Reentry of Offenders in Community Corrections

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    • 00:00

      [MUSIC PLAYING][Reentry of Offenders in Community Corrections]

    • 00:11

      SHANNON BARTON: Hi.My name is Dr. Shannon Barton from Indiana State University,the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.And I'll be talking with you todayabout reentry in community corrections.I'm going to be discussing the definition of reentry,the role of the Second Chance Actin defining reentry, the challengesof reentry, strength-based criminal justice,

    • 00:32

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: and identifying one program that works as an example of reentry.[Introduction to Reentry]As we know, approximately 95% of all offenders incarceratedwill leave prison.The majority will leave under some formof supervision or parole.

    • 00:52

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: And so we have to ask ourselves, why should we care?What does that matter to us?Why it matters is because those individuals aregoing to be our neighbors and our community members,so we have to think about what kind of persondo we want in our community.When offenders leave prison, theyface many different challenges that many of us face as well,

    • 01:14

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: but they have obstacles that they have to overcome.They oftentimes face difficultieswith finding a residence, employment,medical care, transportation, and family reunification.And so from a reentry perspective,we have to think about how might we facilitate or assistoffenders in accommodating some of these needs.

    • 01:35

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: [What is reentry?]reentry, defined, is very multifaceted.And it ranges from a very broad definition to something that'svery conceptually narrow.For example, Peter Silia contendsreentry includes programs and processesthat prepare an inmate for entrance back into society

    • 01:56

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: and to live as a law-abiding citizen.This is a very broad definition of whatwe are hoping to accomplish in reentry programs.On the other hand, others argue from a more narrowly-definedposition that these programs are notconsidered reentry unless they are defined with an outcome.And so we have to look at what constitutes

    • 02:18

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: an effective program or not.And so we have this debate going on in the field about really,what constitutes a true reentry program?But there are some agreements, and thatis what some of these components are of reentry programs.For example, we have to have offender accountability.We want to make sure that any type of programincreases public safety.

    • 02:39

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: We want to make sure that it's cost-efficient,and that we're trying to reduce recidivism.And so if we can accomplish these,we may find that these programs are much more effective.[Second Chance Act (SCA) of 2007]reentry itself was born out of the Second Chance Act of 2007.

    • 03:00

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: The focus of the Second Chance Actwas to reduce recidivism while improving public safety.Since that time, in 2009, the Second Chance Act programhas given out more than $600 million in grantsto 49 different states and the District of Columbia,funding seven different programs.These seven programs include targeting adults

    • 03:22

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: with co-occurring substance abuse and mental healthdisorders, family-based prison or substance abuse treatment,adult mentoring, technology careers, adult offender reentrydemonstration, state, tribal, and local reentry courtsprograms, statewide adult recidivism reductionstrategic planning program.

    • 03:42

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: As you can see on the table on your screen,approximately 113,000 offenders have been served.From these, the reentry demonstrationand the mentoring programs are the most popularly usedprograms.[Challenges Faced by Offenders]There are challenges still that are faced by these offenders

    • 04:04

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: even though they have opportunities to beinvolved in reentry programs.And a lot of these are ones that we don't think about,particularly when we are sentencing offendersor when we're welcoming an offender backinto our community.And we turn these collateral consequencesor invisible punishments.And these punishments are the result of civil lawrather than criminal law.

    • 04:24

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: They include not allowing the offenders to vote, terminationof parental rights, using a felonyconviction as legal grounds for a divorce,not allowing offenders to ever holdpublic office or public employment or government jobs.We also may permanently bar offendersfrom serving on juries or owning a firearm.

    • 04:46

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: This one, particularly with a firearm,is troublesome for individuals who may want to hunt,for example.We think about owning a firearm as owning a firearmfor personal protection.But if you are an individual who likes to hunt game,particularly in rural communities,you may be barred from ever doing that.So this becomes a problem for some of those individuals.

    • 05:07

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: We also know that many offenders arerequired to register with law enforcement.They're also denied federal assistance such as food stampsand housing.And they have the inability to access student loans.Now, if we back up one to the denial of federal assistance,this becomes a collateral consequence alsoto the children of the offenders,

    • 05:28

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: because for many of them, if theyare denied housing or assistance with housing,it means that their children may not be able to live with them.So if we're looking for reunificationor trying to have more functional familiesonce an offender leaves a facility,then this may be problematic to them as well.So these collateral consequences that offenders faceare very important to consider whenever

    • 05:50

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: you're thinking about any type of reentry program.When dealing with offenders in the community,we look at using either a deficitor a strength-based approach to supervising them.Typically, we supervise offenders usingthe deficits-based approach.This is one where we are focusingon problem-oriented supervision.

    • 06:10

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: So we're trying to identify what your problem area is and thendeal with that.It includes, oftentimes, issues that blaming the offenderand trying to hold them accountable in a way thatmay not be very proactive in termsof dealing with that offender.Instead, we see that the most effective programs and waysto supervise are those that come from a strength-based approach.

