The specific mission of the organization is to prepare our clients to sustain a self-sufficient lifestyle through gainful employment opportunities that support housing, basic needs and personal growth. In 2005, we began to base our program’s services on a client-centered model defined and driven by the needs expressed by participants as they exited institutional settings. We have since refined this method by systematically surveying each emerging client and using the assimilation of the responses to tailor our transition services toward effectively meeting their most indicated critical transition needs. The survey is distributed to participants quarterly so as to capture the manifestation of evolving needs of the clients as they progress through the program continuum. This process assures the effectiveness and appropriateness of specific transition services geared toward fulfilling those needs at any given time of program participation. Individual survey outcomes inform service design, delivery and deployment and drive our counseling and case management approaches. Recurrent and frequent administration and utilization of these instruments to design services generates an effective feed-back loop that allows client needs to strongly influence the allocation of agency resources thus ensuring the delivery of client-need-based services
Our approach features a Needs-Based Token Economy facilitated by Mentors that is initiated pre-release and throughout post-release program participation. The Token Economy is designed to encourage clients to engage in, and subsequently maintain, a reciprocal relationship with the agency before, during and after community reintegration. Our current training curriculum evolves in Phases and is designed to identify and address the progressive needs of each client through an assessment, training, counseling and case management regimen that is initiated pre-release and continues through post release. The first three phases occur inside the facility and are facilitated by
While the client is still incarcerated and engaged in our services, they participate in group sessions as well as individual counseling with the primary goal of identifying and addressing the participant’s emergent critical needs. Built upon evidence-based practices for client motivation, participants are awarded one value credit for every hour of program participation. The credits are accumulated and redeemed in the community through their Mentors and are used to secure items critical to short term stability.
The First Phase of the program stresses assessment and personal growth utilizing a curriculum designed to emphasize and promote personal consideration of physical health and well-being, substance use and mental health, as well as family and relationship dynamics.
The Second Phase addresses life skills, education, employment, housing and transitional needs. Throughout the training, a solidified bond is established between the client and the
Upon completion of both phases, the client will immediately transfer into the Continuing Care component which engages them in weekly contact within a group setting to ensure continuity of support services while they remain incarcerated and until they are released. Applications for schooling, housing, social services and medical care are prepared and filed at this time as the client prepares for transition.
A year long community-based Aftercare component begins immediately upon community reentry. It is during the credit expenditure decision making process that Mentors collaborate with their client on the appropriate use of their credits. Such advisable moments promote pro-social judgment from the client through the skillful coaching of their
By fostering pre-release, pro-social relationships between clients and Mentors, and through anticipation of having critical transition needs met, a high percentage of self-motivated post-release contacts are initiated by the clients. Transition Mentoring and the implementation of the Token Economy has significantly increased client response rates and reduced recidivism to single digit rates. We have discovered the rate of post-release self-enrollment in our community based services increased from 20% to 40% using
It is the emergence of post-release needs, coupled with the ability to successfully request and obtain immediate assistance from a familiar source that makes the granting of these requests a prescriptive solution to the otherwise persistent problems presented during, and associated with, previously unsuccessful transitioning efforts.