At any given time, there are well over two million people incarcerated in state and federal prisons across the United States. While some prisoners are serving life sentences, more than 95% of these individuals will eventually be released and return to their communities. In fact, over 600,000 inmates are either granted parole or released outright each year. In addition to those released from the prison system, nearly 9 million people are released from locally run jails annually.
Released offenders, particularly those who have served long sentences, face a daunting challenge as they adjust from the structure of prison life to freedom in a society that may be wholly unfamiliar. The process of incorporating these individuals into a community can be difficult, but failure to do so can prove even more costly for both the communities and the individuals themselves.
Many recently released prisoners quickly discover extensive barriers to their attempts to rebuild their lives. Not only are many employers hesitant to hire individuals with criminal records, many laws and policies exist that restrict released offenders from accessing many professional licensing programs. Finding housing can also present challenges, as many landlords require background checks and most government subsidized housing programs restrict benefits for released prisoners.
In addition to housing and employment barriers, many individuals who have served prison sentences experience a wide variety of chronic health challenges, including mental health conditions. While incarcerated they were provided treatment by the prison medical system, but after release they must quickly learn to navigate the complex healthcare system. They must also either find access to health insurance or face the reality of paying for medical care out-of-pocket. As a result of these hurdles, many former inmates experience long periods of untreated health problems after release. Without reliable access to stable housing, steady employment, and dependable medical care, creating a stable and productive life can be an insurmountable challenge, making recidivism almost inevitable.
In recent years, these barriers to stability have become better understood and so programs, both public and private, have been created across the country to assist former prisoners as they reenter society. Unfortunately, these resources are often fragmented and individuals must work with different organizations for each challenge that they face.
Community care coordination is the next step in smoothing the prisoner reentry process. When health and social services organizations can coordinate programs, share data, and communicate effectively, they can see the big picture and treat each of their individual clients holistically. In the case of prisoner reentry, community care coordination means that individuals who have been released from prison have access to all of the resources that they need to rebuild their lives. As a result, communities are safer and costs are lower for the justice system due to reduced recidivism.
ClientTrack enables an extended, team-based approach to coordinating reentry cases, with collaborative tools that facilitate communication across programs and providers. 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. ClientTrack helps case managers:
- 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