, goals, and barriers
- Introduce interventions as responses to specific actions (loss of employment, family conflict, recurrence of addictive behaviors, term violations, etc.)
- Conduct a strengths and skills inventory
- Identify offender’s triggers and introduce mitigation strategies
- Generate an automatic match of offender’s needs with available resources and programs
The ClientTrack platform for Prisoner Reentry enables an extended, team-based approach to offender reentry, with collaborative tools that facilitate communication across programs and providers. An offender may be working with a nurse case manager for medical screening and treatment of infectious diseases, a behavioral health counselor for assistance with risky behaviors and mental health concerns, and a community-based case manager working to improve housing, employment opportunities, skills training, and the offender’s family situation. By working across a shared case management platform, providers can collaborate together on approaches to assist the client in reaching desirable goals across all program disciplines.