    • 06:32

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: This approach, unlike the deficits approach,focuses on the skills and the talents of the offender.So if you have an offender, for example,that may have a talent at drawing,how might we focus on that and utilize that skillin getting them an education that maybe able to capitalize on that?We also want to look at maximizing community support.

    • 06:54

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: And so we want to look at their family.So even though they're dealing with these collateralconsequences that they have to overcome, or these challenges,how might we get their family back together if that family isa pro-social environment?How might we look at other types of community supportthat might be available?That could be programming as well.We also want to use motivation to encourage the offender

    • 07:17

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: to change.So this may be different forms of positive reinforcement.An offender that actually is motivated internallyis more likely to change than someonewho's motivated externally.So we want to encourage them to change their behaviorand be very pro-social.We also know that when we utilize

    • 07:38

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: the strength-based approach, we'realtering that officer and offender interaction.So again, you are respecting, as an officer, that offender,and expecting respect back from them.So it's going to alter the way that you deal with them.In order to encourage motivation,there are four characteristics that you have to keep in mind.

    • 07:59

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: The first one is that motivation is changeable.Just because a person comes in to your officeand is not motivated to change doesn'tmean that you're not able to capitalizeon their strengths and their skills to encourage change.Second, a person who is motivatedis more likely to change.Third, everyone is motivated by something.

    • 08:22

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: Whether that's something is the same thingthat would motivate you or not doesn't really matter.You just know that everyone is motivated by something,whether that's your family, whether that'sa job, whether the motivation is I neverwant to go back to prison.So you have to think about and try to findwhat that motivation is.The fourth characteristic is that internal and external

    • 08:44

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: factors impact motivation.As I stated a minute ago, those who are motivated internallyare more apt to change than thosethat are motivated externally.So thinking about that idea of number threethere where everyone is motivated by something,this plays a role in that as well.[Officer & Offender Interaction]

    • 09:07

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: There is change in the officer and offenderinteraction in using the strengths-based approach.And one of the ways that we can accomplish thatis through the use of motivational interviewing.There's a lot of information that'sout there and available on motivational interviewing.I would highly recommend that youdo some of that research on your ownto find out exactly what some of those techniques are.

    • 09:28

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: But in using motivational interviewing, you're alsoincorporating positive reinforcement and saying, gosh,you did a great job this week.Instead of being late for our appointment,you showed up on time.That's very good.That's a change in that behavior.We also want to look to community collaboration,

    • 09:48

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: again, looking at how we might bring othersinto this relationship that I have with the offenderas an officer and making that a positive change.There is a comparison between the problem-oriented ordeficits-based approach and the strength-based approach.So as you can see, in a problem-oriented approach,we're looking at hierarchical relationships

    • 10:09

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: versus collaborative.So in a hierarchical relationship, you are saying,I am the authority and you must follow or dowhat I tell you to do.And the collaborative relationshipunder the strengths-based approach, we're saying,hey, how might we work together, and how might wecreate a relationship that says we can motivate your behaviorto change?

    • 10:29

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: Under problem-oriented, we have the assignment of blamethat results in guilt and shame versusunder the strengths-based, where we'reencouraging accountability or responsibilitythrough positive action.So instead of saying, I told you not to do that.You shouldn't done that-- as we do children-- we're say, OK.How might we hold you accountable?And if you understand the rules and you're

    • 10:51

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: told those, how might, then, we positivelyreward that behavior?On this next slide, it's a continuationof that comparison.We see under problem-oriented that weminimize the capabilities and emphasize your problems asopposed to the strengths-based, wherewe're going to maximize our capabilitiesand minimize our problems.So it's just the opposite.

    • 11:12

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: So under strengths-based, we're saying, hey,what are your skills?What can you do?And sometimes that can be very, very basic.Maybe you like people.Maybe you like to talk to people.Let's look at ways that we can capitalize on that.Under problem-oriented, we also seewhere we focus on individual level problems.And understand strengths-based, we'regoing to focus on problems at the individual and community

    • 11:35

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: level.So it's not just you.It's you working within your community.And how might we say, hey, you'reliving maybe in an environment that if you were addictedto a particular substance that it'sconducive to easily and readily buying that substance.How might we look for a residence

    • 11:55

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: that drugs are not so available?And finally, under problem-oriented approach,we see that it elicits a defensive response as opposedto the strengths-based approach thatpromotes a positive response.So if you are putting someone, initially, on the defensive,you're not going to have that collaborative relationship.

