Reentry, Homelessness, & Recidivism in Washington State

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    • 00:05

      [Reentry, Homelessness, & Recidivism in Washington State]

    • 00:11

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD: So in Washington State recentlythe state legislature was concernedabout homelessness and reentry.So they wanted to better understand,is it possible to develop servicesto provide to high risk offendersleaving prison and being released into the community

    • 00:33

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: homeless?And so they posed the question, whatwould be successful in assisting high risk offenders,providing them housing in a way that was meaningful,and would this lead to reductions in recidivism,re-admissions to prisons, and revocation?

    • 00:56

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: And so what they did is they funded several projectsthrough the Washington State Department of Commerceto collaborate with Washington State Department of Correctionsto come up with a program that would identify who might bereleased homeless, and what wouldhappen if we provided those high risk offenders, high need

    • 01:18

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: offenders, with 12 months of housing.And so, as a part of that-- so the challenge was,can we provide housing?Can we do it in a safe and secure way?Can we have a positive outcome and bring peopleto self-sustainability?So as a research project, me and my research team,

    • 01:40

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: we were invited to basically studythe process, the process of implementation,as well as the effectiveness of the program.And so what we did was the state of Washington basicallyselected three of their largest countiesthat had community justice centers.And they implemented the Reentry Housing Pilot Project.

    • 02:05

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: And so this project basically had three primary elements.So the first one was providing safe housing.The second was to do it in a way that was safefor the community, because these werehigh risk offenders with concernsthat they would re-offend.

    • 02:26

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: And so how could you provide them safe housing,but also do it in a way that was safe for the community?And then the third element was to provide wraparound services.So basically organize inner agency collaborationusing community corrections officersas the key stakeholder that would

    • 02:47

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: be responsible for the supervision.And so they teamed up with housing,with landlords in each of the communities,with mental health, with social services, with employers.Because the program was designed where the offender wouldhave to pay some portion of the rent, and eventually become

    • 03:09

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: self-sustaining at the end of the 12 month period.So once the program was implemented,we basically collected record data--so institutional history, criminal history,those things-- on every person thatparticipated in the Reentry Housing Pilot Project.And then we compared them to a statistically matched group,

    • 03:34

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: through propensity score matching,to a similar group who were releasedunder traditional supervision.And what we found was that the Reentry Housing PilotProject was successful.So by providing safe housing, by making sure

    • 03:54

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: there was a supportive team so that they were safely releasedand the community would be safe, and wrap around services,that it's significantly reduced recidivism, significantlyreduced re-admissions to prisons.And they were able to do it in a safe and secure manner,so that the offenders were safe in terms of the housing

    • 04:15

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: that they were given.And the community was safe as well by reducing re-offending.The interesting part that we foundwas just the importance of housing security to success.So when we release high risk offenders

    • 04:35

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: to homelessness or instability-- so the slang iscouch surfing, where they don't have a real place to livethey just transition from one person's houseto another every few days.And so they're uncertain what their future looks like.Those offenders recidivated at a higher rate

    • 04:57

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: than those who were provided with stable housing.Now what was interesting in the datawas RHPP was effective, so significantly betteroutcomes by offenders being placed in that program.But also what we found is that housing is notstatic, so housing security changes over time.

    • 05:18

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: So in both groups-- even the treatment groups,the RHPP group-- the RHPP group may start with housing,and then become homeless, and then achieve housing.And same in the comparison group.But what was interesting is that in both groups,if offenders experienced homelessness

    • 05:38

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: at any period of time in our three year study,they were much more likely to recidivateand be returned to prison.So what the state of Washington learnedwas if you target high risk offenders,you give them a safe and secure placeto live with wrap around services,you can significantly reduce harm to the community

    • 06:01

      FAITH E. LUTZE, PHD [continued]: by reducing recidivism and re-integratingpeople successfully so that they no longer area threat to the community.They're not using state resources,in terms of returning to prison.And they're integrated into their families and communitiessuccessfully for the long term.

Reentry, Homelessness, & Recidivism in Washington State

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Abstract

Professor Faith Lutze describes a project Washington state undertook to provide temporary housing and services for released prisoners who were at risk for homelessness. Her research team found that the program was successful and that former prisoners who experienced homelessness were far more likely to reoffend.

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Reentry, Homelessness, & Recidivism in Washington State

Professor Faith Lutze describes a project Washington state undertook to provide temporary housing and services for released prisoners who were at risk for homelessness. Her research team found that the program was successful and that former prisoners who experienced homelessness were far more likely to reoffend.

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