    • 12:16

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: So you want to make sure that you're being empathetic,that you're saying, OK, here's what you've done.Here's my job, and here's my role, and here's your role,and here's your job.And as long as we accomplish these two things,you're going to be successful.[Minnesota's High-Risk Revocation Reduction ReentryProgram (HRRR)]Now in saying all of this in terms of reentry,

    • 12:38

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: what does that mean?It means that communities can do, essentially, a multitudeof different types of programs.Most communities are looking towards incorporatingevidence-based practices, and so utilizing and incorporatingprograms that work based upon research.And so to demonstrate that, I've identified one program

    • 12:60

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: that has been shown to work at effectivelyreducing recidivism.And that is Minnesota's High-Risk Revocation ReductionReentry Program.In this program, it targets adult males 60 daysbefore release and the last six monthsto one year post-release.The services that are provided include community supervision

    • 13:22

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: and opportunities to meet with reentry coordinatorsfor up to one year post-release, and they oftentimesdo this at what they call a community hub.So it's a central location for themto come in and meet with the supervisors.They are offered 75 days of transitional housing,and so they are offered an opportunityto reintegrate back into their communities

    • 13:44

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: and not worry about housing.They are offered up to one year of life skills programming,specifically focused on domestic violence prevention.So how you can reintegrate with your family.They also have 16 weeks of subsidized employment,they have a mentoring group membership,and they are provided transportation assistance which

    • 14:05

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: includes two three transportationpasses on the Minneapolis-St. Paul PublicTransportation System.So they're trying to tap into the deficits or challengesan offender would have once they are released backinto their communities.Now for this particular study, itwas a random experimental design they targeted 244 offenders.

    • 14:28

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: 165 of the offenders received the treatment,and 79 were part of the control group.They were followed up from one to two years post-release.Following this study, again, usingthis random experimental design, theyfound that there was a 28% reduction in new revocationsand a 42% reduction in reconvictions

    • 14:50

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: or new convictions.So the outcomes were very positive for thosethat went through the program.They also found that there were a varietyof different predictors of success,the first one being age.They noted that as age increased,it resulted in a reduction in re-arrest and re-conviction.Now, in looking at the literature,we know that, for example, the life course theory

    • 15:14

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: would argue that we should expect to find thisbecause individuals, as we increase in age,have greater stakes in conformity.And so we find reasons why we would notwant to be re-arrested.So this is a very positive finding thatmay be consistent with theory.The authors also found that employmentwas the most significant predictor of success.

    • 15:37

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: Offenders, or participants who were employed,were least likely to recidivate.They also found that enhanced case planningseemed to impact positively reductions in recidivism.They also found that those offenders whohad attendance at the community hubreduced the recidivism as well asthose who participated in cognitive behavioral

    • 15:59

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: programming.Two other areas that they exploredthat were positive but not significant in termsof reducing recidivism were participationin chemical dependency programs and housing assistance.So while the housing assistance was an important component,it did not significantly reduce recidivism.[Challenges of Reentry]

    • 16:24

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: So what are the challenges of reentry that we see?We know that reentry, in and of itself,is not a one-size-fits-all program,that reentry comes in many different forms,that the communities themselves have to define what constitutesreentry.More and more states are moving in the direction of statutorily

    • 16:44

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: defining what constitutes reentry, but not everyone does.We also know that another challengeis that officers must change the way that they superviseoffenders.So this means that we may have to go back in and re-educateand train officers about how to interact with those offenders.Training is essential and important.

    • 17:06

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: [Conclusion]So to summarize, reentry programsare necessary since the overwhelming majorityof offenders will reenter society.A lot of these offenders now are comingunder community supervision for a much shorter period of time.For example, here in the state of Indiana,

    • 17:28

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: you are supervised if you are notreleased under your expiration releasefor a maximum of two years if you are under most categories.And if you are a sex offender, up to 10 years.So if you are released through expiration of your time,you're not supervised at all.So these offenders coming back into our communitiesneed to have some sort of support and programming.

    • 17:51

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: We do know that the evidence doessuggest that these programs can work at reducing recidivism.And we also know that the most effective programshave a community buy-in and are evidence based.Here are five reflective questionsI would like you to take with you.The first one is what are some of the problemswith defining what constitutes a reentry program?

    • 18:13

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: Second, what are the key goals of any reentry programand why are these important to keep in mind?Third, what is the Second Chance Act?How has this Act supported reentry efforts?Fourth, what are the collateral consequences of incarcerationand how do these relate to the ability of an offenderto reintegrate back into society?

    • 18:34

      SHANNON BARTON [continued]: And finally, how do strength-based approachesto supervision differ from deficits-based approaches?How does a strength-based approachcontribute to the successful integration of an offenderinto the community?[MUSIC PLAYING]

Reentry of Offenders in Community Corrections

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Abstract

Dr. Shannon Barton discusses prisoner reentry and what it involves. Reentry includes the programs and processes that prepare an inmate for returning to society. Barton discusses different reentry programs, reentry challenges, and officer-offender relations.

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Reentry of Offenders in Community Corrections

Dr. Shannon Barton discusses prisoner reentry and what it involves. Reentry includes the programs and processes that prepare an inmate for returning to society. Barton discusses different reentry programs, reentry challenges, and officer-offender relations.

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